Tag Archive for God’s blessing

Whom Did Jesus Bless?

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Read Mark 10:13-16; Luke 7:22-23; 10:23-24

Jesus came speaking the Father’s words and doing the Father’s deeds. Therefore He came blessing. In the Old Testament, we saw that the Father longs to bless His people, even when they don’t deserve it, and He abundantly blesses those who trust Him. We see the same in Jesus Christ.

Ask the average person who is particularly “blessed” – that is, who is fortunate, who has been singled out for success or special happiness – and you’re likely to hear that it is the rich…the lottery winners…the famous…the highly respected…those with great jobs. Or if the person answering can see beyond materialism, they might say that the “blessed” are those who are healthy, or who are surrounded by loving friends and family.

But notice who Jesus called “blessed”. God’s blessings are not dependent on circumstances. They are not the product of chance. Since all God’s greatest gifts come to us in Jesus (read Ephesians 1:3-14), we are blessed through relationship with Him. The “blessed” are those who know Him, respond to Him, and trust Him.

“Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 16:15-17, NIV)

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:27-28, NIV)

Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:28-29, NIV)

Remember this: God has decreed the complete, eternal well-being of all who trust in Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3, NASB)

Abraham: God’s Promises

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Genesis 12:1-7

God blesses His people. The same sovereign God who spoke the universe into existence also speaks all His best into the lives of those who trust Him.

There is no better example of that blessing than the story of Abraham. Read it all in Genesis 11:26 – 25:11.

According to Genesis 11, Abraham was the ninth generation after Shem, the son of Noah. When the Bible first introduces him, his name is still Abram (meaning, “the father is exalted”), and he is part of his father Terah’s household in Ur of the Chaldeans (in present-day Iraq). He moves with his father to Haran (in present-day Turkey), and there his father dies.

There also the Lord speaks to Abram, asking him to follow Him to a land He will show him. If Abram obeys, God promises him a number of magnificent blessings:

  • God will make him a great nation.
  • God will both bless him and make him a blessing. In fact, all the families of the earth will be blessed through him.
  • God will bless those who bless Abram, and curse those who curse him.

One might think that one so richly blessed by the Sovereign God would have an easy life. And indeed, God does lavish great material wealth on Abram. But like us, Abram was called to trust a God whose plan is sometimes mysterious and whose sense of timing is far different than our own.

  • The man who was to have descendants numerous as the stars of the heaven and the sand of the sea had no heir until he was 100 years old.
  • Though God had promised him that his heirs would possess the land of Canaan, Abram lived his entire life as nomad, living in tents, owning no land but a small burial plot.
  • Though God promised to stand up for Abram in all his disputes (blessing those who blessed him, cursing those who cursed him), the disputes and dangers just kept coming.

The God who blesses us does not promise a life of ease, but a journey of faith. That journey has a wonderful end for those who patiently endure.

You Are the Blessing

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Father, how You long to bless Your people with all Your best!
And You Yourself are the gift You most long to give.
You are the prosperity that You pour into our souls.
You are the peace, the harmony, the completeness, the well-being
with which You would fill us and our world.
Your own Spirit is the blessing that You would
breathe and
speak and
throughout all we are
into every corner of the universe.

Father, in You, we are cradled in Your
unfailing love and
absolute dependability.
You are unfailing love.
You are absolute dependability.

In You we possess all things.
In You we possess all the riches of reality
rather than this world’s passing illusions.
You are All-in-all,
the Source,
the Goal, and
the Giver.
Whom do we have in heaven but You?
And on earth, what could we ever need but You?
In life,
in death,
in all the world,
in all eternity,
there is nothing we could want but
the blessing You will soon give in all its fullness: