Tag Archives: Blessed be the God and Father

John MacArthur – Hoping in God

 

“[Love] hopes all things” (1 Cor. 13:7).

Love refuses to take human failure as final.

Even when faith falters, hope comes to the rescue. It is that long rope that keeps us linked to the sovereignty and power of God.

The apostle Peter wrote to believers who were experiencing severe trials. To encourage them he began, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3).

Our hope is a living hope because our God is a living God. No matter how bleak your situation might seem, God is at work to accomplish His purposes. As Christ hung on the cross, it seemed as if sin had finally triumphed over righteousness. But sin’s finest hour became its death knell when Christ arose from the grave as Lord of life and Redeemer of His people. Now “He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal [body] through His Spirit who indwells you” (Rom. 8:11). Trials and death have no power over you. They simply bring you closer to Christ.

When ministering to others, hope gives you confidence that as long as there is life, human failure is never final. God refused to accept Israel’s failures; Jesus refused to accept Peter’s; and Paul refused to accept that of the Corinthians. When your attempts to cover the sins of others have failed or your righteous expectations have been shattered, hope says, “Don’t give up. God can still work this out for good.”

Hope is illustrated in the true story of a dog who was abandoned at the airport of a large city. He stayed there for over five years, waiting for his master to return. People at the airport fed and cared for him, but he refused to leave the spot where he last saw his master. If a dog’s love for his master can produce that kind of hope, how much more should your love for God produce abiding hope?

Suggestions for Prayer

Praise God for His sovereignty and power, and for the hope that is yours in Christ.

For Further Study

Read Psalm 42, noting how the psalmist related the distressing circumstances of his life to his hope in God.

John MacArthur – Praising God for Your Eternal Inheritance

 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:3).

God has blessed you richly and is worthy of your praise.

The source of your eternal inheritance is God, whom Peter described in several ways. First, He is our blessed God (1 Pet. 1:3). The Greek word translated “blessed” in that verse speaks of that which is worthy of blessing, adoration, praise, or worship. Peter’s praise for God is an example for us to follow. Our God is especially worthy of our praise in light of the glorious inheritance He has granted us in His Son (v. 4).

“Father” to the Jewish people of Peter’s day was one designation for God. The most common Jewish blessings emphasized God as Creator of all things and Redeemer of His people from Egypt, but not as Father (e.g., Gen. 14:20; 24:27; Ex. 18:10). Yet now through Christ, we “have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! [Daddy!] Father!'” (Rom. 8:16).

As wonderful a reality as the fatherhood of God is, Peter’s reference was not primarily to God as our Father, but as Christ’s Father. Their unique relationship affirms Christ’s deity (cf. John 10:30-33). God is the Father of believers in a secondary sense because He has redeemed us through Christ and adopted us into His family (Gal. 4:4-6).

In referring to Christ as “our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:3), Peter amplifies His redemptive work. “Lord” speaks of His sovereign rulership; “Jesus” is His name as God in human flesh; and “Christ” identifies Him as the Messiah, the anointed King.

Peter’s final description of God is seen in the pronoun “our.” He is “our Lord Jesus Christ,” a personal Lord and Savior—not some distant, impersonal deity. He created and redeemed you because He loves you and wants to be intimately involved in every aspect of your life.

What a glorious God we serve! Worship Him today as He deserves to be worshiped.

Suggestions for Prayer

Bless God, who is your Father, your Redeemer, your constant companion, and the source of your eternal inheritance.

For Further Study

Read John 4:1-26. What did Jesus say about the fatherhood of God?

John MacArthur – Remembering Your Inheritance

 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet. 1:3-4).

Victory over present circumstances comes when you focus on your eternal inheritance and praise God for it.

One amazing privilege you have as a Christian is to be the beneficiary of a rich and exciting spiritual inheritance. Jesus gave us a glimpse of its magnitude when He said, “The King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world'” (Matt. 25:34). The kingdom itself is part of your inheritance!

