Rediscovering Redemption

Chronicling the work of Redemption in the lives of Followers and Leaders. Articles, research and meditations from the writings of Dr. Joseph J. Bucci. Get blog updates by following Joe on Twitter @Re_Redemption

Joseph J. Bucci

How Blessed!

Last week I developed a devotional for a senior citizen group at church. I hate to acknowledge it, but I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not just doing this devotional as ministry, but I’m actually able to be a member of these groups.

I was looking for something beyond the traditional Thanksgiving devotionals we’ve done, like the “5 Kernals of Corn” or repeating scripture verses on Thanksgiving. I’ve done those in the past, but I wanted to go a little deeper.

I was reading one devotional by author Tony Evans which reminded me that on Thanksgiving we take time to acknowledge how blessed we are. It reminded me of the JB Phillips version of the New Testament scripture in Matthew chapter 5:3 “How happy you are…”; also the Message version of that same verse states it this way – “You’re blessed…”

I started reading the Beatitudes with a new perspective, thinking about how blessed I am, when “I’m at the end of my rope” (Mathew 5:3 MSG). How blessed I am when I’m at the end of myself, that I can only reach out to God because I realize that I have nothing else.

How blessed I am (verse 4) when I’ve lost what I thought was most dear to me (Mt. 5:4 MSG), when I cry and acknowledge my failures, and I also cry for joy because I know I am forgiven.

How blessed I am (verse 5) when I am content with who I am (Mt. 5:5 MSG), when I am teachable and willing to trust that God is in control and learn from Him. How blessed I am (verse 6) when I hunger and thirst for righteousness, or as the Message states it, when “I’ve worked up a good hunger for God” (Mt. 5:6 MSG). This is really the blessing of intercession. Those of you who are intercessors you know what I mean.

Let me share with you that I’m blessed that I’ve been put in this role with all the challenges and the great blessings of enrollment growth. It has stretched me to my limit, but it has also allowed me to trust God to add to our number wonderful faculty. I’m blessed to get the opportunity to talk to our diverse adjunct and FT faculty, now more than 70 strong, to work with them and to support them as they teach our students. I’m blessed to get the phone calls from students who aren’t so happy, and to do the evaluations to help them all become better in the positions in which all of them are praying to be someday perhaps full-time, like I did not so long ago.

I’m blessed to be selling one house and buying another and moving all before Christmas. Not that this is easy, because it is not. But this is an answer to our prayers, and so that blessing comes with some requirements. I’m blessed that I have a beautiful wife and five children who love Jesus and follow after Him. I’m blessed that they still call home and have forgotten how anal-retentive I was as they were growing up, and they survived my learning to be a Christian father.

I am truly of all men most blessed, and I thank God every day for His kindness to this undeserving child. I pray that you would also read the Beatitudes with this new perspective, and that you would have a wonderful holiday, knowing how blessed you are!

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Joseph J. Bucci

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