Job 35:3 Missing The Real Blessings

Missing piece

Yet you ask him, ‘What profit is it to me, and what do I gain by not sinning?’ Job 35:3 

The world does not see sin as sin. They do not have a solid foundational moral code to live by, so the rules to not sin mean nothing to them. Those in the world make the rules as they go along to meet their needs at the moment. It has to fit the rule: if it feels good, if it helps me, if it does not directly hurt anyone else, then do it.

Elihu pointed out a question that many believers have asked over time. People often want to know what benefit there is in not sinning.

This question is often asked of the world because of what they see in believers. If the believers they are seeing are living their life just as the world does, in sin, then it is a good question. There are many believers living in such a way, that they do not look any different than those who are not believers. Their lives are not set apart, holy unto God.

Living like this, causes a bad witness for Jesus. It turns people away from God, because why should they follow someone who requires some change, yet, they never see the change. There is no difference in how they live.

Other believers also question giving up sin, because of the troubles they are going through. They look at the challenges in life as God is against them. They watch non-believers seemingly going through life having everything going for them and no problems. As they see this, they begin to wonder why they should give up sin, why not keep sinning and enjoy it, life will be the same or even better.

Living like this misses the blessings God has for a person. The peace and joy of a relationship with God, the hope of eternal life, and the work of God in their lives.

God allows bad things in your life to build you and help you be His witness. It is not to tear you down or crush you, but to build you up.

Living in sin brings on many problems, ultimately separation from God for eternity. Having temporary pleasure in sin will not be worth losing eternal life with God.

Keep your focus on what God is blessing you with, even during times of struggle. Don’t allow yourself to look back and choose to go back to sin. It is not worth it.

I pray today that you will see the blessings God is giving you; that you will know the peace God has for you; that you will see the benefit of following God; and that God will help you to keep from looking back to sin.

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1 Samuel 1:27-28 Give The Children To God

Children in church

“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” And he worshipped the LORD there. 1 Samuel 1:27-28 

Every day thousands of children are born all around the world. While the majority of parent’s are pleased to have the child, there are also many who do not want the child. They see the child as an inconvenience and not a blessing from God.

As there are people who are having children, there are some that want a child and cannot have any. They cry out to God and doctors all the time to have a child without any success or favor.

Hannah was one of those women who wanted a child, but could not have any. After crying out to God and making a vow to Him, God gave her favor and gave her a child. Shortly after the child was born, Hannah fulfilled her vow to God and gave the boy, Samuel, over to God to serve Him his whole life.

Every child that is born is a blessing or a gift from God. Parents are given the child by God to raise to know God and serve Him.

However, many parents raise the child to serve themselves, rather than serve God. They hold on to the child and do not want them to do what God has for them to do. Parents often determine every step the child takes for his whole life–what college to go to, what career to do, where to live, and much more.

Today children are not given over to a temple or church, as Samuel was, but they can be given to God to use in the way He desires.

If you are a parent, you need to see your child as a gift from God to raise. The best way to raise your child is to give Him back to God to allow God to use the child in the best way possible. God has great works for your child to do. Do not hold your child back, by trying to raise the child your way.

Samuel became a mighty prophet known by the whole world, because Hannah gave him back to God. Give your child back to God and see what God can do through your child.

I pray today that you will trust God with your child; that you will allow God to guide your child; that you will allow God to use you and your child for His work in this world; and that God will change this world through you and your child. 

Judges 8:27 Worshipping The Blessing

Golden ephod

Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there and it became a snare to Gideon and his family. Judges 8:26 

Getting a gift or blessing from someone or a group for something that was done extra is always a good thing. It shows a person that he is honored and his extra work is recognized.

Companies and organizations around the world will often have times of honoring those who do the work. They recognize people who have gone above and beyond their job or position. The honor can be one of many things, such as a plaque, gift of money, a gift card, a picture, name in a newsletter, an extra vacation, and nearly anything the mind can think of.

There is nothing wrong with getting honored with a gift. However, there are some people who worship that gift.

After Gideon had defeated the Midianites, the people had given him some of the gold from the plunder they had taken. This gold was melted down and made into an ephod. Immediately the people and Gideon started to worship that ephod. It was as though the ephod had saved them from the Midianites.

Not only do people in the world tend to worship the blessing that was given, there are people in the church who have done the same thing. They may not say it is God, but they talk about the honor given as though it is the best thing in all of life. They keep it clean and posted where everyone can see it, and they make sure that people see it.

This is taking the honor of what God has done away from Him. It is focusing on what self did. The blessing ends up being worshipped more than God.

Take a look at your own life. What honors have you received over the years? How do you respond to those honors?

Be careful to keep you eyes and focus upon God. When people talk about the honor or blessing, point them back to God as the one who helped you do what you did.

Do not allow the honor or the blessing take the throne of your life or anyone else’s life. Do not allow it to become a snare pulling you away from God.

Everyone deserves some honor, but keep it in the right perspective–God made it possible.

I pray today that you will recognize God’s work through you; that you will give God the honor due to Him; that you will not worship things or positions in your life; and that you will worship only God. 

