"15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them" --John 13:15-17
If you had the choice of being blessed or not being blessed, I'm sure you would pick the former. Me too. I want to be blessed. However, being blessed is not a spiritual welfare system. There's something that we have to do in order to be blessed. We can't just sit back and collect, we have to achieve and strive for something greater and higher than ourselves. We have to do what we're told.
Jesus' life was our example. The things He said...the things He did...why He said the things He said...why He did the things He did. Jesus said, "this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day" Jesus was/is the will of God. He did what the Father told Him to do. He was blessed. He even went so far as to say, "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves." The works He performed were done in order for us to believe Him.
His life was a life of miracles to be sure, with a miraculously lived life to accompany it. When we know how and why He lived as He did, and in turn, actually attempt to do those same things, He gives us a promise that we will most assuredly be blessed. "For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.". (Luke 12:48) When we fill our hearts with the word of God through study, we learn from Him and begin to perform ever "greater works" than we could ever do on our own.
This is the key to being blessed. I'm not talking about "blessing" in the sense of financial prosperity and the whole 'word of faith movement' idea which links prosperity to godliness. 1 Timothy 6 tells us that proud, know-nothing, argument seekers teach that godliness is a means to financial gain, and from such we should withdraw ourselves. Paul tells us they are men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth. What is it exactly that they teach? That by your godly giving, you will be blessed 100 times over with God's abundant prosperity. Umm, you'd better turn the channel. (Although, finanicial blessings can never hurt in a pinch).
Real, Godly blessing is being rich in love and patience and kindness and grace and mercy. Being filled with God's Spirit and walking by faith. Living a life of character, integrity, and purpose. A life of meaning. The only true and eternal way to be blessed is to live how Jesus lived by knowing His example and doing it for yourself.
Oh, you will fail...many times...miserably. But, knowing that "His grace is sufficient for me" and that "He gives more grace" sustains and motivates me to press on. It's a good fight, but a good fight is still a fight. You'll get knocked down and not feel like getting up. You'll look around you and see all those giants and feel like a little grasshopper in their sight, and you'll want to run away. Many times we throw the towel in and say, "Enough! I don't want to go on!"...and He knows it. But let me tell you, He never leaves and He never forsakes. He is always there, and sometimes it feels like He's just hounding us...even to the point of us saying, "What do you want from me?" He's in pursuit of us.
The only way to overcome that feeling of God looming instead of abiding is to do what He wants. Is it to stroke God's massive ego? Absolutely not. On the contrary, He wants us to do what He wants in order for us to be blessed. And what exactly is it that God wants from us? It's for us to live as Jesus lived and do the things He did, in order for others to believe and be blessed as well.
William L Cox
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