Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blessings - Good Gifts From God

Focus of last Sunday's sermon:

Psalm 33:12 - What's a blessed nation look like? Deut. 28:1-13

This week we're looking at blessings on a more personal level.

Blessings in the Bible are defined as good gifts from God - something good, beneficial, positive, helpful .... bestowed (conferred) on you by Him. These may be physical - health, strength, beauty, possessions; relational - spouse, children, neighbors, etc.; emotional, mental - peace, confidence, boldness, wisdom; spiritual - reconciliation, salvation, forgiveness, eternal life, rewards.

#1. We are all blessed. John 1:16

#2. We all want to be blessed. (this according to our own definition of blessing - the way we want to be blessed.

#3, God wants to bless. Matt. 7:9-11 But, He wants to bless according to His definition.

#4. something is a blessing only if it draws us to God.
It must have positive, eternal consequences.

With that foundation, here's a few other things we can learn from Scripture about blessings:

#1. Something doesn't have to look like a blessing to be a blessing. Example: Jacob's limp. Gen. 32:22-31
Paul's thorn: 2 Cor. 12:7-10
Therefore, the Beatitudes - Matt. 5:3-6, 10-12
God only wants to bestow that which is good for us, our family, and those around us.

Remember: the Jewish religious leaders rejected Christ because he didn't look like Messiah.

Ron Dunn often said, "the blessings of God often come wrapped in the rags of a curse."

#2. What's intended as a blessing can become a curse.
Luke 12:16-21 Examples: Solomon's wealth, Israel's prosperity and ease. Matt. 16:26 - Be careful. It is no longer a blessing if it is separating us from God.

#3. What's intended as a curse can become a blessing.
Example: Joseph's trials - 13 years worth Gen. 50:20
Peter's denial Luke 22:31-32

#4. We can't always distinguish between the two
Examples: How often does: financial hardship result in a closer walk with God
personal tragedy result in knowing Christ
mental crises result in a stronger relationship
unwanted pregnancy results in a precious child or grandchild

#5. It's not necessary that we do. Rom. 8:28, 31 Nobody is asking us to categorize whether something is a blessing or a curse. BUT, it really doesn't make any difference anyway. If God is for us, what difference does it really make.


#1. Whether something is a blessing or curse is measured (ultimately) by it's eternal outcome. Does it draw, direct, connect you to God?
Does it result in positive, eternal consequences?

#2. Whether something is ultimately a blessing or a curse is largely determined by you. God will work to transform it into a blessing. Question: will you allow Him to work? and work with Him?
He will do His part, but He has also given us free will to choose.
Deut. 30:15-19 On one hand we can't always choose the situations, circumstances, things that happen in our lives.
However, we can choose how to handle them and that to do with them.

#3. When God would most bless the world, He did it through the person of Christ - He still does.
These principles, truths, and applications work for all people
BUT, you find the greatest fullness, broadest application, best results when applied through Jesus Christ - as Savior and as Lord.

Again: You Choose!!

No comments: