Day 3

Blest Is the Man

from the Hymns reading plan


Psalm 32:1-11, Acts 2:38, Galatians 2:16

Few hymn writers have had a greater impact on Christian worship than Isaac Watts. With more than 750 hymns to his name, Watts has been dubbed the Father of English Hymnody for good reason, penning some of the most beloved worship refrains in the English-speaking world.

From the triumphant “Joy to the World,” celebrating the Savior’s birth, to the moving “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” reflecting on the Savior’s death, Watts packs profound gospel truths into memorable poetic phrases with every lyric he writes.

Watts’ gospel truth packed into poetic phrase is on bright display in today’s hymn. As the title indicates, Watts wanted to deepen our worship of God by growing our understanding of true blessing and reflecting on the nature of repentant faith.

“Blessing” is a word we throw around a lot. We get a promotion at work, or a new healthy baby is born, and we say we are blessed. As a kid in Sunday School, I remember having to list out my blessings: my baseball bat, hot dogs, the swimming pool, and yes, even my sister. I was taught that every good thing in my life was, in some way, a blessing from God.

What I didn’t understand then was that the concept of “blessing” is far more than physical or material favors from God. In fact, blessing lies at the center of God’s redemptive purpose. In Genesis 12:3, God tells Abraham that through him the blessing of salvation will extend to all the families of the earth. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul tells us this blessing to Abraham extends to us through the person and work of Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:13-14).

Watts, in this hymn, reflects on the blessing of salvation and how we receive it through repentant faith in Jesus Christ. Repentant faith begins when “sins with sorrow are confessed.” When truly grieved and broken over our sin, we come out of hiding. We must step out from behind the trees and the fig leaves (Genesis 3) and acknowledge our sin before God (Psalm 32:5).

If we do this, scary as it is, God will give us grace. We will be “covered with the Savior’s blood.” In a paradox that lies at the heart of the gospel, Watts teaches us that we must disrobe in order to be robed. We must own our guilt before God in order to know “how glorious is that righteousness that hides and cancels all my sin.”  

When we begin to experience the power of God’s grace covering our shame and guilt, a new life takes hold. We become new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) and “the bright evidences of grace” begin to “appear and shine” in every facet of our lives. This is what it means to be blessed.

Blest is the man who knows the grace of our God.

Written By Nate Shurden

Blest is the Man, Forever Blest
Isaac Watts, 1719

Blest is the man, forever blest,
Whose guilt is pardoned by his God,
Whose sins with sorrow are confessed
And covered with his Savior’s blood.

Blest is the man to whom the Lord
Imputes not his iniquities;
He pleads no merit of reward
And not on works but grace relies.

From guile his heart and lips are free;
His humble joy, his holy fear,
With deep repentance well agree
And join to prove his faith sincere.

How glorious is that righteousness
That hides and cancels all his sins,
While bright the evidence of grace
Thro’ all his life appears and shines!

For an added layer of worship during reading plan, we’ve created a Spotify playlist for Hymns. You can find the complete HRT Hymns Playlist here, or listen to the first track on the player below. Enjoy!

Post Comments (101)

101 thoughts on "Blest Is the Man"

  1. Jarod Workman says:

    Our blessings aren’t necessarily physical, but also can be emotional. Freedom from past transgressions.

  2. Jarod Workman says:

    God blesses when we are clean before him.

  3. Austin Rossborough says:

    It is a work of redemptive grace which brings joy and peace when we yield to its ways.

  4. Austin Rossborough says:

    By giving my deepest darkest fears and sins to Christ openly, and receiving piece and joy in return.

  5. Austin Rossborough says:

    We need grace and mercy, and live most joyfully when under it.

  6. Austin Rossborough says:

    He is kind and covers our sin in mercy when we repent.

  7. Austin Rossborough says:

    Lord, thank you for you grace!

  8. Patrick Shen says:

    We follow a gospel of reconciliation o our creator.

  9. Patrick Shen says:

    I will examine my heart and confess and repent in any way I have offended him. And I will accept the blessing of his costly forgiveness and grace.

  10. Patrick Shen says:

    Our God is a God of forgiveness. In him there is conviction of sin and the choice of freedom through confession and repentance.

  11. Patrick Shen says:

    We are sinful and prone to hiding. We must trust in the goodness of God and his powerful grace that has, can and will change us,

  12. Patrick Shen says:

    With a thankful heart.

  13. Kyle says:

    Man can feel guilt in his heart when he sins and has a hard time confessing that to anyone; especially someone as holy as God. But to know His grace, we need to first be disrobed of our old ways in order to put on the new, immaculately-clean robe presented to us by Christ.

