Christian Living, Encouragement

We Are Blessed to be A Blessing

We Are Blessed to be a Blessing

So many times, we forget that we are blessed.  Yes, we suffer from a mental illness but that does not negate God’s blessings on our lives.  Every day that we wake up and have the wherewithal to go through the day feeling well is a blessing. Each small victory we have is a blessing.  Each time we can touch another with our story is a blessing.  God is blessing us in so many ways that sometimes we can take that for granted.  We need to be more aware of the way God is blessing us, so we can be a blessing to others.

Being a blessing to others is not complicated.  We do not have to stretch ourselves too much to brighten someone’s day.  A simple smile and cheerful hello could be all that person needs to give them something to smile about.  Sending someone a card telling them you care and are praying for them would be a blessing to them.  It’s so easy and simple things can bring the biggest blessing.

But not only will doing things for others bring them blessings, these blessings get multiplied back to you.  You will never regret blessing someone.  A few weeks ago, I was asked to bring dinner to a family whose husband had a stroke.  The family lived quite a ways from me and taking them dinner was going to be a strain on my time.  I had to shop for the ingredients, assemble and bake the casserole, put it into a travel bag and drive the 45 minutes to their home.  All on a Friday night when my family was over and wanting dinner as well.  I obeyed God in this and I was thoroughly blessed when I saw the thankfulness on their faces.  It was a simple act of obedience on my part that brought me a huge blessing and I am so glad I obeyed.

See, simple things bring blessings.  We do not have to complicate this.  God blesses us, so we can bless others.  I know that sometimes the hardest thing we do in a day is getting out of bed.  Days are dark, tiring and anxiety that builds so much we are frozen in fear.  These are the times we need a blessing.  God says you reap what you sow.  If you have been a blessing to others, God will have others be a blessing to you right when you need it.  He will send blessings your way at just the right time.  Remember we are blessed so we can be a blessing and others will then be a blessing to us.

Christian Living, Encouragement

The Lion of the Tribe of Judah

When I think of Jesus my mind tends to focus on His sacrifice as the “lamb of God”.  He is referred to the “Lamb of God” twice in the Old Testament, but many times in the New Testament – 29 times, primarily in Revelation.  But there is another name which Jesus is known as – “The Lion of the Tribe of Judah”.

Revelation 5:5 refers to Jesus as the “Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David who has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals”.  When I think of a lion, I picture a majestic, strong, fierce animal.  I also think of loyalty and royalty as well.  Can you see Jesus as a fierce, loyal lion?  Does the image of a lion, rippling with strength and might come to your mind or do you always imagine Jesus as the lamb?

There are days when I am hurting and in need of the strength of Jesus to pull me up and out of the pit.  In those times I picture Jesus as the lion who has come to save me from myself and the attacks against my mind.  In Revelation 19:11-16 Jesus is described as the rider of the white horse called “Faithful and True”. “His eyes were like a fiery flame and many crowns were on his head. He had a name written that no one knows except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood and his name is called the Word of God” (CSB).  This description does not conjure up the image of a lamb in my mind.

Yes, Jesus was the lamb who took away the sins of the world and He was crucified and resurrected, but He is coming back as a lion who will destroy the enemy forever.  I need to focus on this aspect of Jesus because there are times when my illness requires the strength of a lion to overcome its debilitating effects and to set my feet back on the rock.  I am sure you feel this same despair at times, and you look to Jesus for your strength.  It is comforting to know that He is as fierce as a lion and ready to fight for you whenever you call on Him.  He is the source of our strength.  He is our comforter and healer and he is the lion who fights for us.

There are times when I love to think of Jesus as my shepherd, or the lamb of God especially when I am reading the Psalms. But the image of the lion imbibes me with strength.  I am a lioness and my Lord is the lion of the tribe of Judah and He will always defend and protect me and through all trials!

I have a picture of a white lion in my prayer room that is a constant reminder of the strength and loyalty of Jesus. It is a beautiful image and I look at and am in awe of who Jesus is to me.  The next time you are tempted to think there is no one on your side and that you are fighting this battle against your illness alone, remember that Jesus is the Lion who will fight your battle for you. You need only lay down at His feet and allow His power and fierceness to defeat your enemies. He is the “lamb of God” and He is also the “Lion of the Tribe of Judah” and whether you need a shepherd or a warrior, Jesus is both and all that you need.