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.

Jesus: Baby—and a Lot More

Luke 2:16   (KJV)   16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Luke 2.16 - Baby - and a Lot MoreJesus was described in no spectacular way; in fact, unlike Joseph and Mary, He was not even called by His Name. He was just referred to as babe.  This doesn’t mean however that that’s all there is to Him. Jesus was way more than just an ordinary baby.

What we know about Jesus, and what others know about Jesus fail in comparison to who our precious Lord really is.  Just because he was born humbly in a manger, just because he lived as a human being, just because he died, it doesn’t mean He is just an ordinary man. He is the king who came down from heaven. He lived as a man but he lived a victorious sinless life through 33 years of Him being here on Earth. He died a sacrificial death and paid for the sins of the whole world of all generations. And he is right now seated at the right hand of God the Father. He will come back as the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords to judge both the living and the dead. He will rule and reign over every tribe, every language, every nation—forever.

That’s our Jesus—and a lot more.

The description doesn’t define the person or create the substance. Others may perceive Him very lowly or unfavorably, but He is still the great He is. Same with us: others may look down on us and say all manners of evil against us, but we are who we are. We are not affected by people’s demeaning words if we don’t let them.

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 is Good to All

Acts 14:17   (KJV)   Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”

Acts 14.17 - God's Goodness to AllGod is good–that’s His nature. His goodness isn’t selective; He’s good to those who know Him and to those who don’t.  Him giving rain, fruitful seasons, food, and gladness in everyone’s heart testify to this.

God’s love and goodness encompass all His creation. We don’t deny the huge differences between believers and unbelievers, but there are also huge similarities between them. We’re all created by God; we’re all sustained by Him; God wants us all saved; He loves all and is good to all.

People can be bad, but God is always good.  People change; God doesn’t. His nature isn’t dependent on the way people treat Him. We His children do the same. We love even those who treat us as their enemies; we give–we bless even those who despise us. And we do this with joy and peace in our hearts knowing full well that our value and worth don’t diminish just because of others trying to belittle us.

The Flock and the Kingdom

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

Little flock, Kingdom of God—the picture shows a striking opposite. We are so small; God’s Kingdom is so huge—so grand. But God saw it fit to give it to us. And He didn’t do it begrudgingly; He did it with loving delight. That’s the wonder of it all. How can an eternal, unchanging, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present God accommodate such as us? It’s purely because of His love and the generosity of His grace.

It’s not that we are nothing, no; it’s completely the opposite. Of all God’s creation, we are the crowning glory. Humbly, we recognize that we are the one of the most important entities, if not the most important entity of all God’s creation. He values us more than everything else. That’s the reason why we find assurance in His command for us not to fear. That’s based on the obvious reality of His care. He cares for His other creation—small as they are, as insignificant as they may seem; He cares for the birds and the bees, the flowers and the trees. He cares for them so much that we see them sufficiently provided for. None of them seem to show any sign of worry.

Let me clarify: we are “big” compared to other creation, but we are infinitely “small” compared to God and His Kingdom—infinitesimal, that is.  This is not an offense to us. Of course, there are those who don’t like the idea of worshiping someone other than themselves, but we fully see the appropriateness, in fact, the wisdom in kneeling before Someone Who’s enormously mighty, Who is in control of all things, and Who cares for us so much more than we can ever imagine.

We have needs—true, but we’re assured of more than sufficient provision. He withheld not His Son—His greatest “Treasure” so that our greatest need is taken care of. Every other need we have is insignificantly little compared to that. It’s exceedingly evident: He freely gives us everything we need for life, godliness, and enjoyment…—His Kingdom for His flock. That’s why we don’t worry; we’re not troubled; we don’t fear.

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.