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Posts Tagged ‘blessing’


KJV and NKJV Scripture

– A lord on whose hand the king leaned, answered the man of God and said, “Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?”  And, Elisha said, “Behold, you will see it with your own eyes – but you shall not eat thereof.” – 2 Kings 7:2

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could have windows in heaven to see what goes on behind the Pearly Gates on a regular basis?  A lord back in the Old Testament wanted such a thing – because he would not take God at His word.  Even though He had already promised to end a long Samarian famine in exactly 24 hours and provided exact details about the provisions, He didn’t say how it would come to pass (2 Kings 7:1,3-16).

Despite God’s assurance, all this lord could see were dry skies and hear nothing but the rumbling of empty, hungry stomachs.  He could not perceive anything but more starvation.  So, he wanted some proof – not a promise.  Well, God delivered as declared.  Everyone had food to eat and share.  Except this man – whose doubt shut him out from the bounty.  God killed him for his lack of faith (2 King 7:17-20, Hebrews 11:1).

There’s an old saying of “Be careful what you wish for.”  What we may want to have or see, can be quite different when actually before us.  It can be a far cry from what we might have perfectly imagined in our minds beforehand.  Many may wonder what a God who does not sleep (Psalm 121:4) keeps busy with sitting upon this earth’s circle (Isaiah 40:22).  What would we really see if we could peek into heaven?

Would we see how God goes about performing a much-needed miracle in someone’s life?  Perhaps. Would we view how He arranges for an unexpected blessing to be bestowed on a desperate soul?  Maybe. Would we witness how He orchestrates the death of someone?  Well, this is exactly what we read about in 1 Kings as God asks all the host of heaven who will execute His evil upon King Ahab (1 Kings 22:19-21).

Why?  Ahab had hardened his heart against heaven (Hebrews 3:15).  Following after idols and working much wickedness in the Lord’s sight (1 Kings 21:25-26).  Repeatedly disobeying God – until God cut Ahab off without remedy (Proverbs 29:1).  Sending down an angel to make Ahab’s prophets lie to him (1 Kings 22:22-23) – so he would go to Ramoth-Gilead as he wanted all along, and die there (1 Kings 22:29-37).

Heaven doesn’t have windows for good reason.  We could see God creating evil (Isaiah 45:7) – and not pleasing things.  We would not have any need for the spiritual work of believing a God we can’t see (John 1:18, John 6:29) – if we could see all He was doing   Nor would we have to live by faith (Romans 1:17). We could just turn our faces to the sky and witness how and why some things happen – and some don’t.

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– We are unprofitable servants.  We have done that which was our duty to do. – Luke 17:10

– And turn ye not aside; for then should ye go after vain things which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. – 1 Samuel 12:21

Most people who have jobs probably like and enjoy receiving small tokens of appreciation from time to time for their good work.  Every now and then, it is also nice to receive some raises, bonuses, and an occasional promotion.  Otherwise, who would ever want to keep working for any company that never noticed the efforts of those who worked for them?

Being unappreciated can cause some to start seeking new jobs elsewhere – maybe a different place where supervisors are known to openly show their gratitude for work well done on a regular basis.  Efforts usually feel much more worthwhile when tangible rewards are given.  However, such desires in any Christian doing work for God reveal a dangerous and worldly mind.  

A mind where believers expect recognition, love gifts, and follow after earthly reward or profit for all they do in the Lord’s name.  It is no different now than it was back in Biblical days (Hosea 9:1, Isaiah 1:23, Malachi 3:14).  However, we don’t do a little bit of work for God, then sit back and wait for blessings and rewards before going out to work some more (Luke 17:7-10).

All of the work we do for God is our reward.  It is not a means to get one.  It is reckoned of debt, not grace (Romans 4:4).  We’re to do our duty as commanded. Not for what we may think is due back in return – but for what God gave us at the Cross.  Christ paid the ultimate price.  Therefore, He doesn’t owe us a thing in life.  We are the ones who owe Him everything.

We are God’s unprofitable servants on this earth – not profitable employees.  The King is served by the field. It is not the other way around (Ecclesiastes 5:9).  We did not bring anything into this world, and it is certain we cannot carry anything out (1 Timothy 6:7).  All the earthly blessings we may think God is bestowing upon us in our life – will be left behind when we die.

God tells us to take heed if we depart from Him and turn aside after Satan in unbelief (Hebrews 3:12-19, 1 Timothy 5:15).  Part of unbelief is if we run greedily after the error of Baal (Jude 1:11).  Baal is where we get Beelzebub (2 Kings 1:6).  Satan is worshipped and served more if we think we should be served with profit from God.  It makes Him a liar (Romans 1:25).

This is holding the truth in unrighteousness, and it is having a foolish heart (Romans 1:18-21).  Such belief says He should be thanking and giving us His glory for being such good Christians (Mark 10:18) – falling all over us with worldly favor and blessings (Romans 2:11).  This is a lack of understanding.  It is seeking earthly good; but not seeking God (Romans 3:11-12).

A worldly mind equates work with wages.  Good and steadily dedicated work over time may be rewarded with a raise.  However, if we’ve been born again of the Spirit (John 3:5), we have been given Christ’s mind (1 Corinthians 2:16).  It says to humbly obey God until death just as Jesus did (Philippians 2:8) – without earthly profit or gain on the way (Jude 1:11).

God requires us to have an unwavering walk with His Son down heaven’s narrow path (Matthew 7:14).  If we ever anticipate any worldly presents and blessings from Him for work we do, we don’t have the steadfast faith needed to be made partakers of Jesus at the end (Hebrews 3:14).  What we have is a desire for steady profit; which actually creates a stop-and-go walk.

We’re saying to Him we will obey and do our duty a short while – then stop and collect our reward first before we proceed any further (Luke 17:7-10).  It is telling Him we still have affections focused on fleeting worldly things as a reason to stay faithful; and not on things above (Colossians 3:2).  We are still laying up treasures for ourselves on earth (Matthew 6:19-20).

We are plainly letting Him know we are still seeking a better country here; and not willing to wait with the confidence and patience required for a better country awaiting in heaven (Hebrews 10:35-36, 11:13-15). However, what does it matter if we should gain a whole world of profit during our brief life (James 4:14) – if we lose our soul in the end (Mark 8:36)?

 

 

 

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this?  For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You. – 1 Chronicles 29:14

– For it is in giving that we receive. – St. Francis of Assisi

We cannot receive anything in this life, unless it is given to us from heaven first (John 3:27).  It does not matter what we may give or offer to others – either time, love, money, materials, etc. – you name it and it came from God to begin with.  Freely we have all received from the One who richly gives us all things to enjoy – freely and willingly we are to give it away (lead verse, Matthew 10:8, 1 Timothy 6:17).

Not with tight fists, not grudgingly, nor out of any personal want or need, but cheerfully and fervently out of hearts purified by obeying the Spirit of truth within us (Psalm 23:1, 2 Corinthians 9:7, 1 Peter 1:22).  Giving as purposed in our minds out of what we have – not out of what we do not.  Not so anyone is overly burdened or eased, but so there is equality among all people (2 Corinthians 8:11-14).

We brought nothing into this world – and it is certain we can carry nothing out (1 Timothy 6:7).  Therefore, in the time between the cradle and the grave, our lives do not consist in the abundance of things we possess (Luke 12:15).  We are not to spend our short time here seeking our own wealth – but the wealth of others (James 4:14, 1 Corinthians 10:24).  Sharing – for the profit of this earth is for all (Ecclesiastes 5:9).

If we have this world’s good, and see a brother in need – and shut up our bowels of compassion, how can we say the love of God dwells inside us (1 John 3:17)?  If we have two coats, and see one who does not, we are to give them one.  If we have extra food, we are to share it with those who are hungry (Luke 3:11).  Not telling others to come back later, if we have the ability to help today (Proverbs 3:27-28).

Always making sure we don’t sound a trumpet touting our well-doing and giving – for doing such signals we are searching for glory not belonging to us (Proverbs 25:27).  It’s not truth.  When we do our alms, we are not to let our left hand know what our right hand is doing.  So when we give like this, only God notices – and rewards us openly (Matthew 6:1-4, James 1:27). Otherwise, our intentions have to be questioned.

We will not fool God if our inner motives for giving and doing good things are not pure and unfeigned before His eyes (Hebrews 4:12-13).  God is always pleased when we do good (Hebrews 13:16) – but not when we go around calling attention to our charity. Christians have been given the mind of Christ, and we are to always mind the example Jesus set before us (1 Corinthians 2:16, Matthew 9:30, 1 Peter 2:21).