  14. Kyle says:

    God does not require us to earn status. God credits righteousness on the basis of our faith in Jesus Christ.

  15. Kyle says:

    We are justified by faith in Jesus Christ! Observing laws are important, but the ONLY thing that matters is an unwavering faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our Lord!

  16. Kyle says:

    I will acknowledge my transgressions– I will be open and vulnerable to shame in order to be washed pure and clean. I will follow the footsteps of Christ which leads me home.

  17. Kyle says:

    Dear Lord,
    Let me be relentless in following You! Keep me humble, for nothing I have done has been through my own strength but through Yours! Lord, Your grace is enough for me. Nothing in this world can satisfy me– it is fleeting. Fill me with Your will and Your word. Be the foundation on which all else is built. Lead me to live a life worthy of the calling You have given me. Lord, I am a prisoner for you, and that is the most freedom that one can ever feel. Lord, when I face challenges– whether great or small– keep me focused on what matters: You. I want to do everything I can to show the world Your perfect, unfailing love! I am just an ordinary man, but I am blessed because You have forgiven my sins; You don’t even count them! Your name is higher and greater than any other! Lord, though I am nothing compared to You, let me be Your vessel. Guide me to do Your great works– I will be obedient to Your commands. Lord, open my ears to hear Your word, guide my hands to do Your will, and lead my feet to follow in Your footsteps. For I know by following You, I am heading towards a home that is eternal. Thank you for being so perfect in power, so unfailing in love.
    In Jesus’ name,
    Amen

  18. Matthew Parkolap says:

    The gospel is at the heart of this message. It combines and fulfills Gods longing to pardon and bless us and our repentance and longing to follow after Him

  19. Matthew Parkolap says:

    God longs for us to repent confess and turn to Him. He longs to bless us with his amazing grace

  20. Matthew Parkolap says:

    I have not focused much on my own need to confess and repent lately. This is something i will think, pray and act on.

  21. Matthew Parkolap says:

    He needs to repent and really on Gods grace. But the repentant man is free and blessed! He no longer has to try to cover his own sin but can follow after Christ with confidence and no guilt or remorse

  22. Matthew Parkolap says:

    Lord, according to your great wisdom help me to see where my sin lies so that i may turn and repent of it and receive your pardon and blessing according to your great mercy and grace.

  23. Kraymer Lorig says:

    God wants to bless us. We cannot choose our blessings, but we really do need to be more aware of the countless blessings that the Lord has given to us.

  24. Kraymer Lorig says:

    Everyone is blessed in one way or another.

  25. Kraymer Lorig says:

    Pray for my eyes to be opened to the many blessings that God is giving to me. And that I do not take any of those blessings for granted.

  26. Andrew C says:

    This is the Good News. Jesus has paid for all of our sins and has forgiven us of all our inequities. We mess up after asking for forgiveness time and time again, and He still loves us.

  27. Andrew C says:

    This teaches me that man does have great sin and we don’t always want to admit to that. Although we may brag about our sin to our friends, we are afraid to bring our sin into light in fear that we will be exposed and uncomfortable. When in reality, being uncomfortably exposed by His light is the very thing that can change your heart forever.
    We need to have humility and acknowledge our sin before Him so that we may experience His forgiveness and love and be changed by that.

  28. Andrew C says:

    This teaches me that we do not only serve a God who loves us, but a God who cares for us enough to send His only son so that we may have a chance to one day live with Him. Some never accept what He has to offer, but the ones who do are changed from the inside out and God wants them to go and help more people believe not so He can be popular among people, but so His people have a chance to live again.

  29. Andrew C says:

    I will try to be more humble in my ways and if I fall into sin that I would admit that and brig that begin The Lord right away. Not let that sin sit and build on it.
    Also, I will try to forgive those like Christ forgave me. He has forgiven me for far more than anyone in this world could do to me, so I need to be an example and be gracious and forgiving as He was to me.

  30. Joel Selby says:

    I will continually renew my will towards God every day and in all things that I do, big and small. I will seek first His kingdom and righteousness in all that I do. I will confess my sins, repent, and forsake them when I become aware of them—then forget about them as God forgets about them.

  31. Joel Selby says:

    I can’t do anything to achieve salvation; in order to truly understand grace, I have to understand that receiving God’s blessing isn’t dependent on my acts. However, my will is an important factor that God wants in line: in order to receive His blessing, I have to be open to it first, or I will never receive it.

