Summary: Restoring relationship with God and man through confession
“New Year – New Beginnings”
January 7, 2007
"If you fully obey all of these commandments of the Lord your God, the laws I am declaring to you today, God will transform you into the greatest nation in the world. These are the blessings that will come upon you: Blessings in the city, Blessings in the field; Many children, Ample crops, Large flocks and herds; Blessings of fruit and bread; Blessings when you come in, Blessings when you go out. "The Lord will defeat your enemies before you; they will march out together against you but scatter before you in seven directions! The Lord will bless you with good crops and healthy cattle, and prosper everything you do when you arrive in the land the Lord your God is giving you. He will change you into a holy people dedicated to himself; this he has promised to do if you will only obey him and walk in his ways.” Deut 28:1-9 (Living)
As we begin this New Year I want us to enter it knowing that God wants to bless us. As I read this Scripture I can see a wonderful, loving Father longing to bless His children. He longs to prosper them. He longs to make them great. He wants to bless everything they do. He wants to bless their homes; their work; their relationships. He wants to bless physically, materially, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. He wants to bless in every way. He doesn’t want to withhold any good thing.
And what was true for God’s people in Moses day is true for God’s people today. God loves you. He wants to wrap His arms of love around you and bless you. He wants to prosper everything you set your mind on doing – as He did Joseph. Remember Him? The Bible says everything he did succeeded. (Gen 39:2) God wants to do that for you. Do you believe that? Do you believe that God loves you so much that He wants to heap His love and blessings on You?
I have to admit that it’s pretty hard to believe – but believe it. Imagine God whispering to you this year, “I want to transform your life. I want to prosper you and make you rich in material things. I want you to be confident and unafraid. I want you to know that I will fight your enemies and defeat them all. I will give you good health and answer your every prayer. I will bless your family. I will bless your work. I will prosper you wherever you go.”
Can you believe God is telling you that today as He told His people that same thing hundreds of years ago? He is. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He doesn’t change. What He desired for them yesterday – He desires for them today.
So why don’t we experience those blessings? Certainly, we are blessed above all the people on earth with our nice homes and secure lives; with our rich food and warm clothing. We live in abundance. God has blessed us. But He wants to bless us more. Why isn’t He? The reason is the same reason that He couldn’t bless His people in Moses’ day. They didn’t have the kind of relationship with God that enabled Him to bless them as He desired to bless them. They were poor when they could have prospered. The problem wasn’t with God and His desire – but with them and their relationship with God. God said He had a wonderful land prepared for them. He said,
“It is a land ’flowing with milk and honey’; but I will not travel among you, for you are a stubborn, unruly people, and I would be tempted to destroy you along the way." Ex 33:3 (Living)
Do you see that God loved them and longed to bless them. But He couldn’t. He couldn’t even get to near them. Why? Because of their relationship with Him. They were stubborn and rebellious. And God said,
“Listen now! The Lord isn’t too weak to save you. And he isn’t getting deaf! He can hear you when you call! But the trouble is that your sins have cut you off from God. Because of sin he has turned his face away from you and will not listen anymore.” Isaiah 59:1-2 (Living)
Do you see the principle of sin here? Sin separates us from God. God doesn’t separate from us. Sin is rebellion and when we sin we drift away from God and His blessings. He wants to bless, just as any loving father wants to bless their child, but when that Child is rebellious, it ties the father’s hand. He disciplines instead of blesses. That hand is used to inflict pain – not pleasure.