count your blessings
"Blest is the womb that bore You and the breasts that nursed You!" —Luke 11:27
A woman from the crowd thought Mary blest because of her physical motherhood. However, Jesus explained that a greater blessing was to hear the word of God and keep it (Lk 11:28). When we ask people to count their blessings, they usually thank God for their family, health, homes, etc. A much greater blessing is to be able to serve the Lord. "There is more happiness in giving than receiving" (Acts 20:35). How many thank God for the privilege of tithing (1 Chr 29:14), or spending hours in prayer, or even suffering? (Phil 1:29) Our food and drink is to do the will of God (Jn 4:34).
Maybe we don't appreciate the supreme privilege of serving God because we aren't serving God that much. Many people have concocted a self-serving rather than self-denying "Christianity" (see Lk 9:23). Today we are often invited to be Christians in order to feel good and get out of trouble. This is a false Christianity that denies the cross and our call to die to ourselves. When we serve the Lord and forget about being happy, we will discover happiness in hearing God's word and keeping it.
Prayer: Jesus, crucify my flesh with its passions and desires (Gal 5:24). "The greatest thing in all my life is serving You."
Promise: "The heavens and the earth quake, but the Lord is a Refuge to His people, a Stronghold to the men of Israel." —Jl 4:16
Praise: With God's help, Barbara accepts and even cherishes her cross.
Reference: (Increase your blessings by helping others through the Bible. For encouragement, order our series on Biblical Counseling on audio AV 13A-1, AV 13A-3, AV 13B-1 or video starting with V-13A.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 2007
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.