Good evening and happy Sabbath! I hope everyone has enjoyed the cooler fall temperatures as I have this week. I even broke out my jeans a couple of mornings!
For those in Charlotte, we will have our booklet discussion on "What Does the Bible Teach About Grace?" Please bring lawn chairs and some snacks as we are planning on having this discussion outdoors after services.
For everyone, this week we begin reading our next booklet "The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy." Please read the introduction "Two Nations That Changed the World" and chapter one, "God's Committment to Abraham and His Descendants".
Blessed beyond measure
One of the themes we will see as we begin reading about Britain and the United States in Bible prophecy is amount of blessings God bestowed on the descendants of Jacob, specifically Ephraim and Manasseh. For the next few weeks, as we read through this booklet, I intend to focus my weekly letter on just one aspect of the blessings God has given us, particularly in this country.
Count your blessings
Have you ever narrowly avoided a disaster, such as an automibile accident or maybe cutting yourself on a breadknife and afterward thought, "Wow, I should count my blessings!" This is an accurate saying. Sometimes God blesses us by helping us avoid disaster.
Of course, this happens on a national scale as well. Consider December 7th, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. While there was great loss of life and equipment, the United States was spared a mighty blow by virtue of the fact their aircraft carriers were out on manuevers. Had the Japanese successfully destroyed those particular vessels, the outcome of the war could have been quite different!
The spiritual application of being spared from disaster
Blessings sometimes take the shape of bad things that don't happen. This not only applies to physical events like the ones mentioned above, but to spiritual ones. Consider what Jesus said in Matthew 6:13 (NLT) when teaching us how to pray, "And don't let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one."
The temptation of sin is ever-present to us as human beings. By praying that God help us not to yield to temptation, we are asking him to give us the blessing of help to avoid to negative consequences of sin!
As you consider the ways that God blesses you, let's not forget all the things that don't happen as well. Leaving late for work perhaps saved us from an accident on the road. Or perhaps deciding to take a walk instead of turn on the TV kept us from be tempted by something we might have watched. Whatever the way God might help us avoid a disaster, let's not take for granted this wonderful blessing!