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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Be Teachable

Acts 8:31   (NLT)   The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.

“Teachability” is a very valuable virtue. It requires humility but it’s also a path to greatness. It takes humility to admit lack of understanding, to admit need of help, to admit someone knows more than you do. Learning requires sincerity and resolve. It Acts 8.31 - Be Teachablenecessitates effort. The person in this story had a hard time understanding what he was reading, but he was reading nonetheless.

Having a know-it-all attitude is disadvantageous. Wise people understand: wisdom is a life-long pursuit; the truth is: it is an eternity-long pursuit. Our learning doesn’t stop when we meet the Lord face to face.

There is no greater source of wisdom than God’s Word. True: there are some parts hard to understand; it will take a sincere desire to learn for us to grasp truths God intends for us. We find it a big help listening to others who have also spent time and effort in studying His Word. We don’t deny personal responsibility; we have to read the word by ourselves; we have to study it; meditate on it; memorize it; live it out; share it. But we can certainly also learn from others. It doesn’t diminish our self-esteem when we do. We expand our horizon much greater by mining the gold from other people’s perspective. We recognize that we miss some important insights other people catch. We even learn from people of the world; they too have wisdom to share; they too are created in God’s image; they have undeniably good contributions. In some cases, we need discernment from the Holy Spirit to know whether what they teach is godly or worldly. It’s no problem because God is more generous with His Spirit guiding us, helping us, warning us, and leading us to the truth.

Dear heavenly Father—all loving and all wise, thank You for giving us understanding and insight—especially when it comes to vital spiritual truths. Thank You for giving us your Holy Spirit without Whom we would be spiritually blind. Thank You for making us a part of people who have the same access to Your Spirit—the Spirit of wisdom. Thank You for giving us opportunities to learn, to know more about You, Your Word, Your love, and a lot more wonderful truths we absolutely treasure. And thank You for the privilege and honor of bearing and sharing this treasure.

 

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.

Uniquely Blessed

Matthew 13:16   (KJV)   16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

There is blessedness in perception: for eyes able to see and ears able to hear, minds able to understand, hearts able to feel, and spirits able to sense. God has given us, His people in the New Covenant, a unique and special privilege of receiving revelation of the truths Matthew 13.16 - Uniquely Blessedhidden from unbelievers, and truths hidden even from the Old Covenant prophets and believers who longed for what we now enjoy.

Praise God for favoring us with understanding not enjoyed by everyone. He graciously grants and blesses us with unique abilities to comprehend spiritual and eternal truths—Kingdom truths. The more we seek, the more we see; the more we see, the more we seek. We just keep increasing in Kingdom knowledge and understanding. Whether it’s from the Word, a direct revelation from God, or a preaching, whether it’s old or new gems He wants us to learn, we grasp them clearly.

Others don’t listen. They close their hearts. It’s not that they’re not presented with the same “sights and sounds”—spiritually. It’s their reception that’s blocked. They close their eyes and ears. God doesn’t force them. But they miss out on much of the blessedness of genuine seekers. The less they listen, their understanding is lessened. We need to keep praying for them. Some will turn to God; others won’t. Whatever the result of our prayers and other attempts to bring them to understanding, we’re appreciatively diligent with the favor we receive. We don’t stagnate; we keep growing. We don’t treat our blessedness lightly; we value them. We don’t waste them; we use them—serving the Blesser, and serving others.

Listen Well

Mark 4:24   (KJV)   24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

The measure of our understanding has very much to do with the measure of our hearing. The more intentional and sincere our listening is, the more understanding we Mark 4.24 - Listen Wellreceive. Understanding, discernment, illumination—all these are from our gracious God, but it’s not an encouragement to passivity or laziness; it’s an invitation to enjoyment of our undeserved participation in His wonderful works.

The principle is God-established; it does us well when we zealously take it to heart. To whom much is given, much is required. It’s a circular blessing and response design: the more we heed what we hear, the more understanding we’re given; the more understanding we have; the more we ought to hear. If we don’t use our gifts, we lose them; if we use them, God multiplies them; if we use them for God’s Kingdom, God multiplies them greatly.

Our God is omniscient; there’s no secret He’s not privy to. He’s never at lost as to any kind of information or knowledge. He knows exactly how to approach every situation. No problem’s too big that He can’t solve; no question’s too hard that He can’t answer; no situation is too messed up that He can’t find a solution for. He has the authority, the power, and the willingness to share with us a necessary slice of His infinite knowledge and wisdom. And it’s an awesome privilege to be honored recipients of such assuring and extremely important blessing.

 

Meditations

Psalms 1:2   (KJV)    But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Psalm 1.2 - MeditationDelighting in God’s Holy Word and meditating on it go together.

We enjoy a deeper relationship with the Word of God. Because we intensely delight in His Word, we spend our precious time with it. We expectantly dig or dive deeper. There are numerous other ways of relating to God’s Word, but just simply, willingly, sincerely, longingly immersing ourselves in it’s truth through focused meditation really helps our roots go deep.

Dear God and Father, may we never foolishly treat Your Word lightly or superficially. Help us to spend intimate moments with Your precious revelation. It has so much to give. Help us not to deprive ourselves of so much of the precious treasure we can find buried deeper in each letter and word we read with our eyes.

Blessedness of Child-likeness

Luke 10:21   (KJV)   21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

There’s a huge blessing in being childlike than esteeming ourselves as wise and prudent.

Luke 10.21 - Blessedness in ChildlikenessHumility—child-likeness—it is God’s revealed preferred way to greatness; being Christlike also opens up windows of wonderful revelations, understanding, supernatural experiences, and insights that are hidden from the proud.

We trust the Lord; we trust Him in everything, and that includes divine paradoxical principles.  His ways are always proven true and right. So, instead of tirelessly competing in this dog-eat-dog world, jockeying for ever higher position and increasingly greater knowledge, we chose the path laid out for us by our Lord. We live humbly, continually growing in child-likeness. He takes care of exalting us and filling our lives with wonders.