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Church talk: Embracing God’s Abundance in Our Lives

Saturday 6 July 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Church Talk, Features

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Church talk:  Embracing God’s Abundance in Our Lives
God's priority for us is to seek His kingdom and righteousness first (Matthew 6:33). 24070510

Living in the Cook Islands, surrounded by the blue Pacific Ocean and vibrant island culture, it's easy to see the blessings that God has bestowed upon us. Yet, amidst the beauty, we often face challenges that test our faith and resilience, writes Pastor Eric Toleafoa of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

I’m reminded of the following lyrics of an old church hymn. The first two lines of each verse goes something like this…

‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,

When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost…’

‘Are you ever burdened with a load of care?

Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?’

‘When you look at others with their lands and gold,

Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold…’

‘So, amid the conflict whether great or small,

Do not be disheartened, God is over all…’

Each of the above lines ends with the following…

‘Count your many blessings, name them one by one,

And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.’

Today, let's explore the biblical call to "count our blessings" and discover God's priorities for our lives.

First, we ought to recognise the Spiritual Blessings in Christ. Ephesians 1:3 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ."

In the fast-paced world, even with the peaceful setting here in the Cook Islands, we can get caught up in our daily struggles—financial pressures, job challenges, and personal conflicts. These can make it difficult to see beyond our immediate circumstances.

By focusing on the spiritual blessings we have in Christ, we shift our perspective from earthly troubles to heavenly treasures. These blessings include our salvation, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the assurance of eternal life. Recognizing this helps us find peace and purpose amidst the chaos.

God's priority for us is to seek His kingdom and righteousness first (Matthew 6:33). When we understand that our greatest blessings are spiritual and eternal, we should prioritize our relationship with Him above all else.

Take a moment each day to thank God for the spiritual blessings you have in Christ. In the beauty of the paradise we live in, let the natural surroundings remind you of God’s creation and His promises to you. 

In order for us to embrace God’s abundance in our lives we must Appreciate God's Daily Mercies. Psalm 103:2 says, "Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits."

Life in the Cook Islands, while peaceful in many ways, comes with its own set of challenges. From the impact of economic uncertainties, natural disasters, and personal struggles we can easily overlook the daily mercies God provides.

When we consciously count our daily blessings, we become more aware of God's presence in our lives. These blessings can be as simple as a beautiful sunrise, a meal with family, or the support of friends. Recognizing these helps us stay grounded in gratitude and faith.

God desires us to live with thankful hearts. 1 Thessalonians 5:18, reminds us to "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

I want to encourage each of us to write down our God encounters or blessings each day. When you reflect on these later, you’ll see how God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23), providing for us ways we often overlook.

Third, let’s Embrace Community and Fellowship

Hebrews 10:24-25 encourages us to "consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another."

In our interconnected yet sometimes isolated world, it can be difficult to maintain genuine community. The Cook Islands, with its close-knit communities, provides a unique opportunity to cultivate deep and meaningful relationships, but it requires effort and intentionality.

By actively participating in community and fellowship, we experience God's blessings through relationships. Sharing our lives, supporting each other, and worshiping together strengthens our faith and builds a resilient, loving community.

God places high importance on fellowship and unity among believers. Jesus prayed for His followers to be one (John 17:21), and through community, we reflect His love to the world.

Counting our blessings and embracing God’s abundance in the Cook Islandsinvolves recognising the spiritual treasures we have in Christ, appreciating God's daily mercies, and embracing the community and fellowship He has placed us in.

As we navigate the unique challenges and joys of life in the Cook Islands, let's focus on God's priorities for us—seeking His kingdom, living with gratitude, and fostering unity.

By doing so, we'll not only enrich our own lives but also shine God's light in our beautiful island community.