Posts Tagged blessing

Go Get Gad

1 Chronicles 21: 9

And the Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer saying, “Go and speak to David, saying . . ..”

I read this verse this week and it kind of bugged me. “Why did God speak to Gad,” I thought, “instead of speaking directly to David?”

David is a hero to me. He walked with God and talked with God as few people have. He is numbered among God’s personal friends. When I read the psalms, I see a revelation of the Holy Spirit that is completely unprecedented for an Old Covenant believer. In truth, David knew more about the Holy Spirit and followed his leading better than most New Testament saints. Besides that, his intimacy with God is inspiring. I soak in those words, longing for the same close fellowship he enjoyed. Then, this week, I read this verse and it caused me pause. Why did God speak to Gad instead of to David?

I found the answer and it does nothing to assuage my discomfort. 1 Chronicles 29: 2 reads, “Now with all my ability I have provided for the house of my God.” Do you see a problem here? David is now much older. He is the King of Israel but he is preparing to pass the throne to his son Solomon. He has laid up much gold, silver, wood and all manner of other materials for the building and equipping of the temple. By now he has sat upon the throne for many years and been very successful. And there is where the blessing can challenge us all. David’s success has gone to his head.

In the early days David depended on the strength of the Lord. God was his strong right arm. He followed the leading of the Holy Spirit and he trusted his God. He is a grand example of a person who demonstrated active trust in God.

He is famous for his praise and worship. Once he celebrated God so energetically that he danced himself out of his clothes. He was man who loved God, trusted in God’s ability and then praised God for the continuing triumph.

Now we see him at the end of his reign, very successful, very rich but also, a bit self-impressed. He says he used his ability to provide for the temple but the truth is, and he knows it, he would have had nothing if not for the provision of the Lord. Everything David dedicated to the temple project was given to him by God. David didn’t win the gold, silver or any of the other treasures in his might. God went before him and handed the enemies and their spoils into David’s hands. Then in his later years David began to believe his own press. He began to believe that he was mighty and strong. When he was young he knew he was small and weak but that his God was mighty. Oh, how it grieves the heart, but it also explains, so clearly, why God had to speak through Gad. David was no longer listening. He was too busy attending to people’s praises of him.

You know you have gone off track if you are reveling in the praises of people. Only the humility of the truth will keep you or I in power of the Lord. As soon as we start believing we have done something in our own power rather than acknowledging it was the blessing of the Lord, we are bound for disaster. Jesus said, “I can do nothing on my own,” (John 5: 30 TLV). What makes any of us think we can do better? Any success any of us have is because of the grace and blessing of the Lord. David knew that, but he forgot. He became enamored with his success and could no longer hear the voice of God. What a shame.

Look, God wants to bless us. He also wants to speak to each one of us personally but our big egos get in the way. We are so busy trying to feel good about ourselves and pump up ourselves to others that we are losing the intimacy with God. Adam did the same thing and look where that led. God will bless you and keep you in the protective and loving safety of His embrace. He will give you good success. However, as you are blessed, just remember that He is the author of every good thing you have. All good things come from above. It is He who blesses the work of your hand and you could do nothing without Him. So, keep your heart tender towards Him, or make your heart tender if need be. Get you out of the way so you can hear God. Don’t make Him speak to others in order to reach you. Give Him the glory for everything you have. Get off the throne and let God be a Father and best friend to you.

More

2 Chronicles 25: 9

The Lord has much more to give you than this.

God has so much more he wishes to give us. The subject of this story had to have his mind expanded by the prophet of God sent to minister to him. We are all in the same shoes at one time or another. We often have low expectations of what God is willing to do for us; what he is able to do for us. Since we have such low expectations, we don’t even bother to pray. Then a servant of the Lord comes along to remind us that God is all powerful and that he loves us intensely. Then hope is reborn; our faith is renewed.

Let us all renew our hopes today. Let us make new plans and revive old dreams. Take all of your desires, wants and fervent prayers to the Lord. Take your disappointments and failures as well. And dare to believe that God can and will fix every problem you have and bless you with all the good things you desire.

Bless You

Psalm 103: 1

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.

When you think of the word “soul” what do you think of? David spoke to his soul telling it to bless the Lord. What did he have in mind? The most common definition these days for soul is your mind, will and emotions. One way to think of your soul would be that which is not your body or your spirit. It includes your personality and your memories. It is shaped by your past experiences. It is the interface through which you connect your internal self to the world. So, when I think of blessing the Lord, especially in directing my soul to bless Him, it boils down to blessing Him in all of my ways. I want every word I speak and every act to bless the Lord. Every thought and plan can be lifted up to the Lord. We always want Him to bless our plans but this verse turns it around. Let our plans bless Him. Let our thoughts bless Him.

David always calls us into deeper relationship with the Father. Here he challenged his soul, and thereby us as well, to bless the Lord with every ounce of his being. It is one thing to say, “All that I am I give to you Father,” but a different thing entirely to make each day an offering to the Lord with every thought you think, word you say or action. Not only is it an offering but David endeavored to bless God with everything within him, actively bless the Lord.

This expands my mind beyond its current boundaries. How about you? Does it challenge you to ponder how you can bless the Lord? How can your soul bless His holy name? I know you want to be a blessing the Lord, as do I. Imagine a whole body of believers who try to bless the Lord every day. I hope you will give David’s words some consideration. I would welcome your revelations. Post your thoughts on our website on the Word of the Day page and perhaps, we, as a body of believers, can help each other become greater blessings to the Lord.

Blessing is a Choice

Deuteronomy 28: 2, 45          NIV

All these blessing will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God. 45 All these curses will come upon you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord you God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you.

He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11: 28 (NIV).

I call on heaven and earth as witnesses today that I have offered you life or death, blessings or curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants will live. Deuteronomy 30: 19 (GW).

Lest we be deceived, thinking God has changed His tune since we are living in the New Testament, I included the words of Jesus from the gospel of Luke.  There is blessing in obedience.  No one wants to hear this, I know.  Obedience is not at the top of our favored subjects. We should not mourn, though.  There is plenty of good news here.  Yes, if we do not obey, the curse, which is in the land, will overtake us.  You do know that there is a curse out there, right?  It came with the fall of humanity, but God’s blessing is bigger than the curse.  And, it is elective.  Anyone who chooses to participate in the blessing, rather than the curse, can.  We learn that from Deuteronomy 30: 19.  God allows us to choose.  So, we can choose to be blessed and why wouldn’t we?

Well, because the price is obedience and, honestly, our generation has a problem with being told what to do, even by God.  We are very self-aware and self-guided.  That is the choice we make.  Will we humble ourselves to the direction of the Lord, or will we adhere to our own form of wisdom?  The answer seems obvious, doesn’t it, but if you observe the world around you, I think you will find very few people who are actually submitted to the Lord.

The other question which must be addressed is, “What, or whom, are we to obey?”  Jesus answered that question in Luke.  We must first humble ourselves to hearing and receiving the Word of God.  Then we obey what the Word says.  That’s it.  Listen and obey.  It sounds easy but it requires slaying our egos and that is hard.  Still, I think I would rather have the blessing than build an altar to my already over-inflated ego.  What about you?!

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.

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