Thursday, September 11, 2014

Are You Bless - able? - September 11, 2014

Psalm 119:1-8(New International Version)
1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the LORD.

2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart—
3 they do no wrong
but follow his ways.

4 You have laid down precepts
that are to be fully obeyed.
5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast
in obeying your decrees!
6 Then I would not be put to shame
when I consider all your commands.

7 I will praise you with an upright heart
as I learn your righteous laws.
8 I will obey your decrees;
do not utterly forsake me.

There is a word that gets thrown around a lot among Christians, and that is the word "blessed". It is used for almost everything that someone gets, but sometimes it people get a little cavalier about it. What does it mean to be "blessed"? It is the tangible favor of God; as the Bible tells us in James 1:17(NIV)"Every good and perfect gift is from above". He is the One who gives us whatever "blessings" we receive. It really isn't something we truly do on our own.

Then the question comes up, "What is a blessing?" To many people in the world it is something material, or a lucky break, or something earned. Yes, that can be a "blessing" too, but what ultimately matters is whether or not we are living in God's will when we receive it. I believe that true "blessings" are long lasting; it's the gift that keeps on giving.

It's God's favor being "poured out" when we are within in His will, and you can feel it in your spirit. For instance, how do you feel when you do something good for other people, and you make it known that you are doing it because of your relationship with Jesus? I know that you feel really good, because that is what I have experienced. To top it off, you not only receive the "blessing" from your actions here and know, but you store them up for the future with God as well. That to me is a true blessing.

Yes, God can give you things, things that are tangible, and yes, you can call those "blessings", but usually those do not last very long. I don't think that God will be checking our checking accounts when we get to heaven. So what must we do to receive such "blessings"?

- First, we must be "bless-able", able to receive what God desires to give us by being aligned with His will for our lives. That means throwing off any barrier to God's goodness, such as sin in our lives or ill-will towards another, and making ourselves available to His leading.

- Next, we must listen to God and obey His instruction, follow those leadings of the Holy Spirit that move us to doing things for others.

- Then we need to be open to receiving God's blessing, and be sure to offer Him praise and thanksgiving for what we receive.

God loves to bless those He loves; all we need to do is to be sure that we are "Bless-able"!

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