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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Help Build Others’ Dreams

Genesis 41:44   (NLT) And Pharaoh said to him, “I am Pharaoh, but no one will lift a hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.”

Pharaoh appointed Joseph as his 2nd in command. He gave Joseph what many may consider too much power to delegate to one person. He did it without any kind of insecurity about his position. He recognized the Lord’s work in the life of Joseph, that Genesis 41.44 - Helping Build Others' Dreamsbecause of God, Joseph was wise and intelligent. Sure enough, his confidence and trust in Joseph was justified. Joseph was diligent; he was loyal; he indeed saved the world from famine, and because of him, pharaoh was personally enriched.

We’re not afraid of promoting people who are deserving of certain positions. We’re not insecure or threatened when others succeed; promotion comes from the Lord. We want to help others succeed; we want to help them fulfill their dreams. We cannot be too careful that it paralyzes us and stunts our growth or the growth of our team. We lift others up, positioning them appropriately where they could function the most. This makes them most productive, growing and helping the team in the process.

God is a trustworthy God. He is in control of all things. Even when others really want to rise up against us after they’re put in a position, God protects us, preserves us, and sustains us. He knows how to take good care of us; He also knows how to effectively handle our enemies: “For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right” (Psalm 84:11). That’s settled.

As for us, we look for people whose dreams we can help fulfill. We recognize their skills, talents, abilities and God’s favor in their lives. We see those who the world is afraid of and insecure about—people who they try to stop from going higher. We don’t get threatened by them; that’s a reason why we grow—much faster and stronger. Our security, our position, our status— it’s the Lord we trust for those. We rest in confidence; we are secure. We help others; we lift them up; more people live their dreams; they grow; the team grows; and it’s a joy being a part of making it happen.

 

Boundaries and Nations

Acts 17:26   (KJV)   26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation

Acts 17.26 - Boundaries and NationsOne blood, all nations all over the earth, appointed times, boundaries—God designed it to be so.

We only have “one blood”—one race—the human race.  Christianity and racism are a contradiction. As true as it is that we have one race; equally true is that we have many nations. He determines its boundaries. Understandable; nations have different preferences in the way each country is ran. Each has varying degrees of success and failures. God has the power to build a nation and the power to destroy it. He Who promotes can also easily demote. According to Him, Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34 KJV). His creation, His rules; His rules are true, and His rules work.

There are many prosperous countries; there are also many poor nations, but I have yet to know about a country whose values are predominantly based on Biblical Christianity that’s not prosperous. Here, I’d like to make a distinction. There are many “religious-Christian” countries, meaning, they identify with Christianity but the people are more religious than Christian—in beliefs, and in practices.  There are many of them that are steeped in poverty and bursting with corruption. This is in no way to judge or undermine them; I love them; God loves them; I was such a person.

Inasmuch as it’s not really reported in our very secularized, anti-Christian media, it’s obviously true that there are countries and people who want to destroy any people group or country who won’t abide by their dogma. Common sense shows the wisdom of national boundaries. The Ancient of Days knows it all; He certainly has reasons for this divine arrangement. We trust Him. We pray for peace; we promote peace and unity; we sincerely and diligently work towards that when it’s at all possible, but, we also know that we can really only trust one World Leader to unify the world in genuine love, peace, and righteousness—a World Leader untouched by corruption, malice, and any form of evil. That’s our Lord Jesus. That’s when He establishes His pure and righteous world order here on earth.

There will be those other than our Lord Jesus who will try to rule the world. We’ve seen the likes of Hitler. There will be one who will have a significant worldwide success in this regard. He will deceive the many. But this leader will lead the world against God, against God’s people and what God and His people stand for. He will bring and usher utter judgment and unimaginable destruction upon himself and this world.

So, other than our Lord Jesus, we say, “No, thank you.

Our Shepherd and God

Ezekiel 34:31   (KJV)   31 And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.

Ezekiel 34.31 - Our Shepherd and GodBecause the Lord is our shepherd, we’re one blessed flock.

The most caring, most loving, most powerful being is watching over us. We’ll find no greater assurance and comfort than that.

Either as sheep or as human beings, we’re wonderfully blessed to have the LORD as our Shepherd and our God.  We are not always as wise; we’re very dependent; we have lots of limitations; we get lost very easily; we need lots of help. Praise God, our Shepherd is the best Shepherd there is. He’s a good Shepherd. Where He leads us, we follow. Why not? He feeds us, guides us, leads us, protects us, loves us…

Nothing to Fear

Luke 12:32   (KJV)   32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Our precious Lord Jesus commands His flock—His children, not to fear anyone but God. One of the most important assurances He gives us is our heavenly Dad’s desire to give us His kingdom—whatever that may exactly mean. But that says a lot. Simply though, He’s luke-12-32-nothing-to-fearsaying we don’t have to fear anything because there’s no reason to. The cause may be material; it may be ideological; it may be social; His assurance is, He’s got us completely and safely covered.

Sure, there are things we don’t know about. We’re not sure how all details of our lives are going to play out, but God definitely guides us in areas where the choice is non-negotiable. There are expert schemers, and deceivers; some people in power may take advantage of us, but God is our vindicator; He’s in control of everything. Some people may succeed in hiding their insidious intents, but God has a way of eventually having their pernicious secrets whispered only behind the closed doors of their hearts to be shouted from the mountaintops for all to hear.

Some of us are threatened with death, but even the worst murderer can only touch our bodies; our God can do worse, and even throw the wicked to hell. Some of us may be threatened with lack, but we’ve never seen the righteous forsaken nor their seed begging for bread. He loves us so much that He makes the resources—even the power and authority of His Kingdom, available to us. We will be persecuted; we suffer the rise and fall of earthly kingdoms, but through it all, we worry not; we fear not; we live in the eternal, inexhaustible sphere. That’s where we wisely invest our treasures in; there’s where our hearts truly are. Our Dad is pleased for now to give us a foretaste of its reality; and even just this glimpse, its power and riches already blow our minds. We can only wonder about its wonders when it comes in the fullness of its power and glory.

Well Rested

Psalm 127:2   (KJV)   2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

How many people lack sleep because they’re trying their best to earn more so that they have more security for their future and their family’s future? We probably know not just some, but many. This ought to not be so. God wants us to have enough sleep. He wants us to rest. Our provision and prosperity comes from Him. He’s the One Who gives us the power to get wealth. The fruitfulness of our labor is ultimately ordered by Him.

psalm-127-2-well-rested

God wants us to have rest. Let me clarify: He doesn’t want us lazy, complacent, or mediocre; He wants us to live excellently, committed, devoted, loyal, diligent, and industrious, but He doesn’t want us killing ourselves with work. Those who do are doing more than God intends them to. He wants us to enjoy life. But some may say, “I enjoy my work;” that may be true, but God also loves His people; He loves His body; He loves His temple, and we are His temple. He’s a good God; He’s a good Father; He invites us to come to Him—all of us who are tired and are heavily burdened, and He gives us rest. Yes, of all the kinds of rest, our spiritual rest is of utmost importance, but His invitation does cover our entire being.

There is a time for everything, meaning: there’s a time to work, and a time to rest; there’s a time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. And enjoying it, we do, not just for a very short time between two or three jobs, but sufficient time to rest. We’re not consumed by worry and anxiety thinking about possibility of lack. No…The Lord is our Shepherd; we have everything we need. We work hard; we get enough sleep, enjoying time and fellowship with our heavenly Dad before we finally retire for the day. We wake up—with praises in our hearts, mind, and lips. And we start our day spending wonderful time of fellowship with Dad again. We work; we play; we pray; we retire—always with peace, knowing that as we faithfully take care of Dad’s gifts to us: eternal and temporal, our Dad sees to it that everything’s well with us.

Humbly Glorious

Luke 2:12   (KJV)   12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

Of all the signs that could have been, God in His wisdom chose this. He could have been born in a palace among the royalties; He could have been born from the family of the high priest; He could have been born from the family of greatest wealth; any of these could have been a more acceptable sign and a more impactful entrance into this world. But no, He chose the path least expected: a baby wluke-2-12-humbly-gloriousrapped in strips of cloths, lying in a manger.

Didn’t He itch? Didn’t He have rashes? Wasn’t that cruel for a Dad and Mom to do? Was that the best they could do? I would believe, given the situation, it was. But it didn’t matter. Where He was didn’t change Who He is. God isn’t insecure at all. His Son is God’s Son. The manger didn’t pull Him down; He lifted the manger up. Why is that manger the most celebrated birth scenario in the entire world in all generations? It’s because of the One born there. Jesus brought glory to it.

That’s what God does, and that’s what He did in us. When Jesus came into our personal world, when He came into our hearts, He brought glory and honor in us that no one and nothing else can ever accomplish. That’s why our status in society doesn’t change our value and worth even a bit. The Creator and owner of all creation lives in us. It’s in Him where we find our value, and there’s no value greater than what He brings. Why? It’s because there’s no one and nothing of greater value than Him. That’s explains why the seemingly extremely humble event was punctuated by a majestic array of angels, in praise, proclaiming: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” That’s why in everything, anywhere, anytime, we worship.