Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Proverbs 10:22’

Bless This Mess

January 13th, 2017

Blessing is restored where grace is received

“The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” Proverbs 10:22 NKJV

My thoughts and comments today are about, “bless this mess.”

Life can be messy; it frequently is. Mrs. Cook, a fourth-grade teacher at Blair Elementary, North Venice, Illinois, taught me to love words and use them properly. Messy is not the classiest of words, but I find it descriptive. Messy is defined as: chaotic, disheveled, disorganized, littered. When you hear the word, you know what it describes. It defines some measure of disarray, a time and place when life is in disorder. Some people live in serial messes until they don’t even recognize the chaos in which they live. The abnormal becomes their normal. I saw a plaque, like one my wife may want to place in my garage or closet, that simply read, “Bless this mess!” I smiled because I could envision closets, kitchens, and houses – as well as some marriages, families, and lives – for which those wistful words could be appropriate.

The problem is this: God doesn’t make a mess, neither will He bless a mess. He will walk with you in your mess. He will love you despite your mess. And He will redeem your mess, if you bring it to Him in sincerity and humility. Blessing is restored where grace is received. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” Psalm 34:8 NKJV. Sometimes, you are forced to deal with messes you make. And sometimes, others’ messy drama encroaches on your life. You must deal with the first; you cannot always do much about the latter, except what little is in your control. Procrastination is never a good option.

A mess ignored worsens. When I lay one thing on my desk that belongs elsewhere, the mess soon multiplies. Usually, I was busy and intended to deal with it later. One thing, whose proper place is elsewhere, becomes the excuse for an accumulation of things temporarily left in the wrong place. Is there a mess you are allowing? Spiritual life? Personal habits? Broken relationships? Troubled marriage? Broken promises? Negligent spiritual practices? Procrastinated obedience? There are both sins of commission and omission that clutter lives.

The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is the story of people whose lives were a mess and the grace of God they experienced when they called out to Him for mercy and forgiveness. I think of Adam, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Samson, David, Simon Peter, Paul – as well as Allen, Bob, Bill, Steve, Joe, John, Mary, Betty, Anne, and (insert your name here). “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Read 1 John 1:8-2:2 NIV. I love the words the aged and beloved John wrote to people just like you and me, “Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from Jesus Christ.” 2 John 3 NIV. Grace adorns our lives; mercy spares our lives; and peace abides with and within our lives.

Today, I pray for you to love righteousness and live uprightly before God and man.

Christian Communications 2016

facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

Devotionals , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bless This Mess

June 27th, 2014

Blessed is the man . . [who is] like a tree planted by the rivers of water.” Psalm 1:3 NKJV.

Blessing doesn’t mean having more; blessing means enjoying more what you have.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “bless this mess.”

I don’t even remember how long I have known my friend, Betty; it seems forever. In all those years, her response to my sincere inquiry, “How are you, Betty,” has always been – every single time – “Pastor, I am blessed.” I know for a fact that her life has been far from easy – but rain or shine, tears or smiles – her answer has never varied, “Pastor, I am blessed.” She has discovered a truth that most people rarely find, “The Lord’s blessing is our greatest wealth. All our work adds nothing to it.” Proverbs 10:22 TLB.

Everyone wants to be blessed. People are just confused as to what being blessed looks like. People wrongly presume blessing is evidenced by having stuff – more stuff or better stuff. Blessing does not mean having more of what you enjoy; blessing means enjoying more what you have. As properly used, the word involves an understanding of gracious and generous benevolence that comes to you from vastly more than the fruit of your own efforts. The reality is that everyone experiences blessings far more than what has been earned or deserved. To me, the concept of blessing embraces what is added to your life by both the favor of God and the kindness of others. Why would you be willing to live without either of those?

I saw one of those household plaques that simply read, “Bless this mess!” I smiled because I could envision kitchens and houses – and some marriages, families, and lives – for which those wistful words could be appropriate. The problem is this: God doesn’t bless a mess; He will redeem your mess, if you bring it to Him in sincerity and humility. Blessing is experienced where grace is received. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” Psalm 34:8 NKJV.

David understood the mercy and grace of God but also learned the requirements. Read Psalm 32:1-5/51:7-13 NKJV. David also learned where blessedness awaits: “Blessed is the man . . [whose] delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper.” Psalm 1:1-4 NKJV. See Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV.

Moses spoke God’s promise of blessing for Israel with these words, “All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock . . Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.” Read Deuteronomy 28:2-13 NIV.

God’s promises certainly are not less under grace than they were under the Law. Paul could hardly contain his joy and wonder at the thought, “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, my prayer for you is to know the blessedness of those who serve God with their whole heart.

Devotionals , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,