Bountifully Blessed

Acts 26:18   (NLT)   18 to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’

A lot of great things happens to us when we place our full dependence on Jesus for our salvation and surrender our lives to Him. For one, our blind eyes are opened. God’s love, our need, our spiritual poverty, God’s answer to our spiritual need, our appropriate Acts 26.18 - Bountifully Blessedresponse—all these are elucidated in our minds and hearts by God’s precious Holy Spirit. That’s why we humbly, gratefully, and readily call on Him and receive Him into our lives.

There’s so much more: we no longer live in darkness, we now live in the light—we are children of light, lights of the world. Whew—awesome descriptions of our identity. Satan, as powerful as he may be, no longer has a hold on us because we’re now under God’s Almighty protection. Satan has got nothing on God. Oh, what joy to know He who gives us life, and life way more abundantly, is infinitely more powerful than the one who tries to steal, kill, and destroy.

We’re also forgiven of all our sins. That’s big. Our sins separated us from God—spiritually dead, that is. That’s serious. Without His forgiveness, it leads to eternal death. That doesn’t sound good; that’s horrible. To spend eternity apart from God, void of love, joy, peace, freedom, and bliss is more than horrible; it’s indescribably agonizing. But we’re forgiven. We’re now, in a saving sense, God’s children—a part of His spiritual family—His people. We’re different; we’re separated from the rest; we’re unique—wonderfully unique.

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Sing to the Lord

Psalms 13:6   (NLT)   I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.

In the heart of a person who has experienced God’s goodness and love, and is aware of it, rings a beautiful melody of praise. Our gratefulness and appreciation for God, His wonderful works, His super-abundant blessings, can be expressed in so many ways. One of the most beautiful expressions of a thankful and joyful heart is a song.

Psalm 13.6 - Sing to the LordWe have more than sufficient reasons to be grateful to God for eternity. We don’t deny the existence of evil, pain, suffering, enemies, and persecution. There are times when it seems like our enemies are not being held accountable, and are getting away with their wicked ways, wiles and schemes. But our God neither slumbers nor sleeps; He doesn’t take a vacation. There is not a time when He’s unaware of our circumstances. And He never stops helping us. He always rescues us—either from or through troubles.

His care for us is full coverage and that is true with everyone. He desires the best for everybody and is concerned to the minutest detail. He cares for our relationship with Him; He cares for our relationship with others; He cares for our spirits, our minds, our emotions, even our bodies. He has given us instructions, guidelines, and commands about all major areas of our lives so that we can be best and do best in all of them. And the beautiful thing is: He also gives us the power to do them. He gave us His Name—Name that is above every name—that even our most powerful enemies bow.

Our Almighty and loving God and Father never runs out of resources, ways, and means of helping and blessing us. He can even create new ways of handling our situations. He is a very creative God. When it comes to obvious truths revealed in the scriptures, we can fully depend on Him because He never violates His Word; He never turns back on His promises. When it comes to things that are not revealed; He always graces us with a lot of pleasant surprises. Often, uttering words of humble and loving thanksgiving no longer suffices that we are left with nothing else but to just sing and offer him a melody or two. But that itself is an awesome, heart-warming, and wonderful experience.

 

More Blessed than Mary?

Luke 11:28   (NLT)   28 Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

Luke 11.28 - More Blessed than Mary.jpgWe cannot overestimate the value of God’s Word—of listening to and obeying it. It brings an exceedingly great blessedness—greater blessedness than being a channel of our precious Lord’s incarnation.

Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus in His humanity without a doubt is extremely blessed. This is a truth recognized the world over. Others emphasize the wonders and value of this experience while at the same time neglecting the glories and importance of God’s word.

A lot of people have a tendency to do this or something similar to this. We have a tendency to elevate things and people above God and His Word. Our affection, our attention, our energy, our time, and our efforts are spent towards them; our focus on God, His Kingdom, our ministry, our callings, things eternal, things spiritual, our mission—all these infinitely more important things are lessened or diminished in our estimation. We get busy doing a lot of things we find very important and big; God’s word becomes a distraction.

So much is written about the wonders and the glories of the Word of God—so many admonitions for us to listen to it, read it, study, meditate on it, commit it to our minds and hearts, and live it out. That’s one of the obvious proofs that God really wants as blessed.

We thank You Lord for Your desire to bless us, and how You have made that possible, not just for a few but for all who would act and respond to Your clear directions appropriately and in humble, grateful, loving obedience. It’s so amazing living blessed. All this is from You, and we’re enjoying it immensely.

Tremendous Blessedness in Jesus

1 Corinthians 1:30   (KJV)   30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

1 Corinthians 1.30 - Tremendous Blessedness in JesusThe greatest blessing we’ve received when we placed our full dependence on Jesus for our salvation and surrendered our lives to Him is Jesus Himself. With Him and in Him is attached so many other blessings that are also of immeasurably great value—definitely not as great as Jesus, but tremendously great nonetheless.

When we hear believers say “I’m eternally grateful to God,” it isn’t a simple, thoughtless, and trivial parroting of a Christian cliché; there’s enormous weight and truth in that short statement that genuine believers understand. To have the very wisdom of God living in us—having the mind of Christ—how can anyone grasp the magnitude of its worth? To be made the righteousness of God—that’s a lot to process for those of us who know and humbly admit how spiritually bankrupt we are when left to ourselves. To be sanctified—to know that we’ve been set apart for God’s special purpose, washed, cleaned up, continually being cleaned up, and will be sufficiently cleaned up—prepared for the meeting with our Lord. To be redeemed—purchased back from and for God, restored in freedom, spiritual authority and dominion. Who can equal to such experience?

Dear Lord, to You, we really are eternally grateful. There surely is no life better than the life of a believer.

Blessedness of the Watchful

Luke 12:38   (KJV)   38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

Luke 12.38 - Blessedness of the WatchfulServants who will be found expectantly and readily waiting for the Lord’s return will be blessed.

The Lord will and can return any moment. Although others believe differently regarding the notion of imminence—that no one knows the day or the hour except the Father—we all believe that He’s coming again. As surely as His return is, He also wants us to be prepared.

The Kingdom of God is our preoccupation. We lay up eternal treasures. We’re free from greed, from love of money, from materialism. We understand the value of life is more than the entire world itself. And God is infinitely greater than anything and anyone. We seek Him first—His Kingdom and righteousness. We may not have thousands in our bank deposit, but we have a rich relationship with our Father.

We serve Him gladly—our lamps continually burning, with extra flask of “oil.” We see the ever-increasing appearances of the signs of His return; we don’t neglect them; we pay serious and careful attention. When He comes like a thief, we won’t be caught in surprise.

 

Believers’ Blessed Future

Revelation 20:6   (KJV)   Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

There’s such blessedness and uniqueness enjoyed by believers that’s beyond explanation and imagination.

Revelation 20.6 - Believers' Blessed FutureBeing blessed, being holy, being a part of a glorious resurrection that leads to rewards instead of the ultimate judgment, condemnation and suffering, becoming priests of our God and our Jesus, reigning with Him for a thousand years—these are more than enough reasons for us to totally appreciate and value our status as believers and followers of our precious Lord.

I’m joyfully overwhelmed by those wonderful gifts from our absolutely gracious heavenly Father. Not everyone shares the excitement. Others treat them with contempt because of over-familiarity. We hear of them often; they’ve become a redundant truth, sad to say, even to some believers. But not to us; all the joys and excitement we sense aren’t nearly enough to equal the great wonders of all those blessings God has in store for us.

Works Matter

Revelation 14:13   (KJV)   13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

Revelation 14.13 - Works MatterSalvation, death, resurrection, rest, works—these are indispensable truths and experiences in the lives of believers.

Being “in the Lord” is the most important experience anyone can ever have here on earth. It’s the only experience that changes and secures our eternal destiny—from an eternal destiny apart from Christ to an eternal destiny in His presence. All of us, except those alive when our precious Lord returns, will experience death. For us believers, it is a most welcome transition to the most glorious state we’ll ever enjoy in our entire existence—a life of rest, love, joy, peace multiplied a gazillion times greater.

In as much as often undermined in teaching the wonders of grace, works matter. They matter now, they will matter in eternity. It’s worth repeating: we’re not saved by works, but we’re saved unto good works.  For believers, it’s not “either-or” between grace and works; it’s both. Grace is God’s part and He does wonders with it; works is our part and we strive to do well in it.