If we are following Jesus as we claim, then God promises to supply all our need according to His riches in Christ (Philippians 4:19).  We are to be content with our wages, so we won’t needlessly spend time trying to exact more than what God has already appointed us (Luke 3:13-14).  This way, we can spend such time doing unto others as we would have them do unto us – even if they haven’t (Matthew 7:12).

If we bring all our tithes into the storehouse, so there is always food in God’s house – then He says “Try Me now in this.  If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing there will not be room enough to receive it (Malachi 3:10).”  If we’re hoarding all our stuff and money as some sort of earthly reward for our work – or as protection against future uncertainties, God has warned us.

The grounds of a certain rich man brought forth a plentiful bounty.  He did not have room to store it all. His solution?  It was not to share it.  It was to pull down the barn he had – so he could build even bigger barns to hold it all.  So, he could then say, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for years; take it easy – eat, drink, and be merry.”  However, all he had could not save him later that same night (Luke 12:16-20).

The man was rich towards himself, and not towards God (Luke 12:21).  The hoarding of his harvest was a personal reward for all his hard work in sowing and growing.  So he could sit back, relax, and take a break for a couple of years.  Why should he give away some of the bounty to people who had not toiled for it?  What was so wrong with stashing it away for personal use in case of future crop failures?

Because God’s economy is one of giving, not getting. When we do good and distribute to others with the right heart motivations, we can communicate this message to others.  So others start to see Christ in us (Ephesians 4:20-32).  When we give to all others out of a good conscience towards God (1 Timothy 1:5), with charity flowing from humble hearts established with grace (Hebrews 13:9) – it will be given back.

With good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, men shall give into our bosom.  For with the same measure we give it out – it will be measured back to us (Luke 6:38).  By doing so, and considering the poor in the process, God will deliver us in our times of trouble (Psalm 41:1).  Laying up in store a good foundation for the times to come, so we may lay hold on eternal life (1 Timothy 6:18-19).

 

 

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Also, take no heed unto all the words that are spoken, lest you hear your servant curse you.  For oftentimes also, your own heart knows that you yourself, likewise has cursed others. – Ecclesiastes 7:21-22

– For every man’s word shall be his burden. – Jeremiah 23:36

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone spoke exactly all the right words we’d like to hear – everywhere we went; every day?  Nothing but warm, well-wishes coming forth from truthful tongues?  When has that ever happened?  If we keep letting words we think are said the wrong way, in the wrong tone, and at the wrong times to ruin our days – we’re probably not going to have many of them.

From the time we get up, all it can take is wrong talk to us at some point after that, to wreck any good mood we may have had earlier on.  We can leave home with a super mood in the morning – then come back with a sour one that night – all because of words.  We may have been able to brush them off a bit before God with some decorum during our day out in public … until we got home (2 Kings 19:27).

Someone cursed at us.  Another said something upsetting.  One person uttered words most would perceive as harmless – but it was the “tone” they used with us.  What was it they “really” meant? However, we may never know how the words we’ve said to others have been likewise.  If we examine our hearts in this regard, we should see we’ve been on both ends of give and take at times (lead passage).

It is true that blessing and cursing should not come out of the same mouth (James 3:10).  However, the tongue is an unruly evil – full of poison – which only the truth of Christ can tame (James 3:8).  This truth is inside us by faith as Christians through the power of the Holy Ghost.  So we’re rooted and grounded in His love (Ephesians 3:16-17).  So we learn Christ in time (Ephesians 4:20-32).

So we learn not to speak reckless, wrong, or grievous words.  One corrupt communication from a Christian can damage the testimony of many (1 Corinthians 15:33, Ephesians 4:29).  We have had our conversation in the world before (2 Corinthians 1:12).  It is now to be as it becomes the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27).  So we talk and walk worthy of God (Job 13:7, 1 Thessalonians 2:12).

Unbelievers do not have the power of the Spirit to set a guard over their lips (Psalm 141:3).  They are still going to communicate from the abundance of their hearts – which is the world.  Our tongues should be talking out of the abundance of ours – which is the Word (Luke 6:45).  No matter what others may say to us, we know how to answer them with graceful words, seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6).

God once put a man named Shimei – cursing up a storm – in the path of David and his men (2 Samuel 16:5-6).  How did David react (2 Samuel 16:11-12)? Our Father might just decide to do something similar with us.  Bidding unbelievers to speak bothersome words – at times we may least want to hear them. For Him to see how those of us proclaiming to be Christians respond – with blessing or curse.

