Posts Tagged ‘Blessings

29
Jan
18

Using Our Gifts For Others

One of the themes of God’s Word is that of using what we have to bless others. God gives gifts to His people through His Holy Spirit. Whether they are spiritual gifts, talents, abilities or financial resources, we should use them as tools to serve others. Peter wrote:

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. – 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

The gifts we receive are expressions of God’s grace to us. God, in His wonderful grace, gives us gifts instead of what we deserve, which is nothing. We are all sinners who deserve nothing because of our sinfulness. But God, in His love and grace, gives us wonderful gifts. He provides for our every need. What should we do with these gifts? Use them to serve and bless others. The point of being a follower of Jesus is to look more like Him. What did Jesus do? He loved, served and forgave others. We should do the same.
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14
Jul
17

Wisdom Is Calling

Good Friday morning to you! Proverbs 8 is all about the importance of finding wisdom. Solomon says:

Blessed are those who listen to me,
    watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life
    and receive favor from the Lord.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
    all who hate me love death. – Proverbs 8:34-36 (NIV)

God created wisdom, according to Proverbs 8, before He created anything else. Wisdom was with the Lord from the very beginning. The Hebrew word for wisdom is feminine in gender. In Proverbs 6-7, Solomon warns against the adulteress. In Proverbs 8, Solomon urges his son to choose the right woman – wisdom. There are many benefits to his doing so found in this chapter. The last three verses of Proverbs 8 teach us that we should seek wisdom and that when we find her, we will be blessed. God blesses those who find wisdom and they find life. Those who ignore wisdom’s call will only come to harm and ruin. Pray and ask the Lord to fill you with wisdom today and be blessed as He answers your prayers.
06
Jun
17

We, The Wealthy

Good Tuesday morning to you! In James 5, he turns his attention to the wealthy who were oppressing the poor. He writes:

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. – James 5:1-3 (NIV)

It is easy to point our fingers at the wealthiest people among us and say, “A-ha! Now you’re going to get what’s coming to you!” What if WE are the rich who are hoarding our wealth? While we may not be living high on the hog, we’re certainly not living underneath it. You’re reading or hearing this on a high-tech communication device of some kind. We have so much more than billions of people around the world and even millions of people here in America. We need to be mindful of just how blessed we are before we fall prey to class warfare. Yes, there are super wealthy people who will be judged by God for how they handled their blessings. But so will we who are wealthier than we believe.
23
May
17

Selfish Prayers

 According to James, one of the reasons that we don’t get the desires of our hearts is because we don’t ask God to graciously give them to us. We go to great lengths to get what we want, but we don’t ask God. We have not because we ask not. He goes on to say:

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. – James 4:3 (NIV)

Instead of using prayer as a way of blessing others, we only pray, “Bless me.  Bless me.  Bless me.”  We ask for the desires of our hearts but only if they benefit us. We’re selfish in prayer and that is a prayer God won’t answer. It is okay to ask for our daily bread in prayer. That’s what Jesus told us to do. It’s okay to ask God to provide for our needs. He knows what we need and He wants us to trust Him. But when we ask God to bless us with more, our motives must be for the betterment and benefit of others. If I am selfish and stingy, God won’t answer that prayer. He blesses us to bless others.
26
Apr
17

Obedience & Blessings

Do you look around at your life and wonder, “Why doesn’t God bless me?” We sometimes wonder if God is withholding His blessings as a way of punishing us. Maybe we are bringing it on ourselves. James says:
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. – James 1:25 (NIV)
I have two thoughts regarding blessings and obedience. First, if you’re not obeying, God’s not blessing. It doesn’t mean you can hold your obedience over His head and demand blessings. That’s pride and that’s not how it works. What it does mean is that God knows what is best and when we obey Him, good things tend to happen more than bad things. Disobedience makes bad things happen.
Second, maybe we need to re-calibrate our idea of blessings. How many of us are REALLY blessed, but we just fail to realize how we have been truly blessed. God is good and He gives us many good gifts. He gives us spiritual, relational, emotional and physical blessings abundantly.  Let’s not take His blessings for granted and instead, let’s be grateful for what we have been given.
12
Apr
17

Is Jesus Enough?

James says that the poor should take pride in their low position because they have a deeper faith in God. Then he addresses the wealthy believers who were in the church at Jerusalem. He said:

But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. – James 1:10-11 (NIV)

If a wealthy believer were to lose every material possession, they could still rejoice in the fact that they have Jesus. The question for us all, especially American Christians who have so much, is this: “Is Jesus enough?” We have so much more than the rest of the world that we forget that we are so blessed. If you were to lose everything, would Jesus be enough? Would you be satisfied knowing that you have Him and the promise of Heaven? Ask yourself this question today as you count your many blessings.
17
Mar
17

Gratitude

Good Friday morning to you! There are three little words at the end of Colossians 3:15 that seem like an afterthought. However, these three words are vital to being a follower of Jesus. Paul says:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. – Colossians 3:15 (NIV)
 Gratitude is not an option for Christians. We should be the most thankful people on the planet. After all, we know that Jesus died to forgive our many sins and that we have the promise of eternal life in Heaven with Him because of God’s grace. Not only that, but we know the source of our blessings is our Heavenly Father. So why do we complain so much? It’s because we forget. We get so bogged down in the muck and mire of this world that we forget to be thankful. We forget that we’re going to Heaven and this life is not all that there is. Don’t let the problems of earth take away the joy of Heaven. Be thankful today for the blessings you’ve received and even for the trials of faith that come along. God has blessed you with both so that you will know Him and His love each day.



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