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Topic: Blessed (11/29/04)
TITLE: Blessed Are...
By Barbie Jones
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Can having great material gain be a sign of what it means to be “blessed?”
Surely having a prosperous ministry is a sure sign of God’s blessings, right?
I’m not sure how you answered the above questions, but for the majority of my life I’ve been around people who think money is the ruler that measures how blessed a person is. If you have it, you are obviously living a good Christian life and if you don’t, there is sin in your camp.
I grew up in a Baptist church and I heard all kinds of teachings and sermons preached on Matthew 5. I would cringe every time I heard that sermon because I had a distorted view of what “blessed” in this chapter really meant. I erroneously thought the “Sermon on the Mount” was setting a standard for receiving God’s blessings. It was my misunderstanding that I would have to perform at a certain level to be blessed or die and go to heaven.
As I began to grow in the Lord, I learned that God does not expect me to perform at a certain level before I receive His blessings. But I still avoided Matthew 5 because to a degree it was still a mystery and like most people, I resisted the unknown.
One Sunday morning in February last year my Pastor changed all that. He told us to turn our Bibles to the 5th chapter of Matthew and I thought, ‘uh oh, here we go.’ I was all prepared to leave church feeling condemned, but instead I was pleasantly uplifted.
He preached from an Amplified Bible and expounded on the “Beatitudes” in a way that I’d never heard before. I was so impressed with his sermon and the way the Amplified Bible simplified, yet enhanced the word “blessed”, several weeks later I purchased one of those Bibles.
As I read the verses over and over I felt like a child in the candy store. Instead of seeing a strict set of unattainable goals, I saw the love of God and His provision in each verse.
Verse three “Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous--with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit.” is one of my favorites because I am blessed to live a life that unbelievers should envy and desire to obtain.
God’s purpose is for me to live a life of joy and satisfaction regardless to whether I feel blessed or not, because some days I do not. It is my right to prosper spiritually.
I am blessed because I belong to a wonderful Heavenly Father and I know it pleases Him to give His children good things. “The blessing of the Lord--it makes [truly] rich, and He adds no sorrow with it [neither does toiling increase it].” (Proverbs 10:22 Amp)
I daily confess that I am already blessed and so are you!
I would like to encourage you to read Matthew 5 in the Amplified Bible if you never have because it will encourage you on days when you don’t feel blessed and when you are facing storms. The “Beatitudes” will be an anchor to hold on knowing that it’s God’s idea that you enjoy happiness, joy and prosperity in your life.
I’ve found that it can also help you develop a more intimate relationship with God because it reveals who He is on a deeper level.
Some churches do not teach enough on the fact that God wants His children to enjoy life every day. He does not want us to live this life unhappy or dissatisfied waiting to get to heaven to be truly satisfied. He didn’t promise that the sun would shine every day, but He did provide the rainbow on rainy days.
Matthew 5 expresses an irrefutable truth; those in God are “blessed.”