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing.  My brothers, these things ought not to be. – James 3:10

– Let them curse – but You bless.  When they arise, let them be ashamed, but let Your servant rejoice. – Psalm 109:28

Shimei came tearing out of his house, hurling both curses and stones at David and his men.  One of them named Abishai said, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord, the king?  Let me go over – I pray of you – and take off his head (2 Samuel 16:5-6,9).” However, David knew better than to react so harshly and hastily.  He knew Shimei’s speech and behavior had been bid from above (2 Samuel 16:11).

Perhaps as a test from God, to see if David or his men would curse Shimei back.  Getting into a war of words – or weapons (2 Timothy 2:16).  David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).  People back then might have had a hard time believing this if David was getting himself into shouting or shooting matches with everyone who did not like him – or what he was doing.  Shimei certainly didn’t.

Shimei was from the house of Saul, the previous king.  Shimei cursed David, calling him a bloody man of mischief.  It’s why Shimei thought David had lost his kingdom (2 Samuel 16:8).  But – David thought God might requite him some good for not cursing back (2 Samuel 16:12).  So, he and his men just wisely walked away – with Shimei still cursing, throwing stones, and casting dust (2 Samuel 16:13).

Can a fountain send forth – in the same place – sweet water and bitter?  Can a fig tree bear olive berries?  So can no fountain yield both salt water and fresh (James 3:11-12).  Likewise, how convincing can the testimony of any Christian claiming to be following Jesus, sound to any lost or unbelieving person – if blessing and cursing words should be coming forth from the same set of lips?

If we have heard Jesus, and have been taught by God’s truth now dwelling in our hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:16-17) – then we are to put off the conversation of our old man (Ephesians 4:21-22). We are not to be deceived, for evil communications corrupt good manners (1 Corinthians 15:33).  We are not to let such talk come forth from our mouths (Ephesians 4:29).

Oh, but the tongue – no man can tame.  It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:8). Mankind has tamed the biggest of beasts, but our tiny tongues can still kindle a wildfire like hell.  One cursing comment from the mouth of a Christian can do that – damaging any prior testimony (James 3:6-7).  How can we possibly curb cursing words from blurting out – and replace them with blessing ones?

Our every word will be our burden (Jeremiah 23:36). We will be justified or condemned by them (Matthew 12:37).  However, Jesus Christ said that out of the abundance of our hearts, our mouths will speak (Matthew 12:34).  What we fill our hearts with, has to eventually emerge from our lips.  These hearts are like vessels which can only hold so much, before something spills out in speech (Matthew 9:17).

Following or favoring any part of the world has to be partly reflected by our words.  They can appear quite Christian-like for quite a few days – full of seeming kindness, love, and compassion.  Then some care, complaint, want, or worry of the world walks in – and our heart speaks accordingly (Psalm 23:1, Mark 4:19, 1 Peter 5:7).  Making it very hard at times for others to believe anything we’ve said before.

God sets a blessing, and a curse before us each day (Deuteronomy 11:26).  However, back and forth our words can go – between the Word and the world. Blessing people one day, cursing others the next – both from the same mouth (lead verse).  The lost can’t hear without a preacher (Romans 10:14).  If they hear cursing words coming from Christians – why would they want to come closer to the Cross?

We are to let our conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:27).  Our communication is about things above – not below (Philippians 3:20).  Always exercising a good conscience, so our talk is void of offense towards God, and towards men (Acts 24:16).  So those who speak evil of us, may be ashamed for falsely accusing our good conversation in Christ (1 Peter 3:16).

Do we think God is not going to send us shouting and cursing people who don’t like us as Christians, similar to how He did by putting Shimei in David’s path?  To see how we respond?  Perhaps people who have been hurt by a church, or a previous cursing word spoken by us.  Those who can’t wait to catch us in our words – maybe hoping for some slander to slip out – like some did with Christ (Mark 12:13).

We can offer them the same hope of salvation as we have (Romans 8:24-25).  Having sanctified God’s truth in our hearts, so we speak such to others with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15).  No matter what they are saying or doing in return.  Or, we can keep the lost very cautious and uncertain about the Cross – by speaking hurtful or cursing words, to them or others.  And, nobody gets blessed that way.

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