28 Since we are receiving our rights[as] to an unshakeable kingdom[at] we should be extremely thankful and offer God the purest worship that delights his heart[au] as we lay down our lives in absolute surrender, filled with awe. – Hebrews 12:28 TPT
God sent Moses to deliver the children of Israel from the bondage in Egypt. Because of their stubbornness and disobedience to what Moses told them to do, the generation of people that left Egypt never made it to the Promised Land. Except for Joshua and Caleb, the whole multitude of people died in the land east of Jordan. Because of their faithfulness and obedience, Joshua and Caleb received the promised reward of entering into the Promised Land. They were allowed to partake of the blessings of eating crops they did not plant, drinking water from wells they did not dig, and living in houses that they did not build. We have a better message from a better leader than Moses. We have heard from God Himself. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins and show us the way home. Those that do not believe the message He brought will be shaken and separated like chaff from the wheat. But if we remain steadfast and unshakable, we shall sit at the banquet table and enjoy the wedding feast that Jesus has prepared for us. We shall live in a city not made with human hands and spend an eternity with Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Lord. A better way that brings a much better reward.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Our attitude should always be one of obedience to God. This attitude should be reflected in our love and service to our fellow man. What that relationship is does not allow us to change the way we do things. We are working for Jesus, He is our only Master. If we can be sure that what we are doing and how we are doing it pleases Him, then He will give us an inheritance with Him as our reward. Working here on earth does not get us rewards from God in the here and now. Those rewards are laid up in heaven where nothing can destroy them. The blessings we receive here on earth are just that, they are blessings given to us freely by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. — Psalm 73:22
Psalm 73:22-28 NLT Have you ever wondered if God thinks about us in these terms? I am sure that satan, the old deceiver, would like for us to believe that He does. If we have ever had these kind of thoughts, we should be like the Psalmist here. In his very next breath (or verse in this case), he immediately gets his head on straight by remembering what has happened in every instance in the past. The Psalmist realizes that he is speaking from a bitter heart and he has been questioning God’s wisdom. God never leaves us nor forsakes us nor does He cast us from His presence. Instead, He reaches down to us and if we reach up to Him, He takes us by the hand and continues to lead us toward our glorious destiny. The Psalmist remembers that God is our strength, our fortress and our shield. We allow satan to sneak these silly ideas into our minds when we are focused on the horizontal. We need to stay focused on the vertical. That means spending time alone with God, praising and thanking Him for His goodness and His blessings. If we do this, we can be assured that God will set the rest of the world straight in His own time. “The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. — Galatians 3:14 NLT
God blessed Abram with abundant natural blessings and changed his name to Abraham. What did Abraham do to deserve these blessings? He did nothing to earn them. Blessings are gifts from God, they are not rewards for good works. We can never do enough or be good enough to earn blessings from God. The greatest blessing we receive is salvation. That gift is free and cannot be earned. Since the greatest gift of all was freely given, why do we feel that we have to earn the lesser gifts? The blessings come because of God’s great love for us and His covenant promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed through his seed (or child), not seeds or children. It is singular meaning only one and that one is Jesus Christ. So, all of our blessings come through Jesus Christ and because He gave His life for us at Calvary. The debt was paid in full for all the blessings we receive. If good works can earn salvation or any blessing then Jesus Christ died in vain. The good works are to lay up rewards in heaven and to earn crowns that we can lay at the feet of Jesus. Good works are a part of our worship here on earth. The rewards we receive for those good works are laid up in heaven and will be used to worship Jesus there. The blessings we receive here are a taste of what is to come and to encourage us to continue and never turn back
All the blessings and gifts that we receive while we are here on earth are because Jesus was and is full of grace and truth. There is nothing we can do to earn these blessings. If we could earn them, they would not be called gifts. Every blessing and every gift is given for one purpose and one purpose only. They are to be used to further the works of the Kingdom of God. We do not need to be worried or concerned that God will run out of blessings and gifts. No matter how much He gives, there is always more to be given. As we use these blessings and gifts to further God’s work, we lay up our rewards in heaven. God has given us everything we need to live a Godly life here and has given us promises of an eternity with Him. The fulfillment of those promises is the hope that helps us to endure persecutions and to share His Divine nature while we are here on earth.
23 “As for me, I will certainly not sin against the Lord by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right. 24 But be sure to fear the Lord and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you. 25 But if you continue to sin, you and your king will be swept away.”
— 1 Samuel 12: 23-25 NLT
I would like to urge and encourage each of us to keep on praying for our nation. Pray that our current leaders will lead us in paths of righteousness so that we can return to being “one nation” instead of a nation divided by greed, selfishness and ethnic differences. Pray that we will stop being Americans separated by hyphens. That we will all just be Americans. A nation divided cannot stand. Pray that the voters will be led by the Holy Spirit and vote for those that will continue to lead us back to God. Pray that there will be a great renewal that starts in each of our hearts and spreads throughout our communities and our country. Let each of us remember the many great blessings that God has poured out on this country and teach those things to future generations. If we refuse to humble ourselves before God, as individuals and as a nation, we and our country will be swept away. Pray that God will be merciful to us just as He was to the Israelis.
44 You will know that I am the Lord, O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!” — Ezekiel 20:44
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
19 God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? 20 Listen, I received a command to bless; God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it!— Numbers 23:19, 20 NLT
God is the Creator, we are the created. We are bought and paid for with the blood of His Son, Jesus. He has every right, legal and anywise, to do with us as He pleases. He can, and does pour out blessings on those He chooses to bless and curses on those He chooses to curse. However, being a just God, He does not make random decisions out of anger or fits of jealousy. His decisions were made before the foundations of the earth were laid and they are based on His foreknowledge of our actions. He is never taken by surprise by any thoughts that we have or any actions that we commit. He can only reveal those decisions to us after the fact, so they often seem to be made in haste, but nothing could be further from the truth. Because of His great love for all of His creation, He has and still does warn us over and over about the consequences of unbelief and disobedience. The fact that He has complete foreknowledge of how we will respond has never and will never keep Him from warning us over and over and weeping over our disobedience. Recall what Jesus said about Jerusalem, how God had sent all the prophets to warn them and yet, they refused to be obedient and even murdered the prophets. Jesus wept bitter tears over Jerusalem saying “how often I have wanted to gather your children as a hen gathers her chicks, but you would not” (Matt. 23:37). He still gives us those warnings about grieving, bringing sorrow or rejecting the Holy Spirit.
30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. — Ephesians 4:30 NLT
So, let each of us today, make a new commitment to listening to and following the leadership of the Holy Spirit so that God will be pleased with us.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous