Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Blessing
The word “blessing” has been completely mangled in the believer's vernacular and in fact is now more humanistic than it is spiritual. The average western believer that receives some monetary benefit or earthly promotion or even a good deal on some material item often claims that “God has blessed me”. But in context, the word blessing predominately refers to a praise, and in the Book of Revelation the word always refers to blessing God.
Rev.5:12-13 - Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
Rev.7:12 - Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and
might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
s you can see, the word blessing refers to blessing God. But throughout the New Testament the word consistently refers to spiritual blessings.
Eph.1:3 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Gal.3:13-14 - Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
o you not see it? These blessings are spiritual in nature and are of far greater weight than anything this earth can give us. Even the blessing of Abraham is a promise of the Spirit, not any material additions as some theologies erroneously teach. How many western believers reach for the pottage and ignore the birthright? The western church has assimilated the carnal cravings of the culture and adopted them into their theology. And in so doing they have made their religion about themselves and not about Christ.
Where is the hunger and thirst for spiritual blessings? Do we now interpret our lives through the prism of earthly wealth? Nowhere in the New Testament did believers go around proclaiming “God has blessed me!” because they received a check in the mail. In fact, many times the early believers rejoiced in persecution, and their blessings were found in Christ and not in the carnal fruit of Cain’s hands. And here is the only verse in any of the gospels that uses the word blessing.
Lk.24:53 - And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
he undertow of the western culture has captured the church and now the church has not only surrendered to the culture, it wallows in it. Material goods and financial prosperity are now hallmarks of western Christianity. And the word blessing has been kidnapped and forced to bow to the culture. And yet let me share with you a New Testament metaphor as it pertains to the blessing of God.
I Cor.10:16 - The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
ook! The Spirit calls the wine in communion the “cup of blessing” and correlates it to the blood of Jesus Christ. What a blessing, and yet that connection to the word blessing is almost completely ignored because the usual blessing-fest in church is completely tethered to material and temporal things. Is that the depth of our spirituality? How can a refund check compare to a deeper revelation of the Person of Christ? Why have we so degraded the sacred things of the Spirit in favor of the temporal ups and downs of this present life?
Christ Himself refused the temporal “blessings” offered to Him by the devil in the wilderness so He could proceed to embrace the “blessing” of the cross! And yet we call some unexpected money a blessing? Even the unsaved get money, and in fact, the unsaved have much more money than do God’s people. So the unsaved are blessed of God? Donald Trump is divinely blessed while Corrie Ten Boom was cursed? Hugh Hefner is blessed but the poor Chinese believer is abandoned? Look how we have demolished the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yes, it is time to reevaluate everything. We must cleanse our minds of the temporal and allow the Spirit to renew them in the captivity of the Eternal Christ. Away with all this fanfare concerning the thorns and thistles of this present world. Away with the obsession with more and more money and things. Away with this new religion that calls itself Christian but is nothing but humanism. None of us are perfect, and on our very best day in our entire Christian life we were still in desperate need of God’s grace. But that does not mean we change the mark and lower the standard.
A little boy looked up and saw the moon in the sky. He picked up a stone and threw it at the moon and the stone fell to the ground. He did the same thing again and again. And old man who was sitting on the porch called out to the boy and asked him what he was doing. The boy told him he was trying to hit the moon with a stone. The old man laughed and said,
You’ll never do it.” The boy looked over at the old man and said,
Maybe so, but I’m getting closer than you are!”
We will never achieve perfection this side of heaven, but God has called us to seek holiness and walk in His truth. The church has lowered the bar to accommodate her own worldly lusts. And thousands of churches have left the faith and now preach an amalgam of cultural desires and practices but they still claim to be following Jesus. They are not.
Our blessings are in Christ and in heavenly places. The things of this world may be used of God, but they are not our heart’s desires. Many times God uses sickness for His glory. Many times God uses a demotion for his glory. And human weakness is God’s specialty for glorifying Himself. Remove the carnal glasses of this temporal world and gaze deeply into the wonderful kingdom of God’s Spirit. It is there we will find our blessing. When God divided the Promised Land between the tribes of Israel, there was one tribe that received no land at all. It was the tribe of Levi. Why did God not give them any earthly inheritance?
Deut.10:8-9 - At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.
9 Wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the LORD is his inheritance, according as the LORD thy God promised him.
h please my brothers and sisters, remove the sandals from your hearts for this is holy ground! The Levite’s inheritance was the Lord Himself. In God’s Dear Name, who can know such a thing? And this was not just for the sake of Levi, it was also for those of us who would come much later. Do you not see it? Can your heart not wallow in such glory? Look and see and look and live! Let others drink at the world’s trough and call it a blessing. We have the Lord Christ! And what parcel of land can compare with the surpassing glory of knowing and serving our Wonderful Redeemer?
Our inheritance is not caught up in that which is rusted by time or eaten by moths.
I Pet.1:3-5 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
ou desire a blessing more than the inheritance which is now reserved for you? And yes, the inheritance includes a new body. Yes, the inheritance includes the final declaration of forgiveness. Yes the inheritance includes being in God’s eternal dwelling place. Yes, the inheritance includes all that and immeasurably more. But the glory of our inheritance is something far greater than all these, and far greater than our minds can envision.
I Jn.3:2 - Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
ur inheritance, after the similitude of Levi, is Christ Himself. And the Scriptures can only give us a glimpse in this glory since human words are pitiful conduits of explanation. But one day, one day of eternal blessing, we shall see the Risen Christ as He is. Oh how great is our Wonderful Lord! It would have been way beyond what we deserved if Christ had prepared a perfect place for us separate from where He is. That would have been an eternal blessing.
But Christ Himself said He was preparing a place for us where He would be. You desire a blessing? Go ahead and hold some green paper in your hand with some picture of a man, and if you think that is a great blessing then look up to the heavens. THE blessing of all blessings awaits all those who know and love Him. And when we receive that blessing in the heavenlies that is Christ, what will we do?
We will BLESS the Lord forever!

1 comment:

Richard Ludwigson Jr said...

Amen Rick, thank God for this truth from the scripture.