Summary: I am talking about a life of true blessing, a life marked by prosperity more important than wealth or fame, and a life of eternal significance which God loves to give to those who will walk by faith.
The Life God Blesses
I am convinced of this - “God loves to bless His children!”
What do I mean by that? Let me borrow words from Gordon MacDonald who writes – “God desires to pour out on people gracious and uncommon gifts: gifts might include personal affirmation, intimate relationship, extraordinary challenges to destiny, and remarkable energies that surpass the limits of we think of as normal....” The Life God Blesses, Nelson, 1994
Start working your way through the Bible, and you will discover a very long list of people that God blessed in various amazing ways.
Abraham, the father of the faithful, was called out of a pagan city, led on an amazing journey to the region of Canaan, and was privileged to discover the true nature of God. What a blessed life!
Joseph, was blessed by God to be the savior of his family, the prime minister of Egypt.
Moses, the father of the nation of Israel, was blessed with the leadership of a new nation, with the
revelation of the Law of the Holy God.
David, the poet king of Israel, was blessed early in his life with a faith that allowed him to face Goliath,
the Philistine hero in the name of the Lord. God gave him a personality that caused people to love
and follow him God blessed him with th g ift of writing hymsn (we call them Psalms) that God’s
people use to this day in to express their devotion to the Lord.
Esther, the Jewish queen of Persia, was blessed with beauty, both of face and of heart. God gave her extraordinary courage and she saved her people from annihilation.
Daniel was blessed with wisdom that made him a counselor to 4 kings and with influence that had an effect in a world empire. His integrity still inspires us afer 3,000 years!
Mary was blessed to be the mother of the Messiah, because of her devotion. Her faith in God has been an inspiration to women for centuries.
Paul was given grace though he was a self-righteous Pharisee. God found him, blessed him by knocking
him down, and then gave him revelations that he wrote in the New Testament letters that shape
our faith to this day.
If you know these Bible stories, you will also realize that in each of the examples I’ve chosen, there were extended times of intense trials. Despite being blessed these men and women lived in a world that brought them pain. They struggled with doubts and fears, and that they experienced moments of personal failure! The fact that they were blessed - did not give them a pass from the tests and trials that are common to the human experience!
For many of us there is a deep misunderstanding about what it means to have a blessed life.
At least in part that is because of the so-called ‘heath and wealth’ gospel that is heard all over this land. Too often the ‘American Dream’ and the Gospel of Christ get stirred into the same pot. Faith is twisted into ‘possibility thinking.’ God’s blessings are defined in terms of success, measured primarily by wealth and fame!
There is a terrible teaching that is all too common that says ‘if you believe enough, praying the right kind of prayers using the right words, you can make anything you want happen by using God’s power!’ It is a lie, the re-packaging of the most ancient sin of pride, which was introduced in Eden with the declaration, “You, too, can be a god!” God is God alone. We certainly must cooperate with Him in order to live in His blessings, but we are not solely the creators of our own destiny!
As I preach about preparing to prosper, I want to disavow the ‘health and wealth’ gospel up front. I am talking about a life of true blessing, a life marked by prosperity more important than wealth or fame, and a life of eternal significance which God loves to give to those who will walk by faith. REVIEW Gordon MacDonald’s definition of a blessed life –
“God desires to pour out on people gracious and uncommon gifts: gifts might include personal affirmation, intimate relationship, extraordinary challenges to destiny, and remarkable energies that surpass the limits of we think of as normal....” The Life God Blesses, Nelson, 1994
TEXT - Matthew 7: 9 - 11 Pew Bible page 1506
Our Heavenly Father loves to bless us.
That much the prosperity preachers get right! Where they err is in ignoring that God is the Ultimate Good Father, that He remains the One in charge, that He is never obligated by our prayers or good works to give us anything we want. He sees what is the very best thing in life for us, from the perspective of eternity, and provides all that we need, to live out the purpose and destiny He has planned for us!