Day 7: John Guarino

Jeremiah 17:7-8
"But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.  They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.  Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought.  Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit."

Jeremiah 17 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease to yield fruit"
I can’t say that I have always fully trusted the Lord in every aspect of my life, but I do wholeheartedly embrace the principle of these verses.
I can count many blessings and attribute all of them to the grace and mercy of God. I have been truly blessed with a beautiful, godly, faithful wife who encourages me continually in the Lord. I have two wonderful children who, along with their spouses, have committed their lives to Jesus and are raising their children in the love and admonition of the Lord. After having three grandsons, we were blessed with two granddaughters in 2023. And we have all been blessed by the faith community at Grace Chapel where the leadership and congregants are committed to believing and teaching the word of God in an uncompromising fashion.
And if we truly embrace Biblical instruction, we can’t merely sit back, enjoy and rest in blessings. Luke 12:48 says “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required”.
In 2023, I have been more conscious of the concept of living out my faith in a way that has a positive influence on others. Showing love and compassion and being sincere in words and deeds are a good start to being a blessing.
Being grateful for what we have helps us appreciate the good periods and reflect upon them when things become more difficult. It also helps us make better decisions through both the ups and downs of life. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 teaches us, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for all who belong to Christ Jesus”.

Giving generously of our time and resources is another powerful way of blessing others and showing how much we care. Hebrews 13:16 instructs us, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God”. Serving others by being kind, listening and helping people in need is yet another way to be a blessing. Jesus sets the example for us in Matthew 20:28 when He declared, “Just as the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”.
"Lord, as we begin 2024, help us to be more conscious of your presence and help us fulfill your calling on our lives. May we practice the concept in Acts 20:35 that it’s “more blessed to give than to receive”.  Lead and guide us in all wisdom and truth. We thank you for your abundant grace and mercy. In Jesus name. Amen."

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