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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Peace!

Genesis 31:37   (NLT)   You have rummaged through everything I own. Now show me what you found that belongs to you! Set it out here in front of us, before our relatives, for all to see. Let them judge between us!

Laban was mad; Jacob was mad. Laban felt like he lost his daughters and grandchildren and his flocks all in one day. In addition, he lost one of his treasured graven images or idols. Jacob on the other hand felt like he was being very unjustly accused for something Genesis 31.37 - Peacehe did not do. The fact is: Laban really lost his idol, and that it was stolen from him—but not by Jacob. The fact too is: Jacob was innocent. They were both angry thinking they’re wronged by the other person. Laban could not come up with a proof regarding his lost idol. That gave Jacob more reasons to be furious.

This is so true to us. We fight because we believe we are wronged by another person.  Many times, the other person feels like we’re the ones who did them wrong. In many cases, there are areas where we’re both right, and in many cases, there are areas where both are wrong. And just because one party could not come up with a good or better argument or an obvious proof does not mean they don’t have a valid point. Just because we appear to be right doesn’t mean we are right—and vice versa. This is why we have to be very careful in jumping to conclusions.

We have to do everything to understand the other party. We have to put ourselves in their shoes. We have to see things from their perspective. The more truth we know, the more we’re able to make better judgment. If it’s at all possible, it is better to pursue peace; it’s better to avoid getting angry. It is not sinful to be angry, but we have to realize how easily it could lead to sin. Often, anger can blind us. It’s better to be understanding and to be more considerate of other people—

their feelings, their perceptions, and their reactions.  This does not mean we have to compromise; this just means we have to be more passionate about the truth and about loving others. We love peace; we pursue it as much as we can; we preserve it if it at all depends on us.

Joyful Despite Tribulations

John 16:33   (KJV)   33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16.33 - Joyful Despite TribulationsJesus’ Words are to give us peace, no matter how scary the truth may sound. In Jesus can we find very interesting and comforting paradoxes. We have tribulations, but we have joy. This is not a self-assuring yet dangerous denial of trials and persecutions; they’re based on our Lord’s promises and accomplishments.

Praise God for revealing important truths to us. He doesn’t always divulge everything, but He doesn’t deprive us of truths we need. He’s a loving God Who wants us to have everything necessary for a full and meaningful life.

We’ve had experiences when others have pointed out how little we have and yet we’re filled with joy. We don’t take that as an insult. What can compare to such a life? Others try to accumulate as much wealth and resources as they can. But it’s not really the gold, fame, and number of people around us that matter the most; it’s what they’re supposed to bring to us: security, worth, significance, value, love, joy, peace, and so much more.

We have them—without the tiring pursuit for more stuff.

Great life.

Thank You Lord.

God’s Surprising Ways

Habakkuk 1:5   (KJV)   5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

Our God is a sovereign God. He is a creative God. He’s not bound to anything or anyone, not even to the ways He’s done things in the past. In fact, the Lord will do something new Habakkuk 1.5 - God's Surprising Waysin our nations, something wonderful and marvelous. It will be so amazing that it will be so hard to believe if we are told about it now.

Godlessness pervades our nations. We find it in every corner and facet of society. Lies, deception, and fake news are everywhere. But our just and loving God don’t just sit idly by. He won’t allow the righteous to be caught in insidious plots and deadly traps of the enemy.

The wicked trusts in their own devices; they glory in their ability to deceive; they don’t realize that God watches over His people. They march boldy brandishing their banner of evil while gleefully setting up the righteous for a fall, not realizing that they’ll be caught in their own snares. The harm they plan for God’s people will boomerang to them.

God, our heavenly Father Who created this big, vast, inscrutable universe surprises His enemies. They can’t predict how He does things. We as His people, though surrounded by evil, live in peace. Our confidence is in the LORD. We’ve tasted and seen that the LORD is good. He never leaves us defenseless. We may not be sure as to the ways He delivers us, but we’re sure He always delivers us.

Even though lawlessness may exponentially increase, even though our economy may suddenly collapse, even though our freedom may be greatly threatened, even though God’s people are constantly harassed, we will neither fear nor be dismayed. We will find our joy and our peace in the God of our provision and protection. He is our strength; He establishes our steps. After all is said and done, everyone will recognize: God is God. He continually governs in the affairs of man. He rules over all nations. The lives of kings and queens, presidents and rulers are in His hands. Every knee will bow, and every eye will see: He is Lord. So yes; we’re at peace—always ready to be amazed by our Father’s new yet always astonishing interventions.

