July 18, 2017

Do you brag about your many blessings?

I know your hear it, and maybe you say it.

"I am (or we are) so blessed, because of ..." and just fill in the blank.

What are you thinking?

Rain, sunshine, a bonus, a promotion, or money of any type, earned, inherited, or found under a rock?

A new house, a new church building, a safe trip, a good parking space, a productive garden?

Most always it will be for something material (it will rust/decay), and/or physical (it will perish).

With no doubt, we are to rejoice, and here is the "when" that we find in James 1:2.

We are told to count "it" (or life) to be all joy when we encounter various trials or temptations, like when someone lies to/about you, or when you find that your "best" friends aren't even "sort of" friends any longer, and when life looks "hard" in the eyes of others who see with old eyes.

And Jesus tells us that we are blessed when we are full of mercy, and mercy is only given to those who need it, like those who will not, and cannot reward us for caring for them, and those who betray us, and those who revile us.

And he goes on to say that we are blessed when we are peacemakers, and a peacemaker never will gossip, or hate, or hold a grudge, or look to get even, or betray anyone.

And so do you think that you are blessed?

Are you using that word "blessed" correctly?

You see, even the heathen are blessed if you are going to talk about the rain, and the beautiful rainbow, and a promotion, and more money, because they will get all those things.

Hitler had money, and power, and sunrises, and flowers, and friends.

But Hitler had the wrath of God on him, as do all sinners.

John 3:36 tells us that God's anger is on the ones who disobey.

Do you disobey?

If so, then you are still experiencing God's mercies even while his wrath is on you.

All sinners enjoy mercies like bountiful harvests, beautiful homes, and good food, health, and wealth.

Do you give thanks for all of that in your life, and is that why you would say that you are blessed?

God does not hear the prayer of thanks from those who regard iniquity in their hearts (Psalm 66:18).

You can go ahead and pray, and give thanks, and make your requests known to God, but he will not be hearing you if you have sin in your life, and anyone who sins has sin in their life.

Mormons pray. Every cult I know of has members who pray. Do you think God hears them?

He does not.

Jesus tells us in John 3:19 that sin is done for the love of it.

And then there is this: If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me (Psalm 66:18).

To sin (iniquity) is to love sin.

That is what "regard" means.

When you tell a family member, who has come to visit, and they are headed home to see grandma, who you have not seen for some time, "Tell grandma I send my regards!" then are you saying that you want them to tell her that you have a warm spot in your heart for her?  YES.

If you still sin, then that is what you have in your heart for it— a warm spot.

You will have a divided heart, and that type heart does not stand.

James 1:8 tells us that type of heart is unstable in everything.

Repent of hate, and be washed clean, and be set apart, and know of grace, and be filled with love.

All sin boils down to hatred for God, and/or others.

You will be holding something against God, like he has not "blessed" you like you think you deserve, or something like that, and you will be holding a little something against someone/everyone.

While still in sin, repent of it, or agree with God that you hate, and that hate is murder.

If you choose not to repent, then your soul will perish in sin, and you will be one of those who stand at heaven's door, and argue with Jesus, like those we read about in Matthew 7;21-23, and you will be saying, "But I prayed! I gave great testimonies about all my blessings! I said your name, and I made demons leave people, and I held Bible studies, and did good things for you!"

And Jesus tells "certain" people, who say those things, but don't go to heaven, that he does not know them, and they must depart from him.

Specifically, what does Jesus call them?

Do you know?

Check it out.

Study.

See if there is any wicked way in you.

Argue with God about your sin, and your love for it now for it will be too late later.

Know what sin is, and why it is that you do it, and figure out if you have really been born new.

Know what a blessing really is, and answer honestly if you rejoice when people revile you.

Know also that you will be reviled IF you are truly born new, for when you speak truth, and when people around you hear it, and they don't want to give up their sin, then they will hate you.

Know that regardless, you will continue to speak truth, and you will rejoice.

You will not be looking for blessings (more stuff, "good" parking places, or any temporal things).

You will know that great is your reward in HEAVEN.

You will long for it with all your heart if you truly have eternal life in you now.

To be blessed is to be a peacemaker.

To hunger and thirst after righteousness (God) is to love him with all the heart.

That is his command.

Are you blessed?

If so, then you will not be bragging about it, but you will be boasting of your weakness, and of the power of the Holy Spirit in you, and rejoicing only that you know God.

And you will weep over the lost, and while people revile you, you will rejoice and pray for them to be blessed, and you will know that you are on the right path, and that God hears you when you pray.

Now that's blessed.




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