This inheritance is shared by every child of God. Hebrews 9:15 says that Christ “is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that . . . those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” Jesus commissioned Paul to preach to the Gentiles “so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in [Him]” (Acts 26:18).

No one can fully understand “all that God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9). Consequently, at times you might forget that you’re a child of the King and begin to act like this world is all you have to live for. God may even have to discipline you from time to time to correct your behavior. But someday you will be all God created you to be and will know the full glory of your inheritance. In the meantime, be diligent to “set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth” (Col. 3:2). Focus on your inheritance and praise God for it. That will help you see beyond your present circumstances to the glory that awaits you when Jesus calls you home.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for the rich inheritance that is yours in Christ.

For Further Study

Read 1 Peter chapter 1.

  • What spiritual privileges did Peter mention?
  • What commands did he give?
  • Is there any connection between those privileges and commands? Explain.

Our Daily Bread — Eulogize the Living God

 

Read: Ephesians 1:3-14

Bible in a Year: Psalms 23-25; Acts 21:18-40

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. —Ephesians 1:3

In 2005, when American civil rights hero Rosa Parks died, Oprah Winfrey counted it a privilege to eulogize her. Oprah said of the woman who refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955, “I often thought about what that took—knowing the climate of the times and what could have happened to you—what it took to stay seated. You acted without concern for yourself and made life better for us all.”

We often use the word eulogy to refer to the words spoken at a funeral. But it can also refer to other situations where we give high praise to someone. In the opening lines of Ephesians, the apostle Paul eulogized the living God. When he said, “Blessed be the God and Father,” he used a word for “blessed” that means “eulogy.” Paul invited the Ephesians to join him in praising God for all kinds of spiritual blessings: God had chosen and adopted them; Jesus had redeemed, forgiven, and made known to them the mystery of the gospel; and the Spirit had guaranteed and sealed them. This great salvation was purely an act of God and His grace.

Let us continue to center our thoughts on God’s blessings in Christ. When we do, like Paul, we will find our hearts overflowing with a eulogy that declares: “To the praise of His glory.” —Marvin Williams

Blessed Father, I am overwhelmed by Your grace. My only adequate response is ceaseless praise. Thank You for choosing me, adopting me, redeeming me, forgiving me, and making known to me the mystery of the gospel.

Praise is the song of a soul set free.

INSIGHT: Ephesians 1:3-14 is an extended blessing to God for His work of creation and redemption. Paul goes to great lengths to describe and celebrate the goodness of God for His grace and promise. Twice Paul mentions that our salvation is in accordance with His good pleasure or “according to the purpose of His will” (vv. 5,9 esv). God made the decision to lavish grace on those who would be saved in Jesus Christ, and He took delight in extending that grace.

John MacArthur – Blessing the God of Blessings

 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us” (Eph. 1:3).

When we bless God, it is with words of praise; when He blesses us, it is with deeds of kindness.

Paul’s brief doxology identifies God the Father as the ultimate recipient and source of blessing—the One to whom blessing is ascribed and the One who bestows blessings on those who love Him.

“Blessed” translates the Greek word eulogeō, from which we get eulogy. To bless or eulogize God is to praise Him for His mighty works and holy character.

That should be the response of your heart just as it has been the response of believers throughout the ages. The psalmist said “Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer” (Ps. 66:20); and “blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone works wonders” (Ps. 72:18). Peter said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3).

When the situation is reversed and God blesses us, it isn’t with praise, for apart from Him there is nothing praiseworthy about us. Instead, He gives us undeserved benefits through His many deeds of kindness. Scripture identifies Him as the source of every good thing (James 1:17), who works all things together for our good and His glory (Rom. 8:28).

That is but a sampling of the many blessings He lavishes on us in His Son, Christ Jesus. It’s a marvelous cycle: God blesses us with deeds of kindness; we bless Him with words of praise.

Beware of the sin of thanklessness. Recognize God’s blessings in your life and let them fill your heart and lips

Suggestions for Prayer;  Identify ten specific blessings that God has granted to you in recent days and praise Him for each one.

Ask Him to make you more aware of and thankful for His goodness in your life.

Always be ready to seek forgiveness when you take His blessings for granted.

For Further Study; Read Psalm 103.

What blessings does David mention?

How do they apply to your life?

John MacArthur – Hoping in God

John MacArthur

“[Love] hopes all things” (1 Cor. 13:7).

Love refuses to take human failure as final.

Even when faith falters, hope comes to the rescue. It is that long rope that keeps us linked to the sovereignty and power of God.

The apostle Peter wrote to believers who were experiencing severe trials. To encourage them he began, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3).

Our hope is a living hope because our God is a living God. No matter how bleak your situation might seem, God is at work to accomplish His purposes. As Christ hung on the cross, it seemed as if sin had finally triumphed over righteousness. But sin’s finest hour became its death knell when Christ arose from the grave as Lord of life and Redeemer of His people. Now “He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal [body] through His Spirit who indwells you” (Rom. 8:11). Trials and death have no power over you. They simply bring you closer to Christ.

When ministering to others, hope gives you confidence that as long as there is life, human failure is never final. God refused to accept Israel’s failures; Jesus refused to accept Peter’s; and Paul refused to accept that of the Corinthians. When your attempts to cover the sins of others have failed or your righteous expectations have been shattered, hope says, “Don’t give up. God can still work this out for good.”

Hope is illustrated in the true story of a dog who was abandoned at the airport of a large city. He stayed there for over five years, waiting for his master to return. People at the airport fed and cared for him, but he refused to leave the spot where he last saw his master. If a dog’s love for his master can produce that kind of hope, how much more should your love for God produce abiding hope?

Suggestions for Prayer; Praise God for His sovereignty and power, and for the hope that is yours in Christ.

For Further Study; Read Psalm 42, noting how the psalmist related the distressing circumstances of his life to his hope in God.

Joyce Meyer – The Wounded Healer

Joyce meyer

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement), Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God. —2 Corinthians 1:3,4

The best healer is often the wounded healer, because he knows what he is dealing with since he has suffered it himself. That’s what Paul was saying in this passage from his letter to the church in Corinth. If you have suffered through some hard times in your life, you are going to be even more successful in ministering to those who are going through the same kind of suffering in their lives. That doesn’t mean that those who have never suffered hardship or pain cannot be used by the Lord.

Some of the greatest and most powerful ministers I know have lived almost perfect lives. But just because you and I have suffered does not keep us from ministering successfully also. Even though you may have had a rough time in your life, God can use what you have been through for His glory—if you will allow Him to do so! If I were still back where I started out, feeling sorry for myself, I would be no good to myself or anyone else.

In fact, I would probably be on the devil’s lunch plate! He would be chewing me up and spitting me out. But because the Lord gave me the grace to lay down my self-pity and take up the challenge of living for Him, now I am able to help hundreds of thousands of people all over the nation and beyond.

To me the greatest testimony in the world is to be able to say, “God took what Satan tried to use to destroy me, and He turned it around for His glory and used it for the betterment of other people in the kingdom.” It takes God to do that! No matter where you may be today or what you may be going through, God can turn your situation around and use it to further His kingdom and bring blessings to you and to many others.

 

John MacArthur – Praising God for Your Eternal Inheritance

John MacArthur

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:3).

The source of your eternal inheritance is God, whom Peter described in several ways. First, He is our blessed God (1 Pet. 1:3). The Greek word translated “blessed” in that verse speaks of that which is worthy of blessing, adoration, praise, or worship. Peter’s praise for God is an example for us to follow. Our God is especially worthy of our praise in light of the glorious inheritance He has granted us in His Son (v. 4).

“Father” to the Jewish people of Peter’s day was one designation for God. The most common Jewish blessings emphasized God as Creator of all things and Redeemer of His people from Egypt, but not as Father (e.g., Gen. 14:20; 24:27; Ex. 18:10). Yet now through Christ, we “have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! [Daddy!] Father!'” (Rom. 8:16).

As wonderful a reality as the fatherhood of God is, Peter’s reference was not primarily to God as our Father, but as Christ’s Father. Their unique relationship affirms Christ’s deity (cf. John 10:30-33). God is the Father of believers in a secondary sense because He has redeemed us through Christ and adopted us into His family (Gal. 4:4-6).

In referring to Christ as “our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:3), Peter amplifies His redemptive work. “Lord” speaks of His sovereign rulership; “Jesus” is His name as God in human flesh; and “Christ” identifies Him as the Messiah, the anointed King.

Peter’s final description of God is seen in the pronoun “our.” He is “our Lord Jesus Christ,” a personal Lord and Savior—not some distant, impersonal deity. He created and redeemed you because He loves you and wants to be intimately involved in every aspect of your life.

What a glorious God we serve! Worship Him today as He deserves to be worshiped.

Suggestions for Prayer:  Bless God, who is your Father, your Redeemer, your constant companion, and the source of your eternal inheritance.

For Further Study: Read John 4:1-26. What did Jesus say about the fatherhood of God?

John MacArthur – Remembering Your Inheritance

John MacArthur

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet. 1:3-4).

One amazing privilege you have as a Christian is to be the beneficiary of a rich and exciting spiritual inheritance. Jesus gave us a glimpse of its magnitude when He said, “The King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world'” (Matt. 25:34). The kingdom itself is part of your inheritance!

This inheritance is shared by every child of God. Hebrews 9:15 says that Christ “is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that . . . those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” Jesus commissioned Paul to preach to the Gentiles “so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in [Him]” (Acts 26:18).

No one can fully understand “all that God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9). Consequently, at times you might forget that you’re a child of the King and begin to act like this world is all you have to live for. God may even have to discipline you from time to time to correct your behavior. But someday you will be all God created you to be and will know the full glory of your inheritance. In the meantime, be diligent to “set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth” (Col. 3:2). Focus on your inheritance and praise God for it. That will help you see beyond your present circumstances to the glory that awaits you when Jesus calls you home.

Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the rich inheritance that is yours in Christ.

For Further Study: Read 1 Peter chapter 1.

•             What spiritual privileges did Peter mention?

•             What commands did he give?

•             Is there any connection between those privileges and commands? Explain.

 

Joyce Meyer – Let God Comfort You

Joyce meyer

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement). —2 Corinthians 1:3

We all want to be accepted, not rejected. But most of us have felt the isolation and emotional pain that come from feeling rejected. It hurts! The good news is that we can do something about it.

Years ago, I experienced a situation that brought back the old pain of rejection I had lived with before I began learning how to let God heal my heart. I reached out to someone who had hurt me greatly during my childhood. Instead of offering an apology, this person blamed me for something that wasn’t my fault! I wanted to retreat into a corner and nurse my wounds.

The emotional pain I suffered was intense. I wanted to hide and feel sorry for myself, but I now know how to respond differently. I know how to let God love me, comfort me and heal me through the power of the Holy Spirit. I asked Him to heal my wounded emotions and enable me to handle the situation as Jesus would have handled it. As I kept turning to Him, I felt almost as though soothing oil was being poured over my wounds.

Maybe my situation sounds familiar to you. Maybe you know what it feels like to be hurt, rejected, disappointed, or to experience some other painful emotion. It’s very hard to be your own comforter, and one of the best things you can do for yourself is to look to God for the comfort you need. Today’s verse promises that He is the source of all comfort, consolation and encouragement. When you need these things in your life, He’s the one who can provide them for you.

Love Yourself Today: Do you need comfort or consolation? Don’t try to take care of it yourself, but go to God and let His healing grace give you everything you need.

John MacArthur – Coming to Christ

John MacArthur

“Coming to [Christ] as to a living stone” (1 Pet. 2:4).

Often Christians speak of salvation as “coming to Christ.” That’s an accurate, biblical description, for Jesus Himself said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28); “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35); “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37). Those are metaphors for salvation.

Coming to Christ initiates all your spiritual privileges because in Him God “granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3). Paul said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).

