Bless the Lord

2 Samuel 7: 1 – 2             NLT

When King David was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all the surrounding enemies, the king summoned Nathan the prophet. “Look,” David said, “I am living in a beautiful cedar palace, but the Ark of God is out there in a tent!”

One of the most outstanding things about David is that God calls him a man after His own heart (Acts 13: 22). When I read passages like this, I understand why. David had God on his mind.

Picture, if you will, David sitting in his palace. He has the finest home in the entire land, not just in Jerusalem, not only in Israel, but as far as the eye can see there is no finer home. He is surrounded by every luxury, the finest clothes drape his body, priceless jewels are plentiful, goblets of gold and a servant for every need. What more could a person want? None the less, David had another want, another desire. While sitting on his throne, he was thinking of Yahweh, his friend and God. Clearly, though, Yahweh had become much more to David than a remote deity. David loved God and love makes you want to do things for the one you love.

God took a young shepherd boy and turned him into a king. God vanquished all his foes and gave him riches beyond measure. So, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Did David love and honor God because of all God did for him or did God prosper David because of the love and trust David walked in. I believe it was the latter.

David showed remarkable faith in God’s willingness to deliver him and indeed, all Israel from a young age. Remember how incensed David was that Goliath insulted the God of Israel? There is also a great story from 1 Chronicles. David was to build an altar and make an offering to the Lord. He offered the man that owned the land full price, but the man offered to give David the land and a bull and wheat for the offering. David refused, though, saying that he would not offer to the Lord that which cost him nothing (1 Chronicles 21: 24). Wow! David showed honor and respect for the Lord. And God was faithful to David. They had (and have) a wonderful relationship and when I say God prospered him beyond measure, it is a literal truth. David passed on so much wealth to Solomon that Solomon didn’t even count the silver. There was too much too count so he only concerned himself with the Gold.

So, let me ask you this? Do you ever have the feeling that you too would like to do something for God? What would you do? He doesn’t need a new temple to house the Ark of the Covenant. What is within your power to bless God? I think you might have fun thinking through this. I hope you find something to do for God because I know it will be fun and bring joy to your heart. Have a great day!

Daily Declaration

Psalm 67: 19

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God who is our salvation [Selah].

What is salvation? So many times we have a narrow perspective on salvation. We often limit its scope to being saved from hell. Of course, that is one of the inclusions of the word salvation but these Old Testament writers had a much more complete understanding of salvation.

The word salvation, according to Strong’s, means “something saved, deliverance; hence aid, victory, prosperity; – health, help, welfare.” Therefore, God is our daily deliverance, aid, help, victory, prosperity, health and welfare. Does that put a different perspective on today’s verse? 

The word “Selah” means to stop, pause and consider. We are supposed to stop here as if this verse is a crescendo and ponder its meaning. When we do we notice that this little 15 word sentence is loaded with power and good news. One of the takeaways is that God bears our burdens. Another is that God is our salvation. We also see that it is possible for us to bless the Lord. There is at least one more though. That is that this burden shifting salvation occurs on a daily basis. There may be a revelation in there. It is not enough that I gave Jesus my heavy burdens yesterday. I must meet Him again this morning and pronounce his lordship over my life today. That is like fireworks going off in the sky above me. 

Every day we proclaim that Jesus is our Lord.  From that reality easily flows the daily laying down of our burdens. It becomes almost automatic to give him our worries, deadlines and cares when we begin with a daily declaration of his lordship over our lives.

I hope this revelation sets you free in at least one aspect of your life. Proclaiming his lordship over our lives daily unleashes his power into our day. It gives his angels assignments for our benefit. Maybe this gives the understanding and motivation for getting up five minutes early so that we can speak with Jesus and declare him as Lord today.

Honor the Lord

Proverb 3: 9 – 10

Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.

It is the blessing of the Lord that makes us rich, that prospers us and meets our needs, not the work of our hand nor our wisdom. God blesses the work of our hands and is he more than willing to give us his wisdom. We then follow his wisdom and the thoughts and plans that he gives us and we prosper. What is our part then? We are to honor him with the fruit of the success he has given us. We are so blessed of God to live in this country and to have the opportunities that we have. We are to take our opportunities and bless God with them. Bless his kids. The first 10% of our increase or our income is to be set aside for God. That is the tithe. Out of the 100% he has given us, we are supposed to give him 10%. That seems like a pretty reasonable ratio. But don’t let your giving stop there. Re-read the passage for today and you will see that the gifts that you sow are what God is using to get more to you. He uses your seeds to bring you a whole other crop so that your barns will overflow. Don’t be stingy with God. Bless him so that he can continue to bless you, so that he can increase your overflow. Honor him with your wealth so that he can create in you super abundant overflow.

Everything You Want

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. 

We do not exist only in this physical realm. We actually are living in the spiritual realm at the same time and that is why this verse is so important. Everything that has ever come into being had to first exist in the spiritual sphere. Think about that for a moment. Everything that you have ever seen, every single thing in this world first existed in the world of the Spirit. So, every time you pray for anything the answer already exists in the spiritual sphere and then it manifests in the physical. In today’s verse we learn that God, our Father, has already blessed us with everything in the spiritual realm. Now I know that the verse says that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing and you might think that means that physical blessings are not included but when you appreciate that everything begins in the spiritual realm and that to God everything is spiritual then you conceive that all blessings of God are, in fact, spiritual blessings. So when we see the fullness of this verse we perceive that God has already blessed us with everything. And that makes sense because we know that God has rested from His work. He has already provided everything we could ever want or need. There is no lack of anything in heaven. God has already created utopia. Once we grasp with our hearts that God has already made full provision for us, that it is all in the spiritual warehouse awaiting our requisitions then we are able to receive everything in full. 

This can radically change your prayer life if you can shift your perspective to embrace the idea that the Lord, our God, has already provided every single thing we could ever think or ask. The point of Paul writing this passage is to let us know that God has already blessed us and provided for us. The verse would have so little meaning if it was only about having blessings in heaven. It is here that we need the blessings of God. When we get to heaven there is no need. They are walking on streets of gold up there. Paul is writing to say that God has already provided for the people who are living on the earth now. He is trying to convey the enormity of the blessing and he seems to run out of words. Paul also lets us know that our blessing is in Christ which expresses the extent of the blessing as well as our access. Paul is encouraging us to bless God because he had a revelation of the fullness of the blessing which has come on us because of Jesus. We must move our chairs to Paul’s place so that we can see from his perspective. When we look from his perspective instead of from ours the horizon broadens. We can read the same words we have read many times before but now we see much more and Paul’s perspective always leads us into closer unity with God.

Celebrate today the reality that God has already blessed you with the fullness of who He is. Pray to receive all that He has provided for you and bless the Lord.