That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life...
Philippians 2:15-16a

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blessings From God

God blesses His children every day!  God wants to give us blessings.  He promises us blessings.  However, like many other principles of Scripture, blessings and being blessed by God has been hijacked by all sorts of false teaching.  Sometimes it's frustrating to talk about God's blessing, because people are going to misconstrue what that blessing really is.  Much of what Christians believe to be blessings today are really selfish desires.

Think about it for a moment.  When you hear the phrase "God wants to bless you" what's the first thing that comes to your mind?  Is it God wants to give you good things?  Do you think about material blessings? Cars, wealth, homes, money, jobs, possessions, etc.?  This is what a lot of Christians think blessings are.  They think being blessed is God giving them a life full of prosperity, health, and ease.  When troubles and trials come (and they will), they become discouraged and defeated.  Did God fail them?  Blessings are Scriptural, but a promise of material gain isn't.  Some Christians may be blessed with wealth and possessions, and that IS a blessing, but it's not the ONLY type of blessing.  Blessings from God are so much more than temporal earthly wealth.  Remember this verse?  Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal (Matt. 6:19-20).

I confess, that I have sometimes fallen into this type of thinking. There have been times when my pastor has mentioned things in church like "God wants to bless you", and immediately my mind turns to material things.  Then I think something like, well if God wants to bless me so much, then why am I struggling financially right now?  Then I have to give my head a shake!  This type of thinking is such a lie!  The prosperity gospel thinking has become so accepted by Christians, that it is hindering our biblical view of what God's blessing really is.

This past week I was reading through the book of Psalms, and I came across this verse.  It helped me get my thinking straightened out again.

...The LORD will bless his people with peace (Ps. 29:11).

Peace can't be bought. It's something that can only come from God.  It's HIS blessing.  Ephesians 1:3 says, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places.  There are places in the Bible that promise physical and material blessings, but it's the spiritual blessings that we should be desiring.  Spiritual blessings are only available to blood-washed believers.  Spiritual blessings are those things that will last forever.  Spiritual blessings are what give us hope, comfort, peace, strength, joy, and the abundant Christian life!  Material possessions won't do that.

Matthew 5 gives a list of people that Jesus calls blessed.  That list includes things like poor in spirit, they that mourn, the meek, they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those which are persecuted for righteousness sake.  There's some good things on that list, but there are some bad things too!  Who wants to mourn or be persecuted?  How sad and hurtful.  Yet, Jesus calls those people blessed.  I think that would come as a shock to some prosperity preachers!

God really does want to bless His children.  He wants to give them such wonderful, amazing, eternal blessings, and that is exactly what He does!  When we receive the spiritual blessings we can be happy even in difficult life circumstances, because we are not depending on physical things for blessings.

Hey, do you know what the word "blessing" means?  It means happy :).

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