Do you want to be blessed?

I know a lot of Christians who are focused on “getting blessed.”  They want a new car or a new house or a new job.  But what does God think about all of this?  What is His definition of “blessings”?

We first read about blessings In Genesis 12.  It is recorded that God made a promise of future blessings to Abraham (Abram).

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing.”  Genesis 12:1 & 2

What was the blessing that was promised to Abram?  (Who was later re-named Abraham.) We get our answer from the Apostle Paul, the guy who was taught the gospel message directly from the Lord Jesus Himself.

For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:11-12

Okay, so with confidence that the Apostle Paul is a credible witness to the truth, let us finally get an answer to the question..  What was the blessing promised to Abraham?  Paul gives the answer in chapter 3 of his letter to the Galatians. 😁

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. Galatians 3:13-14

You guys, this is so exciting!  We don’t have to be born an Israelite.  Even we Gentiles can receive the promise given to Abraham.  Whether a Jew or a Gentile, you can receive the promise of the Holy Spirit!

And we all need the Holy Spirit, because it is the Spirit that gives life to our mortal bodies.

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.  Romans 8:11

If you want to be blessed, that is about as good as it gets.  If you want to be blessed, it begins with faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  If you want to be blessed by God, seek the blessing that was promised to Abraham:  the Holy Spirit.

And once His Spirit has given life to your mortal body, once you have been born again, you ARE blessed!  That’s it.  You will never find anything better.  A new car, a new house, and a new job can not compare.

The gospel is such good news.  So good.  . . . It’s almost ridiculous how GOOD it is!!  😆  Let’s rest in and trust in this awesome God of ours today!


For more on this topic, check this out.

Was King David a Drama Queen?

Maybe he was . . . but, if so, I mean it in a good way!  He was a wonderfully passionate man with a heart filled with so much faith, so much trust in God, that he is used as a type of Christ, a model for the Messiah:

“And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David will be prince among them; I the LORD have spoken. (Ezekiel 34:24)

That is astounding!

He was an ordinary human who became extraordinary because of his passionate reliance and dependency on the Lord His God.

Because of his faith, David was chosen to replace Saul as the King of Israel.  Because God recognized him as a “man after my own heart.”

“But now (Saul) your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people…”    (1 Samuel 13:14)

Despite being one of the most famous men who has ever lived, and one of the most important Bible characters in the history of the world . . . to me, David is just my big brother in Christ.  He is someone who I look forward to meeting, and teasing, one day.

“Dude, you know that you were a total drama queen when you lived back on the old earth.  Right?  I mean, c’mon, you totally were.”

And he’ll reply, “Oh yeah!  Totally.”

(LOL.  . . .Well, who knows?  But I nonetheless entertain myself with such imaginings.)

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Okay, so you know those reading plans that give you daily assignments so that you can read through the Bible chronologically in one year?  Well, so far, it’s been five years and I’m in the book of Jeremiah.  I’m so slow because I often skip a day, or a week, or even a month.  Plus, I typically re-read my daily assignment; sometimes over and over for several weeks.  (Gotta be OCD with the Bible!)

Since I’m new to the “grace message,” to a complete understanding of the New Covenant, it seems like I am reading the Bible for the first time.  Even though I’ve been saved for 26 years.

Anyway, this slow and careful reading style allowed me to really get to know David.  And I fell in love with him while reading through his life story and all of his poetry.  When I came to his death in the book of 1 Kings, I started crying.  I remember exactly where I was sitting in my house when that happened.  I realized how much I would miss him.  I felt so sad that his life came to the end; it was like a good friend had left me.

I hope that one day on the new earth, he will come to regard me also as a good friend.  And I hope he will laugh when I tease him about being a drama queen.  Such mood swings; such melodramatic laments at times.  But maybe that’s what I love best about him, because his emotional outbursts were often channeled toward his praise of God. (Such as Psalm 103). When you read David’s Psalms, you see that David completely trusted in God.  He knew that God is good; that God is trustworthy; that God is kind.

Trust in Him at all times, O people;

Pour out your heart before Him;

God is a refuge for us.

