Posts Tagged blessing

Covenant Keeper

Deuteronomy 8: 18

But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

The book of Deuteronomy is Moses’ swan song, if you will. The Israelites were poised on the banks of the Jordan, ready to cross over into the promised land. This marks the end of Moses’ ministry and life. This book also represents a contract, or covenant, between God and His people. You can see that in the language of today’s verse. God reminds His people of the promises He made them and which He desires to see fulfilled in their lives.

God means to confirm His promises and His covenant to us as well. Every day we have the opportunity to cross over from the desert into the land of promise and Father wants us receive the benefits of His promises as a confirmation to all people that He is an awesome God. He wishes to bless us at least as much as we desire to have blessing flow through our lives.

At what point, though, did it become taboo to expect God to keep His word regarding wealth? The language is perfectly clear in this passage that God, Himself, is giving us power to make wealth. Sure, His design is that we do that, not in our own strength but, in unity with Him, but it is through this display of His goodness that all people will see His glory.

We have a role in this, though. We must first believe that it is God’s will to make wealth in our lives. Second, if we don’t receive this promise or its fruit, then God will appear to be an oath breaker.

For many years the church has wallowed in the false piety of poverty. We have charged God with the guilt of our sicknesses and with every other misfortune of life. The church has made excuses for failure rather than stand on God’s living Word and demand that He perform His Word. However, there is new life in the church. Believers are emerging and demanding the fullness of the gospel. They are investing their hearts, faith and even their money in the promises of God. They are living in expectation and belief and they will see their God. He has waited for a people who will believe Him and trust Him. That is us.

Let’s turn our believers and receivers to full power expecting our Father to show up and show out. The ancient Israelites certainly had no more than we, and yet look at the promise God made them. Read the twenty-eighth chapter and see the expectation level we should have. Let’s fulfill our destinies and allow the Father to confirm His Word to us.

Blessed and Blessing

Ephesians 1: 3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

There is so much good news in this passage that it is overflowing. First, it is good news just to hear that God has blessed us. He has given us His blessing in Christ. I think of a priest blessing a person and then apply that to God performing a blessing over each and every one of us. The thought of it brings a good feeling to your heart.

As we look at the blessing He gave us the news only gets better. God blessed us with every spiritual blessing that exists in heaven. In other words, He gave us every blessing He has. Do you want to shout yet? Not yet, okay, apply Jesus’ prayer to God’s blessing, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6: 10 KJV). Jesus knew the blessing that was upon us by the Father’s will and he prayed and taught us to pray that the father’s will would be fulfilled on the earth just like it is in heaven. Think of it this way, if you think heaven is a wonderful place, perfect even, then Jesus’ prayer means for us to have that same heavenly outcome here on earth. That is exciting!

Some people might get hung up on the wording of today’s verse because it says that God has blessed us with every “spiritual” blessing and subsequently think that is limiting language. Well, it’s not. Everything physical had to be birthed spiritually first. Even your job and your paycheck are spiritual blessings. Everything the Father touches is spiritual. Therefore, when He blessed you with every spiritual blessing that means He blessed you with all good things.

Let us not lose the genesis of this verse though. Paul writes, “Blessed be God.” Do you see that? Paul revealed that God, the Father, has already blessed us with every spiritual thing in the heavenly places but Paul blessed God in his present moment. Apparently, we humans have the capacity to bless God. Wow! You can bless God. What an awesome privilege! And what power we have that we can bless the Lord. Today is a good day to bless the Lord, our God and Father. You know how so enjoy being a blessing to the Father today.

Fruit Club

John 15: 16

You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you.

I, just like every other minister of the gospel, revel in sharing the Good News. Everyone wants to hear how Jesus’ life and sacrifice will improve the quality of their lives. We are living in an age of self-interest almost to the point of self-absorption. What this means for ministers is that the message people want to hear is how Jesus helps them. The question we have attempted to answer is, “What is in Christianity for me?” Today’s verse functionally turns that question on its head because Jesus made it clear, in this statement, that it isn’t all about me. This is an uncomfortable and harsh reality for some of us but for others of you, this is a higher form of truth and reality and one that you embrace avidly.