  32. Joel Selby says:

    God wants to hear from me about my sins, though He knows them all. In fact, confession of my sins to Him is the first step towards receiving His blessing; He will not make me do anything against my will, though He gives opportunities to turn to Him every moment of every day.

  33. Joel Selby says:

    The good news for me is that when I continually renew my will towards God, confessing my sins and forsaking them, and I continually realign my will towards following Jesus, God will hear me and renew His blessing on me.

  34. Peter MacDiarmid says:

    That his salvation is unstoppable, he loves and wants to save and bless us but still asks us to repent and turn away from our sin.

  35. Peter MacDiarmid says:

    I must repent more regularly of my sins and not just take it for granted I’m forgiven

  36. Peter MacDiarmid says:

    It is the power of salvation for all of us

  37. Peter MacDiarmid says:

    That we have a God who wants to bless us, even though we sin and are a broken people.

  38. Peter MacDiarmid says:

    I must repent of my sins, I must confess them and he is faithful to forgive them

  39. Braden Mcalister says:

    This teaches me that God is merciful and powerful. Also that God is loving and caring .

  40. Braden Mcalister says:

    This teaches me that man can’t just be blessed for the good things because that is wrong

  41. Braden Mcalister says:

    This teaches me that the gospel is truly the real deal and that I can’t be blessed for only the good things

  42. Braden Mcalister says:

    I will be blest because I know God and share that blessing with others.a

  43. Braden Mcalister says:

    I will pray for boldness to share the blessing

  44. Letto says:

    Repentance. Prayer. Worship.

  45. Letto says:

    That the holy spirits conviction of sin leads to our repentance. And through repentance comes grace and mercy which we in turn worship. Gods love for us leads to our love for Him.

  46. Letto says:

    It’s beautiful, and the more we comprehend it the more we will worship Jesus Christ.

  47. Letto says:

    Men are dirty and sinful and we need a reason to worship and a hope to hold onto. Both of those are found in God the father.

  48. Letto says:

    Without ceasing and with thanksgiving.

  49. Jantzen says:

    It’s our instructions. We find our answers there. We should faithfully look there to be shown the way to go. It will be what we need because it’s God breathed.

  50. Jantzen says:

    God’s grace is for all and never runs out. He will clean you and make you in right standing if you’ll repent.

  51. Jantzen says:

    We are flawed and will always need a savior but if we’re truly His we have to return to Him and ask for forgiveness to receive his blessings.

  52. Jantzen says:

    Repent and stay broken before God. Stay humbled and reminded of my need for God, his blessing and his word. I cannot do this alone.

  53. Jantzen says:

    Help me stay disciplined, wholly and holy for you.

  54. Isaac Jones says:

    We are blessed if we bring forth all our iniquities by faith and look with hope upon the sacrifice of Jesus. If we can follow the commands of Christ and uphold the message of the Bible with joy, then we are blessed indeed in the favor of God.

  55. Isaac Jones says:

    Salvation brings joyful obedience and bears fruit of a renewed mind of honesty and faith. Belief in Jesus changed every aspect of ourselves; we go from slaves of sin bearing punishments for our iniquities, to slaves of Christ brought into Sonship seeing our sinfulness and accepting forgiveness for our sins before God. We are able to acknowledge our deep transgression and cease hiding from God. In forgiveness we serve and love.

  56. Isaac Jones says:

    God has brought blessing in Jesus Christ, the redeeming messiah, and the savior of the world. God desires willful obedience not stubbornness that has to be continually goaded into action.

  57. Isaac Jones says:

    I will believe in the gospel and seek to face my sins and confess them to God.

  58. Isaac Jones says:

    Father,
    I am a sinner in need of grace. I have been impatient and irreverent. I know others love me, but I withhold myself from them. I know I should be a student of the Word, yet I slack off. Father, I have been lazy and self-centered. Please forgive me for my sin and renew my faithful obedience to you. May I not transgress against your word, and may I forgive as I have been forgiven. Thank you for the cross and the gift of the Holy Sprit. Protect me from the evil one, because I am your servant and no others. You are worthy of all praise God, and I desire to obey you. My Spirit is willing but my flesh is so weak. Free me from my foolish pride and deliver me to humility of Spirit; amen.

  59. Matt Rouse says:

    Man wants control of his salvation. He is always looking for that thing that will justify his existence. We will only find rest in Christ!

  60. Matt Rouse says:

    God is prepared to fight against all sin. He know that we would struggle with feeling like we need to earn the salvation that he has freely given. He gently explains the truth! We have one hope and that’s Jesus. Our efforts are pitiful and fall woefully short. How much better to hold onto the finished with if Christ!!

