The Blessedness of the Obedient

Leviticus 26:5   (NLT)   5 Your threshing season will overlap with the grape harvest, and your grape harvest will overlap with the season of planting grain. You will eat your fill and live securely in your own land.

A promise of blessing, of provision, is a very good thing to have, especially if the promise comes from God.  It’s interesting to note: this promise is preceded by a condition to follow God’s decrees and to carefully obey His commands. Clearly, God has blessings not Leviticus 26.5 - Blessedness of the Obedientavailable to all people at all times. It’s good to point out that everyone enjoys innumerable blessings from Him. Some are aware of the fact and acknowledges Him, some aren’t aware and don’t bother to know.

We all have needs and we all want our needs provided for. We may not fully know what kind of blessings and provisions He gives to all, and what kind He gives just to His obedient children, but obviously, His obedience matters and opens to way more blessings. There’s much peace in being sure our businesses bring good profit. It’s great to have blessings overlap, when we haven’t yet used up the past blessings, and a new batch of blessings come.

More important than the material examples are blessings not seen. God is the source of love, joy, peace, salvation, sustenance, strength, security, significance, protection, purpose, guidance, worth, victory… Obedience isn’t legalism, it isn’t a bad deal. The way I see it is: when God gives commands and instructions, it’s because He knows exactly which direction the best way is to go, and which path the best way is to take. He knows where the “straight and narrow” is. He knows if we walk that way or this way, that path is lined with blessings and favor. And when we choose to leave the path; we may think we’re pursuing a shortcut to more blessedness—faster, but reality is: we’re blinded by the immediate and temporal, which eventually leads to dissatisfaction and destruction.

There’s no question about it; God can orchestrate everything for us to be abundantly blessed. He’s the Source of all good and perfect gifts. He’s the One Who opens the floodgates of heaven and uncovers the springs of the earth. He directs our steps like a watercourse and positions people instrumental for His blessings to come to us surely—unhindered. So, His commands aren’t in any way to constrict us but to direct us so that we don’t miss out on the best He’s got for us.

We’re willing Lord. Thank You for Your love. Praise You Lord from Whom all blessings flow. Let them pour Lord; let them pour—in Jesus’ Name, amen.

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Intentions and Actions

2 Corinthians 8:11   (KJV)   11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.

There ought to be completion of intentions. People’s desire to do something good, helping provide other people’s needs, being a blessing in any and every way – all these ought to be coupled with corresponding actions. Good intention is better than  bad intention or no intention. Having actions but with bad intentions is a mess. Good intentions, plus good actions – that’s more like  it.

Good intentions are good but they’re not enough. They’re a good start, but it has to move forward. Good intentions won’t accomplish anything. Dreams have been wasted because they never took steps beyond willingness. How many lives would have been better, how many more beautiful songs would have been written; how many more sicknesses would have been cured; how many wars would have been avoided; how many families would have been thriving; how many countries would be at peace; how many more souls would have been saved if intentions first and foremost were sincere, and if those intentions were followed by the necessary steps to make those intentions a reality?

Dear God, we praise You for working in us both to will and do those things that please You. Help us to work out those godly promptings that we may serve You, Your kingdom, Your people, and Your creation more efficiently, – in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Good Out of Evil

Genesis 50:20  (KJV)   20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Joseph’s brothers wronged him and his Dad terribly. By selling Joseph, and making it appear to their father as if he had been devoured by a wild beast, causing Joseph and their Dad to be separated for years, were horrible acts of evil. After many years, their paths crossed again. Joseph forgave them, invited them and welcomed them to live in very close proximity with him. He gave them the best of the land to dwell in. But after their father died, the brothers feared for their lives. They guiltily presumed that Joseph’s forgiveness was conditioned to their father’s existence. But in their extreme fear, Joseph uttered these comforting and assuring words of forgiveness. But they also revealed Joseph’s “worldview” that enabled him to extend such difficult yet precious, true, and lasting forgiveness that definitely brought peace to his brothers. He looked at everything that has happened in view of the sovereignty of God Who worked out everything, even his the brothers’ unthinkable evil intentions and actions, to bring about the wondrous good of saving many lives.

The greater the offense, the harder it is for many of us to extend forgiveness. We ought to live free, and the way to live it is to let go of anything destructive – especially those that have the ability to consume us to the very core and pull us down to unfruitfulness. Unforgiveness can stall us and keep us from reaching our utmost potential. When we forgive, we sever whatever lingering hold our offenders may still have in us. To not forgive is to allow them to keep on effectively offending us long after their acts of offense. To forgive more easily, we ought to believe God’s sovereignty truthfully. God’s sovereignty is neither a license nor an excuse for evil, but it gives us a wider perspective; it shows us that no matter what people do to us, God has a way and will make a way so that even the worst of treatments we receive, God already has great good planned for them.

Sovereign Savior, may we always remember that as we faithfully live for you, there will be many things that will happen to us that we don’t have control over. There will be dreadful times when we will be badly treated. Please help us to always remember that You won’t allow anything to happen unless You have something so good already purposed for them. In Jesus’ Name, amen.