Too often we get the cart before the horse but if we spend time with this verse, pondering the fullness of its message, we find rich revelation. Jesus makes clear that the Father will do whatever you ask of Him when you approach Him through Jesus. However, that is the second part of the equation. The first part is that He chose you. We all think we chose Jesus, almost like we graced him with our acceptance of him. We fill our salvation with arrogance as if we were some prize worthy of winning. We weren’t. There is nothing in us that makes us worthy of anything EXCEPT the Father’s love for us. His love for us has clothed us in the worthiness that Jesus won for us. The only thing we did was to accept this garment of blessed grace.

Secondly, Jesus points out that there was a reason for choosing us. Sadly, it isn’t because we are so wonderful, wise and beautiful. We have a purpose and he appointed us for this purpose, that we should bear much fruit. There is also a consequence for not fulfilling our purpose. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He (the Father) takes away” (John 15: 2).

I want to preach just the part of the verse that says the Father will do everything we ask in Jesus’ name but that would be a miscarriage of my duties to you and to the Father. The truth is what equips you and not just the candy-coated version. When you understand the Father’s love and Jesus’ sacrifice you also appreciate that everything they tell us to do benefits us. Yahweh’s love is pervasive but it is not egotistical nor meant to train you to be a spoiled, arrogant child. He wants to raise you into the vision He has of you as a mature partner in His kingdom.

The natural consequence of bearing good fruit is abundant harvest. People spend many words and thoughts trying to figure out the purpose of life when it has been “hidden” right here in plain sight for thousands of years. Your purpose and mine is to bear good fruit. As we do, the Father multiplies our seeds so that a bountiful crop is always maturing in our back yards. Christianity was never meant to be a “Bless Me” club. It is a service organization. It turns out, though, that the way to the blessings is through service.

I want you blessed and happy. I desire that your basket overflow continually. So, go serve someone else. Think about what others may need or what you could do for them. Start at home and at work. What could you do today for your mother? How about your spouse? Maybe your next door neighbor would love just to have a visit or take your mechanic a glass of tea. Do you have doorman in your building? There are people around you all day who need to see Jesus’ fruit. You are the branches on his vine. Bear much good fruit.

Peace, Peace

Matthew 10: 13

If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.

Jesus talked about peace or blessed people with peace quite a number of times. Before he left the earth he even made a point of leaving his peace here with us (John 14: 27). What is so compelling about peace that caused him to frequently say, “Go in peace” or “peace be with you?” We have to dig into our Hebrew roots to get an appreciation of this peace which Jesus speaks of and even directs us to bless others with.

The Hebrew word is Shalom, and it is very rich with many shades of meaning. The simplest way to describe the Jewish idea of peace is wholeness in every area of life, or I have heard others say, “nothing missing, nothing broken.” This necessarily means that your health is not broken, your finances are whole, your relationships fruitful, your spirit vital, and every other facet of life you can think of functions perfectly. When Jesus, or any other Jew, says “peace” to you, they have spoken a blessing which covers every aspect of your life. Now, consider today’s verse. Does it take on more meaning?

Jesus intimates in this passage that we have the right and perhaps even the obligation to speak a blessing of peace on the households of others. This may manifest in you praying peace as you enter a friend’s house. Maybe you are invited to attend a party or even a Bible Study at someone’s house. You can give that home YOUR blessing of peace. In so doing, you are speaking wholeness to that household – nothing missing, nothing broken. That is a powerful privilege the Lord Jesus has given us. So, think of that as you visit people’s homes and maybe also stop at your own front door and speak “Peace.”

Be Blessed

Psalm 112: 1 – 3

Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on the earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.

Every now and again we need to hear and be reminded of the blessing of the Lord for those who love Him. We can soak in these words; breathe them in and let them fill the tired and weary parts of our soul, rejuvenating the very marrow of our bones.

The Lord is great and full of love and compassion for His kids. His lovingkindness plays throughout our lives and even dances on the cells of our bodies. His words, His expressions of kindness are salve to the spirit. All the words and all the thoughts of the Lord are for your well-being. God Almighty is a blessing to you and longs to fill your life with the power, joy and glory of His might. He fills your soul with blessing and empowers your success and your peace.

All things, in the Lord, are peace and joy. We need to learn to breathe Him in with every inhalation. He is more than enough and yet we never seem to have enough of Him. We always want more of Him. And so, we seek Him and yearn for Him and for the day when we will be saturated with Him.