  61. Matt Rouse says:

    The gospel is freedom!! It frees us from striving because the work is finished! Our verdict is handed down and reads not-guilty. There is nothing we can do to change or enhance the verdict. It is complete and it is ours!

  62. Jordan Serio says:

    Man is always going to be making mistakes but if we confess to the Lord, man can be seen as righteous and clean.

  63. Jordan Serio says:

    I will confess to the Lord, and be confident in knowing I am wiped clean.

  64. Jordan Serio says:

    The gospel is love, forgiveness, and mercy.

  65. Jordan Serio says:

    He is quick to forgive, quick to love, and quick to give out grace.

  66. Jordan Serio says:

    Lord, I confess my sins to you. I know I’ve made mistakes this week and gone against your word. Please forgive me. I am nothing without you. I can’t do anything right unless you are with me.

  67. andrew says:

    Give me contentment, God. i pray you will teach me deeply in repentance and godly sorrow. thank you for your gifts and your redemption and yourself.

  68. Benjamin McKnight says:

    That God will help me when I’m actually trying to make these important decisions.

  69. Benjamin McKnight says:

    Blest is the man who has a pure heart and decides that it’s actually good to have some self control.

  70. Tom Macias says:

    I will press into Gods presence with confidence knowing he has called me to be there with him. That through grace and grace alone I am able to stand before him and worship him freely without fear. He loves me. He has given me grace to be able to have a relationship with me unlike any other.

  71. Tom Macias says:

    God wants me to be entirely dependent on him. When I live in the comfort of his grace knowing that even though I don’t deserve this, he loves me so much that he provides it for me anyways, that brings a peace to my heart. I am cared for. I am loved. And it has nothing to do with my performance.

  72. Tom Macias says:

    I am called to be a father to my two sons. I should live the example of unmerited love. To give freely to my two boys without concern for performance, obedience or any other factor. Discipline is needed but that doesn’t mean my love and affection ever ceases.

  73. Tom Macias says:

    It shows me how incredible God is as a Father. He is the father and an example to us all. How to love and care for our children. How to provide a healthy environment for them. How to show them affection and discipline in a compassionate way. God is incredible that he would give me his Son as a stand-in for my sins. That he loves me so much, he would willingly sacrifice his own son to save me.

  74. Tom Macias says:

    Jesus. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for opening the door between my God and I. I ask that you show me your grace and reveal its deepest meanings to me. Give me wisdom and understanding to see its full extent and to be able to share that with others. Thank you for opening my eyes to your truth and love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

  75. Nick S says:

    Man is blessed when he acknowledges his sin and confesses it to the Lord & repents.
    The man who holds onto his sin, hides it, and does not confess, will be eaten up by it and feel terrible and life will suck.
    Man – the child of God – is convicted by the Lord.
    Man is blessed by God.
    The freedom from sin causes man to praise God, he rejoices.
    Better for him to come clean and be right with God than to hide it and be miserable.
    Man is justified by faith, not works of the law

  76. Nick S says:

    God’s blessing is more than just stuff, it is central the plan of redemption.
    God covers, pardons, and gives joy to the man who confesses his sins with godly sorrow. He is forgiving.

    God is good. God is merciful &a gracious. God is loving towards his people. God loves righteousness. God wants to dress us in his righteousness.

  77. Nick S says:

    God is merciful and loving.
    When God convicts us of our sin, we will be miserable until we confess it and repent. When we do confess and have sorrow for our sin, we are forgiven, and made new. We are justified by faith, and continually being made a new creation in Christ.
    Sanctification is tough, but God is the initiator and we cooperate by trusting that he will be faithful &I just to forgive us our sin.
    My sin was imputed to Christ, his righteousness imputed to me.

    Praise God

  78. Nick S says:

    I will confess my sins to the LORD my God. No longer will I hold back things that are in my heart and mind. No need to be prideful and hold onto my sin and be miserable. I will humble myself before the Lord and confess my sin to him and to others and pray that God would break my heart over my sin. I will repent and seek the face of God, so I may be forgiven of my sin and experience the blessing of God.
    I will surrender to him once again because he is a good God.

  79. Nick S says:

    Father,

    I confess to you my sin.
    I confess to you my apathy towards the things of God and towards the gospel of Jesus Christ. I confess that I have not been focusing on spreading the good news or living a life above reproach or setting an example for the believers. I have instead been focused on maintaining my own life.
    I have not surrendered to you and made you my only object of worship and I have not put you as #1.
    Instead, I have mixed godliness with worldliness. I have sought your blessing and guidance by doing things my way but pretending they are godly.

