Wednesday, 26 July 2017

True Blessings are Spiritual, not Earthly or Material

Many in the modern Church in the west today think that blessings are material things. They praise God for giving them a car, house, money, a strong marriage, loving family, and children who are successful, thinking they are so 'blessed' because of these things.

However, no where in the Bible does it refer to such temporal earthly things as blessings. It does not even say that a person whose basic earthly sustenance is met to be blessed, that is, one who has just enough food, water and clothing. 

Rather, the Bible shows us that blessings are spiritual in nature, or ultimately to be used for spiritual purposes for the glory of God, and to enjoy God, and not for one to enjoy for oneself:

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.

For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear[a] when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

(Jeremiah 17:7-8)

“The Lord bless you and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’

(Numbers 6:24-26)

He who heeds the word wisely will find good,
And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.

(Proverbs 16:20)

Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!

(Psalm 119:2)

These verses all refer to a blessed person as one who is blessed because he or she obeys God, and receives much peace and joy as a result of his or her obedience to God. Such peace and joy comes from enjoying the love of God Himself, by focusing on Him and Him alone, counting all earthly things as garbage, living as though he does not have such earthly things:

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

(Philippians 3:7-11)
By counting such things rubbish, Apostle Paul gained Christ, whose righteous was imputed to him, which gave him peace. For true peace comes from not only being right with God, but by truly closely walking with God (Colossians 3:12-15; Philippians 4:6-7).

Show me a Bible verse where it says "blessed are the rich in money", "blessed are those of great intellect", or "blessed are those with a happy marriage and loving family". But show me one who says such things, and I will show you a misguided, unstable and ignorant person, or an arrogant proud person.

Do not think that such people are only those who from prosperity "churches". Sadly, many in the conservative, orthodox, evangelical Church think that they are more blessed than others who are not as rich, educated, or as happily married, or have a family as loving as theirs. That is in and of itself the height of arrogance, to think that one is more righteous than someone else because one has more of such mere earthly temporal things.

Apostle Paul exhorts those who are focused on earthly things, whether it be marriage, suffering, joy, possessions, and power, to live as though one did not have such things:

 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

(1 Corinthians 7:29-31)

Why did the Apostle say that those who have any of such things, should live as though one did not have such things? Such things are temporary, and therefore should not be things that one focuses on, or strives for. 

Rather, one should focus on God, seeking first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33), and He will give you what He knows you need.  What you need is that which will enable you to serve and glory God for His pleasure, and not your own.

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
(Matthew 5:1-12).