Spiritually-Minded

Romans 8:6   (KJV)  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

As God’s children, we think godly thoughts. We enjoy life and peace now, and we’re looking forward to life and peace with our Father for eternity. We understand we still have choices. We believers don’t lose our free will even after surrendering the throne of Competitionour lives to our Lord Jesus. We choose the focus of our thoughts. We’re also very much aware of the huge implications and repercussions of our choices. Our heavenly Father doesn’t spoil His children.

I pray that this won’t be an issue of intrigue; my prayer rather is that it will be a thought to at least ponder on. Jesus has already borne the penalty of our sins on the cross. In fact He Who knew no sin was made sin for us. That Jesus has taken the death penalty for us is an absolute truth. What is this death then that results from being carnally minded? It’s easy to choose one and reject the other. In doing so, others explain away whatever they prefer to reject.

Forbid the thought that they would question the efficacy of the Lord Jesus’ sacrifice, so the trend is to deal with the death that results from carnal-mindedness. We’ve heard others interpret and teach that as death of a physical kind. And there’s no doubt, some sinful or even wrong choices can reap physical death as a consequence. But although there’s truth in it, it also misses the fact that physical death also comes even to the spiritually-minded people.

On the other hand, if the consequence of our godly thinking is life of the physical kind, what’s the necessity since we’re already physically alive? Unless it simply means continuation of our physical existence in our present condition, the other and I believe the more logical conclusion is that it also refers to life of spiritual kind. This becomes obvious when looking at the context of the passage. The entire chapter deals very much with our spirits. Without disrespect or preference of any denominational distinctive, we can safely conclude: 1. It’s absolutely and undeniably true that Jesus paid the sin-penalty of death; 2. It is also absolutely true that to be carnally minded—having our sinful nature control our mind—is or leads to death.

Whatever each of us believe; we may not all agree on one line of understanding, but the non-negotiable mandate or exhortation we can all agree and focus on is this: shun sinful nature that produces sinful thoughts, and yield to the precious Holy Spirit Who produces good, spiritual, right, and godly thoughts.

It’s Time

Deuteronomy 2:25   (KJV)   25 This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee.

There is a day for our miracle. Fully believe, patiently wait.

When God says it’s time, He will move people and nations, and if need be, heaven and earth, to bring about His plan for us—His people.

deuteronomy-2-25-its-timeWe’ve learned: God doesn’t violate our free will. How can He cause dread and fear in the hearts of people while preserving that principle? How can He direct a king’s heart like a watercourse to bring it to His expected end? Does He do it by orchestrating the course of nature and turn of events? Probably; those things don’t have free will to violate. We may not fully understand all of the divine dynamics, but this one thing is sure: with God, all things are possible.

Did you hear that? Cheer up; yes, God can always make things happen for us.

We have people who consider us as their enemies. We love them. If we’re faithful in our calling, our enemies can’t deny us our destiny. God’s in control of that. He can stop them, remove them from our path, cause them to respect us, or simply turn them into friends.

Why can we live without worry? It’s because our God is awesome in power, perfect in wisdom, and is constantly with us. We know He does whatever needs to be done to whatever situation and whoever is involved; we know His timing is impeccable; we know He’s with us through the entire process: beginning, waiting, and winning.

Two things “alone” are enough to awaken others to reality of our wonderful life: Who the God is Who is in us, and who we are in God. The first focuses on how awesome God is, the other focuses on how awesome God makes us and our lives to be. Heheyyy.

God is Able

Numbers 11:23   (KJV)   23 And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord’s hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.

The Lord’s question is rhetorical. There’s not a moment when God’s power has ever drained. There has not failed one word of all His promises. All His promises, in Christ, are numbers-11-23-god-is-able“yes” and “amen.” We have confidence in Him; there’s no reason to murmur, complain, or be disappointed. He still provides a road in the wilderness; He still pours down rain from heaven, and He still makes the sun to shine.

“His eyes are on the sparrow, and I know He watches over me.” He watches over us. His hands still always give us light in the darkness, salvation from our sins, peace in the middle of chaos, protection from all dangers. That’s why we’re fearless—whatever happens to the world, whatever others do to us. His mighty arms are still able to prepare a table before us even in the presence of our enemies. We may be surrounded by those who want to do us harm, but our hearts beat quietly and we sleep peacefully through the night.