The Greek word translated “coming” in 1 Peter 2:4 conveys more than initially turning to Christ for salvation. It implies remaining with Him. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament it was used of those who drew near to God for ongoing worship. It was also used of Gentile proselytes—those who chose to identify themselves with God’s people.

When you came to Christ, a permanent relationship of intimate personal communion was established. Before that, you were rebellious toward God, without hope, and alienated from God’s promises. Now you’ve been born again to a living hope, you abide in Him and in His Word, and you have wonderful spiritual privileges.

Indeed, you are a privileged person, and the greatest of those privileges is your personal relationship with Christ Himself. Continue to draw near to Him today through prayer and worship.

Suggestions for Prayer: Tell Jesus how much you love Him and how you want your relationship with Him to be all it should be.

For Further Study: Read Ephesians 2:1-22.

•             How did Paul describe our spiritual condition before salvation?

•             How are sinners reconciled to God?

•             What analogy did Paul use to describe our relationship as Christians to Jesus Christ?

Our Daily Bread — A Call To Comfort

Our Daily Bread

2 Corinthians 1:3-11

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. —2 Corinthians 1:3

In their book Dear Mrs. Kennedy, Jay Mulvaney and Paul De Angelis note that during the weeks following the assassination of US President John Kennedy, his widow, Jacqueline, received nearly one million letters from people in every part of the world. Some came from heads of state, celebrities, and close friends. Others were sent by ordinary people who addressed them to “Madame Kennedy, Washington” and “Mrs. President, America.” All wrote to express their grief and sympathy for her great loss.

When people suffer and we long to help, it’s good to recall Paul’s word-picture of “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” as “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3). Our heavenly Father is the ultimate source of every tender mercy, kind word, and helpful act that brings encouragement and healing. Bible scholar W. E. Vine says that paraklesis—the Greek word translated “comfort”—means “a calling to one’s side.” The words comfort and consolation appear repeatedly in today’s Bible reading as a reminder that the Lord holds us close and invites us to cling to Him.

As the Lord wraps His loving arms around us, we are able to embrace others “with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (v.4). —David McCasland

Father, thank You for letting us share with You

our worries and cares. We’re grateful that You

stand beside us to comfort and guide. Help us

to console others as You look out for Your own.

God comforts us so that we can comfort others.

Bible in a year: 1 Chronicles 28-29; John 9:24-41

Insight

So often we ask why God allows a hurtful experience to come our way. Today’s reading provides us with at least one very plausible reason for the pain. We are comforted in our afflictions so that we might comfort others in theirs (v.4). Hearing of the faithfulness of God in trials uplifts others who suffer.

John MacArthur – Blessing the God of Blessings

John MacArthur

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us” (Eph. 1:3).

Paul’s brief doxology identifies God the Father as the ultimate recipient and source of blessing–the One to whom blessing is ascribed and the One who bestows blessings on those who love Him.

“Blessed” translates the Greek word euloge[ma]o, from which we get eulogy. To bless or eulogize God is to praise Him for His mighty works and holy character.

That should be the response of your heart just as it has been the response of believers throughout the ages. The psalmist said “Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer” (Ps. 66:20); and “blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone works wonders” (Ps. 72:18). Peter said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3).

When the situation is reversed and God blesses us, it isn’t with praise, for apart from Him there is nothing praiseworthy about us. Instead, He gives us undeserved benefits through His many deeds of kindness. Scripture identifies Him as the source of every good thing (James 1:17), who works all things together for our good and His glory (Rom. 8:28).

That is but a sampling of the many blessings He lavishes on us in His Son, Christ Jesus. It’s a marvelous cycle: God blesses us with deeds of kindness; we bless Him with words of praise.

Beware of the sin of thanklessness. Recognize God’s blessings in your life and let them fill your heart and lips

Suggestions for Prayer:

Identify ten specific blessings that God has granted to you in recent days and praise Him for each one.

Ask Him to make you more aware of and thankful for His goodness in your life.

Always be ready to seek forgiveness when you take His blessings for granted.

For Further Study:

Read Psalm 103

What blessings does David mention?

How do they apply to your life?