For those who love the Lord, there is wealth, riches and enduring righteousness. He has poured Himself out so that we may be full of His goodness. The glory of His kindness to we, His children, shall shine through the ages. Eventually, all the world will see and know the greatness of our God through the lovingkindness which He demonstrates in our lives.

I pray the blessing of the Lord chases you down in the street today, overtakes you and overflows to you. As you are blessed, you can bless the nations. I pray the blessing of your life shines brightly and brings praise to our Father and Lord. Amen.

The Plan of Blessing

Deuteronomy 28: 1 – 8

Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.
2 All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God:
3 “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
4 “Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.
5 “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
6 “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
7 “The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways.
8 The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

I know the verses today are long but you’ve just got to know what was in God’s mind. You need to see His plan for you and it is spelled out very well in the passage above. This isn’t even all of it. The blessing continues for another six verses.

I am always surprised when people talk about the God of the Old Testament as mean, angry and vengeful. Have they read the Old Testament? Do fourteen verses of blessing sound vengeful? Besides, the Old Testament God is the same as the New Testament God. “God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change,” (Psalm 55: 19).

We saw yesterday that God had a plan for our well-being. His master plan for us was blessing upon blessing. How can you beat being blessed coming in and going out. How about, blessed in the country and blessed in the city? It is like saying you will be blessed when the sun is up and when it is down. Or, you will be blessed when you breathe in or when you exhale. That was God’s plan for you and is His plan for you. He has not changed, neither has His plan. So why aren’t more of us abundantly blessed.

There is a four letter word in answer here, “obey.” What an awful little word that is to so many of us, but let’s get a revelation of this. God is trying to get the blessing to us but we are busy trying to figure out how to be in neither the country nor the city, neither inside or outside. I often think of the Pony Express in these situations. If the Pony Express riders did not follow the prescribed path, if they didn’t go the way they were told, then they would have missed the waystation which held their provisions and fresh horse. We are like that rider sometimes. We don’t follow Dad’s instructions and then when we end up in the desert, hungry and thirsty we grumble and complain. We blame Him. All the while, His labor was spent pouring out the blessing. Your ship may well be in but you are in the desert instead of at the port. That is the purpose of obedience, to insure that we are in the right place at the right time.

Look at God’s plan, it was (and is) one of blessing. He isn’t trying to break you, hurt you or make you stronger. He is trying to fulfill His plan for good. His plan was not for calamity or trials but for blessing. Let this sink in, then think back to the last thing God told you to do and jump on it. It is part of the blessing.

Trust and Blessing

Jeremiah 17: 7

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord.

In a conversation last week, the theme about trusting God kept coming up. Time and time again the circle seemed to close on our learning to trust the Lord. I believe with the people in the conversation last week that this is a critical lesson for us.

Today’s verse says plainly that blessing is in trusting the Lord. Why is that? How can God lead us in the paths of blessing if we do not trust Him enough to follow Him? He can’t. He can point out the way to go but if we do not believe that He is always leading us to the land of plenty then we will hesitate.

Abraham is known for his faith but it was really obedience that made him the Father of the nation of Israel. His father, Terah, received instruction to take his family and go to the land of Canaan but he got comfortable and stopped before accomplishing what God told Him to do. He saw a good land and did not trust God to take him to a better place. Eventually God spoke to Abram telling him to leave his family and go to the place where God would show him. Abram complied and now we know Abraham as the Father of the faith and you didn’t even know Terah’s name. It was through simple obedience that Abram learned that God was on his side. Through obedience, he learned he could always trust God. Through trust and obedience, he became the Father of faith.

Sometimes the big revelations are in the little messages. There is no great message in obedience other than just do it. However, obeying God gives us the evidence and belief that we really can trust Him. As we move over into trust, we find blessing. The blessing has already been provided by our Father. We have to learn to trust Him so that He can lead us to the blessing. Otherwise, we end up wandering around in the tall weeds like the Israelites wandered around in the desert.

How do you learn to be blessed? You learn to trust God daily for the small things. You must learn to hear God for yourself . If you cannot hear God speak to you, how can you trust Him? How can you do what He says if you can’t hear Him. This is ground zero. Practice hearing His voice. Contact this ministry if you need help hearing Him because this is where you must start. Then you can live the life of the blessed person, blessed coming in and blessed going out.

Page 1 of 612345...Last »