Genesis 23:16 Being Generous

Autumn landscape

Abraham agreed to Ephron’s terms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weight current among the merchants. Genesis 23:16

People are always striving to pay the least amount that they can for whatever they purchase. They fight hard to get the price lower or even free. While it is wisdom to pay a good price for a service or object, it can become stingy or greedy to pay less than a fair price or what it is really worth.

Christians are often very stingy with their money among other believers. Each one expects the other to donate their service or their goods, because they are both believers. They expect the one doing the work or giving the goods to be the generous one. If the person does not donate his time or goods, many believers are offended and go to someone else, or talk bad about him.

As Abraham had been traveling, his wife, Sarah, had passed away. Since he was in a foreign land, he had to purchase some land to bury her. He went to a man named Ephron to buy some land. Ephron wanted to give him the land at no cost, yet, Abraham insisted upon paying full price, and finally paid full price for the land. Abraham was the one being generous and refused to take something without paying the right price.

There may be times you are being given a service from another believer. Instead of just expecting it for free, offer what is a good price for the service. There may be times the person wants to donate the service or object, but do not expect it. Be generous in what you have and pay the right price. This is blessing the other person.

Think about what God has blessed you with. God is generous with you in what He gives you. God has provided the price for your sins, death on a cross. Yet, He does not charge you for it, He is generous to you. Pass that generosity on. God will provide more than all that you need.

Be the one who is a blessing to another person by being generous with your money, services or goods, but do not expect it from others. If someone is generous, you may accept, but do not expect it.

I pray today that you will know what God has given you; that you will be generous to others as God was to you; that you give as God has given to you; and that you will know God’s provision for your own life. 

 

1 Peter 3:9 Repay With Blessings

 

Flowing river

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9

Every day people insult or do something wrong, evil, to someone else. People can be mean and hateful to others on a regular basis. Some are violent, while others are not violent in action, but in words.

The reaction of most people is to strike back. It is common that the strike back is done in the same manner, violence for violence, bad words for bad words. Others may not strike the person directly, but talk badly about him to others, cutting him down in public.

The world believes that a person has the right to strike back in the same manner. They use evil to combat evil. In this they are just compiling sin upon sin. They are making the situation worse. It will usually continue to build, each person adding more to the fire.

God does not work that way. Jesus did not work in that manner when He walked on the earth. As Jesus was being whipped, beaten and nailed to the cross, He did not strike back physically or with words. He actually blessed the people asking God to forgive them.

Believers are to pour out blessings upon those who do evil to them. It does not matter if the evil was done intentionally or by accident. Giving a blessing, is showing love–God’s love to the person.

People will hurt others, both believers and non-believers, because that is the nature of man–to sin. Believers are to show love and compassion, not hate. They are to leave the vengeance up to God. They are not to return evil for evil or insult for insult.

There will be times when someone does evil to you or insults you. Before you react, think about how God has treated you when you insulted or did evil to Him. He showed you love and blessed you. Take that same blessing and pour it forward to another.

Do not allow yourself to fall into the trap the world has of repaying evil for evil. Do not allow yourself to fall into sin because of someone’s bad actions or words.

In the end God will bless you greater than getting revenge will ever help you. Live as Jesus lived, not as the world does.

I pray today that you will know the blessings God has given you; that you will be filled with God’s love for those who offend you; that you will give God’s blessings to those who hurt you; and that you will be a blessing to those around you.

Matthew 5:7 Having Mercy

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7

Mercy is not giving out a punishment that someone deserves. God is seen as full of mercy. As a sinful human being, every person on this earth deserves punishment in the worst possible method, yet God loves people and is willing to forgive them.

Every person loves to have mercy shown to themselves. People often beg a creditor that they owe to allow them some extra time to pay the bill. The courts are filled with people who have committed a crime begging the judge for mercy in the sentencing.

While everyone wants mercy, very few want to give that same mercy. Most people are out for revenge on someone who hurt them.

Often it is said that the people in the church are the worst at this. Many more “mature” believers all too often will condemn a newer believer for doing something they have learned to not do or feel God does not want them to do. Or someone has wronged them and people want full judgment brought down.

Along with inside the church, many believers also cast harsh judgment upon the world. Often many will pray that God destroy a non-believer who is in leadership. They forget that at one time they were a non-believer. The world does only what they know to do. As a believer you must show them the love and mercy of Jesus.

It is often seen when a disaster hits an area, believers say that they had it coming because of all the sinful practices done there.

You should not be quick to condemn a person. Yes their actions may be sinful and they refuse to follow God and are heading towards hell, but you must see them as God does–a lost child.

Jesus said that if you want mercy, you must show mercy. Be willing to work with a person with faults, not just condemn. You can show the wrongs being done, but don’t punish them as quickly. Ask God for guidance in when to show mercy. There is a time for punishment, but not always.

Remember if God did not show you mercy, where would you be today?

I pray today that God will strengthen you to show His mercy to others; that God will guide you in how to show that mercy; that you will be filled with God’s love for people; that God will show you mercy in your life; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.