    I have been lustful; I have been prideful; I have been apathetic; I have filled my heart with idols, things which are good things from the hand of God that I have abused and replaced them as my god. My relationship, my technology, my free time. I have not honored you with those lately.

    Lord, I pray that no idols would be in my life. Help me Put these things in their proper place or to get rid of them completely, since I do not want to love those things more than you.

    God forgive my sin, pardon me. Wash me clean, renew me, make me a new creation. Give me a deep love for you and a hate for sin. Lord draw me close to yourself, do not let me stray.

    I love you and I praise you for you are so good and especially so good to me. I do not deserve you or your love but you have blessed me with salvation. I am numbered with abrahams descendants. I am truly blest. Blessed be The LORD almighty forever & ever.

    Amen

  80. Erik says:

    God is always available and waiting for us to draw near to Him.

  81. Erik says:

    It’s always been about redemption!

  82. Erik says:

    We need to come clean with God and receive freedom and forgiveness through his redemption. As long as we try to save ourselves, nothing will come of it.

  83. Erik says:

    Trust God more. Spend less time for God and more time with God.

  84. Erik says:

    Jesus, help me to focus on your redemption and your sacrifice. Help me to spend time with You and make my heart open and available to You. Thank You for who You are in my life.

  85. Dalton Beaty says:

    We never fail to focus on the here and now, the things that we have and can feel and touch. Yes those are all blessings, but how can we even consider any of these blessings without our preeminent blessing that is Jesus.

  86. Dalton Beaty says:

    I must keep the Gospel, and the blessing of Jesus’ death fresh in my mind, heart, and soul so that I always consider it my first blessing. All these others that are in my life are a direct result of the first one, JESUS.

  87. Dalton Beaty says:

    God is the ultimate blessing, and he is responsible for all of the consequent blessings that follow the one true and significant blessing – the sending of his son to fulfill the law. Without that blessing, we have nothing. Obviously, the life that we live and the material things that we have are a blessing from God himself, but none of these mean anything if Christ did not die on that tree.
    Galatians 3:14 – “So that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”

  88. Dalton Beaty says:

    The Gospel is the most important blessing in our history, and until Christ returns it will remain that way.

  89. Dalton Beaty says:

    I will pray for forgiveness for overlooking the significance of Christ’s death being my blessing, the most important blessing that I can ever claim.

  90. Dereck says:

    This teaches me that God is a forgiving God. He extends his blessing of salvation to the entire earth so that we all may have eternal life with Him in heaven. He loves us unconditionally.

  91. Dereck says:

    Man is Sunil and has a tendency to put the law first and live by it. Instead we should live by faith. We need to disrobe ourselves before God so that we might be robed with righteousness and filled with the Holy Spirit in every facet of our lives.

  92. Dereck says:

    The Gospel is the truth. Anyone who repents their wrong doings to the Lord, and whole heartedly means it, will be covered by the blood of the Lamb and their sins will be cancelled in the sight out our God. God loves us and offers us His promise of an eternal home in heaven with Him.

  93. Dereck says:

    I give my all to Him. I pray for guidance, for strength to go against the desires of the flesh. I pray that my sins are forgiven and that they are covered by His precious blood. I’ve loved a life that was far from perfect but I put my faith in Him. I long to live by faith and not by the law of the world. I pray to be a beacon to the people around me, to find God in every facet of my life.

  94. Dereck says:

    For forgiveness of my wrong doings, of my selfishness, of my sinful nature, of the desires of the flesh. For strength to withstand the temptations of satan. For guidance through this life to stay on path with God’s will for me. To be closer with God in my daily walk with Him. To be a light to my students and my family.

  95. Andy says:

    God blesses me with the gift of repentance. I am clothed in Him and Him alone if I truly am a Christian.

  96. Andy says:

    Nos da la oportunidad de arrepentirnos y ganar esta ventaja

  97. Andy says:

    We are broken and need to admit this before we can become clothed by God

  98. Andy says:

    Es necesario que me quite estas ropas sucias y que me ponga la gloria y gracia de Dios.

  99. Clark Eggen says:

    God saved us from our sins which is a blessing in itself.

  100. Clark Eggen says:

    Man cannot be blessed without God.

  101. Clark Eggen says:

    I will respond with using my blessing from God to bless others. They should see God’s blessing on my life.

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