Posts Tagged ‘Blessings

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.
15
Feb
17

Honored Guests

Good Wednesday morning to you! In David’s day, if you went to a banquet like the one he described in Psalm 23:5, they would anoint the heads of honored guests with oil. He says that God does the same for him.
…you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows. – Psalm 23:5b (ESV)

In God’s presence, David is treated like a VIP. David is not an outsider. He’s not treated as his sins deserve. No, David is an honored guest in the presence of the Lord. Not only does God treat him like a VIP, but God abundantly provides for David. David’s cup is filled to overflowing with blessings from God. The next time you feel worthless or unimportant, remember that God invites you to His banquet table where you are a VIP. You are a special guest in His presence. He’ll never reject you when you come to Him. He’s glad you’re there.
14
Feb
17

Dining With The Lord

David switches gears from a sheep to the guest of honor at a banquet given by God.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies – Psalm 23:5a (ESV)

David’s enemies have surrounded him, but God has led him through the valley of the shadow of death. God has led him to a place of safety and security. Now, at this place, God has prepared for him a banquet where all his enemies can do is look on in annoyed frustration. God is protecting David and He is blessing David. If you have enemies, remember that Jesus tells us that we must love them and pray for them. We need to let God deal with our enemies as we patiently wait for that banquet to be prepared. God will protect us and provide for us as He has promised to do. Your enemies will have to look on at your prosperity as God takes care of you.



%d bloggers like this: