Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms”

What does it mean to be “blessed by God”?

There are so many scriptures that speak of God’s blessings but when do we ever stop to wonder how He blesses or why?

It doesn’t take long to find a prosperity gospel preacher proclaiming that if you donate your money to their ministry, God will bless you. The insinuation is that whatever they do is highly blessed by God and therefore God blesses anyone who supports them. I’ve watched Joel Osteen claim treasure chests that when full will spill forth into the homes as blessing. I’ve seen Jimmy Swaggart sell mini prayer cloths from the pulpit, claiming they possess some power that is relegated to their owner. From Jimmy Baker’s gold sinks to Kenneth Copeland’s jet fleet, the money pours in from those who want to be blessed like the men and women they watch on T.V..

It is very concerning when someone makes a claim on behalf of God, particularly when the claim is one that specifically benefits them. There has been a lot of abuse when it comes to fleecing the flock of Christ, many false teachers have brought shame upon themselves for their greed and misrepresentation of the gospel.

A poignant look into the Bible reveals how God moves; we can see that God doesn’t always shower one type of blessing upon those He wishes to bless, He is far too creative for that.

Jacob, when he was about to die brought his sons together and pronounced a prophetic blessing over them. The blessing of Joseph is one I am particularly interested in since it was through this lineage from which the Messiah arose.

Genesis 49:22-26 “Joseph is a fruitful bough,
A fruitful bough by a well;
His branches run over the wall.
The archers have bitterly grieved him,
Shot at him and hated him.
But his bow remained in strength,
And the arms of his hands were made strong
By the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob
(From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),
By the God of your father who will help you,
And by the Almighty who will bless you
With blessings of heaven above,
Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
The blessings of your father
Have excelled the blessings of my ancestors,
Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.
They shall be on the head of Joseph,
And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.”

What was it about Jacob’s blessing that stands out?

God’s blessings upon His people brought fruitfulness, healthy crops, strength, help, blessing of rain, blessing from the earth, many children, and even the hills get in on the narrative. Whether God blesses the land in which you dwell or He blesses the work of the hands and the fruit of the womb, He blesses with gifts His people need, not just the ones they want.

God’s Help

The Psalms of David are often stark reminders of where we should turn in times of need. As David sought the Lord, he was reminded of how God supplies him as he goes. The drive wasn’t toward prosperity but rather toward holiness. For the one who chooses purity and the walk of obedience, blessings are found in that path.

Psalm 24:3-5 “Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the LORD
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”

The prosperity driven sinner looks for blessings from of a false understanding toward pleasing God on their own terms. This focus has taken many people into the spiral of seeking after the things of this world, thinking this is where happiness is found. When the faithful servant seeks the Lord out of love, they find that God’s blessings are what enriches the journey toward God. The focus is on their Savior and the Lord supplies them with joy.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. Behold, the Protector of Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is the shade on your right hand. The sun will not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will guard you from all evil; He will preserve your soul. The LORD will watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore.

What do we hear in these words from a heart that yearns for the Lord?

God keeps him from stumbling.

God protects him as he goes.

God is ever vigilant with His servant.

God preserves the faithful one.

God is shelters His anointed.

Do these sound like good blessings? Would you trade any of these for increased riches? Can you see how there is so much more that is important to life than just more money? The life that is lived in Christ is blessed beyond measure. There is nothing this world offers that even begins to compare to the riches of God’s blessings.

A heart bent on riches reveals the shallow nature of their desires.

God’s Surety

Psalm 18:20-24 “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands
He has recompensed me.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
For all His judgments were before me,
And I did not put away His statutes from me.
I was also blameless before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.
Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.”

If the Lord promises anything to His people, it’s that He will reward them for their faithfulness. God’s righteous law is fixed in place with the full authority of His power….it will never be moved. To those who walk in righteousness, according to the law, He returns faithfulness with His own faithfulness. The faithful servant will receive far more in obedience than the sacrifice that was given.

When we see the Lord heaping blessing upon blessing for those who walk in Him, we should step back and take note—-this is very important to Him. The greatest surety His people have is the grace that He has afforded them in Christ.

Psalm 18:16-19 “He sent from above, He took me;
He drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy. From those who hated me,
for they were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my support.
He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.

God’s Strength

The human body is so weak. If the core temperature drops even a couple degrees people can suffer pneumonia or even die. Fall from any elevation and it’s easy to break an ankle or get a concussion, hit your head hard enough and the brain bleeds with devastating effects. The physical limitations are obvious, but what about the mental anguish people endure when they lose someone they love, or any loss that causes stress? When the focus is on this world, the stress of losing the things acquired causes much anguish.

There is so much emphasis in the world on becoming strong, we forget to take into consideration how weak we have actually become. Give someone enough power, money, and strength and they think they can take on the world. When one mistake can take a person’s life, it just doesn’t appear as if people are as invincible as everyone claims to be.

God’s strength is critical for survival. He upholds His people now and He will uphold them in judgement when it’s all over….He simply supplies everything they need.

It is God’s strength that moves mountains, He takes His people through the lowest valleys without fear and lifts them back up to meet with Him. The Lord gives His people everything they need.

There are so many blessings in Christ, they are more than can be expressed but I can tell you—He doesn’t hold them back, He likes to give them away.

Don’t listen to how the world or the way false teachers define God’s blessings, look to the Word and know there is no magic chest or carpet or anything else these charlatans can sell that brings blessing….it is simply obedience.

One thought on “Blessed

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