Posts Tagged ‘God’s blessing’

Being Worthy

February 19th, 2014

“God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God.” Matthew 5:10 NKJV.

The magnificence of God’s blessing will outweigh your pain.

My thoughts and comments today are about “being worthy.”

Unfortunately, maltreatment is not uncommon in a hurting and unkind world. Don’t be shocked when it happens. It happens with strangers, friends, or even family, in public places, at work, in your home, or even at church, regrettably. On some occasions, you will feel ignored, slighted, overlooked, misunderstood, ridiculed, blamed, or mistreated. Your tendency will be to cause harm because of your hurt. Momentarily, doing so may feel better but only exacerbates the problem.

In our examination of Jesus teaching in the Beatitudes, we have discussed, “Being real, compassionate, submissive, satisfied, merciful, authentic, and peace-full.” Let’s dig deeper. (8) “Being Worthy.” To those who suffer unfairly, their reward will be magnificent. “God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is yours . . for a great reward awaits you in Heaven.” Matthew 5:10/12 NKJV. Persecution seems a strong word to use for the slights we experience when people around the globe live in the pain of religious, political, or financial suffering. But unfairness and mistreatment hurts whatever its source or severity.

First, take your pain and tears to Jesus. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” 2 Corinthians 1:5 NIV. See 1 Peter 4:12-16 NIV. Talk to Him before you speak to others or about them.

Secondly, respond in grace rather than out of hurt. ”Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9 NIV. What was done to you was not right, but what you do in return must be. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Romans 12:14 NIV. See Matthew 5:43-45 NIV.

Thirdly, persevere; the magnificence of God’s blessing will outweigh your pain. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in Heaven.” Matthew 5:10-16 NIV. Jesus spoke of reward for your righteous response when others do awful things to you without cause.

These words of wisdom were found on the wall of Mother Teresa’s room in Calcutta, India, “People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

My prayer for you today is that you walk worthy of the One whose name you carry.

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People Who Need People

March 8th, 2012

“Greet . . my co-workers in the ministry for Christ Jesus.” Romans 16:3 NLT

“Some measure of God’s blessing is reserved for people who need people.”

My thoughts and comments today are about “people who need people.”

There are a few people who tolerate others; even some who use others. But then there are people who need and appreciate people. Barbra Streisand memorably sang, “People who need people, Are the luckiest people in the world. We’re children, needing other children, And yet letting a grown-up pride, Hide all the need inside. Acting more like children than children.” You can tell the difference when you are around people who need people, who really like and appreciate people. You feel special to be with them, glad to be counted their friend, and appreciated for who you are not what you have.

Jesus was like that. Others sought to be in His company. He walked with equal ease among the common as well as the consequential. Poor and wealthy alike respected His words and prized His wisdom. He valued every person, and saw their good and potential whatever their history or social status. No wonder Jesus was criticized as being a “friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Matthew 11:19. Jesus did not die to preserve a government or a system of society; Jesus died for people, for sinners, for you and me.

I think that some measure of God’s blessing is reserved for those people who need people, as Jesus did. When you honor people, recognize their talents and promote their abilities, honor them for their contribution, encourage them to realize their greater potential, and bless them as they move into their future – God honors you as you have honored them.

God told Abraham, “I will bless you and I will make you a blessing to others . . all the families of the earth shall be blessed by you.” Genesis 12:2-3. There is some dimension of the blessings of God that is connected to your willingness to be a channel of His blessing to others. Consider the people who helped you along the way, who pointed you on the right path and promoted your getting there successfully. Where would you be if they had not needed you? You should pass such kindness on to others with even more generous measure. Jesus said, “Freely you have received, freely also give.” Matthew 10:8. People who need people – in righteous ways and for Godly reasons – are marked for the favor and honor of the Lord.

“Greet . . my co-workers in the ministry for Christ Jesus.” Romans 16:3 NLT. With those words, Paul begins a litany of people highly regarded that he needed and appreciated: Phoebe, Priscilla and Acquila, Epenetus, Mary, Andronicus and Junia, Ampliatus, Urbanus, Stachys, as many as twenty-four names as well as “all the other believers who are with them.” Vs 15. All were indispensable “co-workers in the ministry for Christ Jesus.” People – some ordinary, some exceptional – each a significant contributor to who Paul was and all he did. Those people were names not numbers, his friends not acquaintances. Whose names come to mind that hold such a place in your life?

The names may sound strange and unfamiliar to you, but in Paul’s heart each name brought memories of people he held in great, personal esteem and gratefulness. Remember, you can buy things and replace them as you want, but people are never replaceable. Prize them highly; treat them kindly. You need people in your life more than you might realize at a particular moment.

My prayer for you today is that you value the people God places in your life.

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The Place for Blessing

May 12th, 2010

“It is like (anointing) oil running down . . there the Lord bestows His blessing.” Psalm 133:2 NIV

“The place of blessing is relational, not geographical.”

My thoughts today are about the place for blessing.”

Who doesn’t want blessings – the good will and regard of others (See Romans 1:12 NLT), and especially the generous grace of God? An important thing to understand about blessing is this: it doesn’t just happen randomly. It is usually purposeful and can be predictable, as God promises. God delights in any person who will put themselves in the place of blessing. Let me quickly add that “the place for blessing” is relational, not geographical. Blessing “flows down” from the Giver of all blessings. Close to God is where the greatest of blessings are found in abundance. “We have all benefited from the rich blessings He brought to us – one gracious blessing after another.” John 1:16 NLT.

I find it interesting that the final act of Jesus before His return to Heaven is described in these words, “Then Jesus led (His disciples) to Bethany, and lifting His hands to Heaven, He blessed them. While He was blessing them, He left them and was taken up to Heaven.” Luke 24:50-51 NLT. How characteristic of the heart of God that giving His blessing was the final, earthly expression of Jesus to His disciples. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3 NIV.

Today’s verse uses the picture of Aaron’s anointing as Israel’s first High Priest to model the blessing that God desires to pour out upon your life. If you want to be the kind of person that God can bless, you will want to be doing the kinds of things that God blesses; that involves living in the center of God’s will (Romans 12:1-2 NLT), and walking everyday in obedience to God and His Word. You can choose blessing! (Read 1 Peter 3:9-10 NIV/Ephesians 6:3 NLT/Deuteronomy 11:26-27 NIV)

Obedience brings God’s blessing in any area of spiritual life, especially in the area of generosity and giving. “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse . . test Me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Malachi 3:10-11 NIV. Now that sounds like the size of blessing I want to enjoy; how about you?

Notice this about the anointing and blessing; it flows down in abundance. It isn’t forced; it isn’t demanded; it isn’t earned; it is bestowed and flows from above. God will not bless what He does not anoint. Give God a life that depends upon His anointing and desires His blessing; that’s the place of blessing. Make sure that’s where God and others find you – everyday! Psalm 133:1-3 NIV.

My prayer for you today is: be unwilling to live without God’s favor and highest blessing.

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