(Psalm 62:8)

Of course, we all know that David was not a perfect person; his adultery with Bathsheba and the way he orchestrated the murder of her husband are notorious stories.  David fully acknowledged his own sinfulness; he was completely acquainted with his own depravity.  He didn’t try to hide it; he was a man who lived in reality.

But he pleased God because he had true faith.  His heart trusted completely in the Lord.  And God honors David’s faith throughout the Bible.  In Jeremiah, it is implied that the Messiah came because of David!  That is was for David that the Messiah is raised up!

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land.  (Jeremiah 23:5)

David did not get to live in the days of the New Covenant, in the days following the resurrection of the Righteous Branch.  As a result, there was so much that David did not understand, and perhaps that is what caused his mood swings.

“Take not thy Holy Spirit from me,” was spoken by a man who did not have the opportunity to be born again by the Holy Spirit.  Certainly, the Spirit “came upon” David at times, but not in an abiding, eternal way.

For us today, we know that the Holy Spirit will never leave us or forsake us.  It is because we are “raised up” with Jesus; we are resurrected from the dead, just as Jesus was.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Colossians 3:1)

David looked forward to the resurrection; we look back to it.  I think it’s at the Second Coming that the dead in Christ will rise first – so does that mean that David will be with us during the Millennial Reign of Christ?  I hope so!  But whatever happens, we know that David has a fantastic future ahead of him:  everlasting life with the God whom he loved and trusted in with all of his heart!

 

Jesus taught the Old Covenant

Jesus Christ taught the Old Covenant when He was here on earth.

When He was here on earth as the “Son of God” — which just means that God, who dwells in unapproachable light, reduced Himself and put on human flesh . . .

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  John 1:14

. . . Okay, sorry, for the digression . . .

All right, when He was here on earth, Jesus the Son of God, taught the Old Covenant.  The Old Covenant is the ‘contract’ He entered into with the nation of Israel consisting of 613 commandments which they were to obey perfectly.  Jesus Christ taught and explained this covenant to its fullest degree. Why?

Because the New Covenant did not go into effect until after He died.

“In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood.”  Hebrews 9:16-18

So, we can see from Hebrews 9:16-18 that the New Covenant did not go into effect until after His death and resurrection.

Therefore, while He was living His 33 years as a human on this earth,  the Old Covenant was still in effect, and THAT is the covenant that He taught.  His ‘Sermon on the Mount’ (recorded in Matthew 5, 6, 7) is the epitome of His teaching; kind of like His Mission Statement.  Check it out if you haven’t read it recently.

In His Sermon on the Mount He told the crowd gathered around Him that if they wanted to be judged according to their works, their deeds, according to a system of good and evil, a system of right and wrong, then they would have to be PERFECT.

“Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”  Matthew 5:48

Jesus taught this way in order to finally — once and for all — end the argument that began in the Garden of Eden.  God said that He created mankind to live according to the Law of Life; Satan countered that mankind would be better off living according to the Law of Good versus Evil. (Genesis 2 and 3)

2,500 years later, roughly, God gave the Law to Moses, and the nation of Israel willingly and whole-heartedly entered into this covenant with God.

And then, 1,500 years after the ratification of the Old Covenant, Jesus Christ came to earth to fulfill the Law — to meet the demands of the Law.  He did this as an act of mercy since there was no way that we could possibly meet the demands ourselves.

When you read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, you are reading the final and full explanation of the Law of Moses.  It’s not just, “Hey, let’s read these books to learn more about Jesus.”  But instead, “Hey, let’s seek and embrace and grasp the complete magnification of the Law, of the Old Covenant.”

There is so much confusion in the Christian world.  There are so many contradictions being espoused.  There is barely any clarity.  It doesn’t make sense to people.

Understanding that Jesus taught the Old Covenant is crucial to making sense of your Christian life.  The New Testament begins with the Book of Acts, not Matthew.

By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.  Hebrews 8:13

For more on this topic, please listen to this excellent series in the Sermon on the Mount produced by Living God Ministries . . .

And have a good day living in the New Covenant.