Words of Life ~ BLESS(ed)(ing)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings
in heavenly places in Christ:”
Ephesians 1:3

If our main purpose in seeking God is to receive a blessing, then our blessing will most likely be in vain. The blessings we seek for ourselves are usually selfish and without substance. True blessings will be returned to the sender from grateful hearts with the fruit of praise unto His name.

“The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Shorter Catechism

As God’s children, we live under His constant showers of blessings. We are continually blessed even ~ and sometimes more so ~ in our most dire circumstances. Let’s explore this word used extensively in the seasoned Christian’s vocabulary.

Here is the link to the 463 words BLESS, BLESSED, or BLESSING(S) recorded  in the KJV.

Old Testament H1288
bârak, baw-rak’; a primitive root; to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration), and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit);

If blessing begins with God, it must mean that He kneels ~ or should we say, He condescends to us ~ in order to bless us. He must, from His height of glory, look down upon us in pity and love. This is itself our blessing ~ that He has any interest in us as mere creatures. This is where our hearts are warmed to receive what He has planned and is willing to pour down upon us.

When we experience His blessings, it becomes our second nature to return the blessing to Him.

The first use of the word BLESS is found in Genesis 1:22 refering to God’s blessing Adam and Eve and His creation, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

In Genesis 2:3,  “God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”

In Genesis 9:1 God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”

Genesis 12:2 records God’s blessing for Abraham,“I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:”

Genesis 14:20 is the first record of God being blessed

“And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

God blesses Sarah to give her a son in Genesis 17:16

Genesis 27:35 relates to Jacob’s deception in taking away Esau’s blessing.

Genesis 32:26 speaks of Jacob’s wrestling with God. “And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.”

The following is a well-known blessing we use for others.

“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26  

“Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day:” Deuteronomy 11:26-27

The blessing refers to life.

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: Deuteronomy 30:19

One of the most familiar verses shows us in a negative way how a man is blessed. Then the next verse in the positive showing the connection of blessings and delight.

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord.” Psalm 1:1-2

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”
Psalm 32:1

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.Psalm 33:12

“The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.” Proverbs 3:33

“Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways.” Psalm 128:1

 Blessings returned to the Lord

“Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.” Psalm 72:18

“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Psalm 103:1

“The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.” Psalm 18:46

“I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.” Psalm 145:1

“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1

 The promise of blessing in our obedience of bringing our tithes to Him.

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10

New Testament G3107
makários, mak-ar’-ee-os; supremely blest; by extension, fortunate, well off:—blessed, happy(X -ier).

The word in Greek carries with it a greater meaning. We should understand this as relating to the greater blessing we have in Jesus Christ.

The most familiar are the blessings Jesus promised in the Sermon on the Mount ~ commonly called the Beatitudes. He taught that happiness is not based on the physical things of this life but in the spiritual life He came to give.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, they that mourn, hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, persecuted for righteousness’ sake and when men shall revile you. The blessings that come after are recorded after each of these.

With the promised blessings is the command for us to bless those that curse us (Matthew 5:44).

Because our Lord has stooped to bless us, we are able to bless others as well as kneel before Him and bless Him for His work in and through us.

Blessings are promised to those who hear the word of God, who keep it, do His commandments, and endure temptation.

 “But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” Luke 11:28

“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
Revelation 22:14

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12

  Jesus’ last blessing to them before His ascension.

“And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.” Luke 24:50-51

He is the blessed and only Potentate, King of kings and Lord of lords.

“Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;” 1 Timothy 6:15

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1 Peter 1:3

As children of God ~ the blessed people of God living in His abundant mercy and hope ~ let us live daily in obedience to Him.

Dear Father, fill us with the Spirit of Christ today. In humility and reverence to you, let us  experience your blessings flowing through us to others. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Love Your Enemies


“O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.”
2 Kings 6:17

The king of Syria is perplexed as to how the king of Israel is evading him and his army. When he learns that the prophet Elisha is foiling his attacks, he sends his horses, a great army, and chariots at night to surround the city of Dothan, where he plans to capture Elisha.

The next morning, when Elisha’s servant saw what was happening, he said to Elisha, “Alas, my master, what shall we do?”

Elisha is not bothered at all by the situation and answers his servant with assurance, “Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” 2 Kings 6:15-16

Elisha then prayed the prayer that revealed God’s presence and power. He said, “Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see.”

The Lord answered Elisha’s prayer and opened the servant’s eyes so that he saw a “mountain full of horses and chariots of fire” around them.

Elisha prayed again, but this time for the Lord to blind the army. When the Lord answered this prayer, Elisha led them to Samaria.

Again, Elisha prays – this time for their eyes to be opened. When this happens, they see that Elisha has brought them to the king of Israel, who could have killed them; but Elisha tells the king to give them food and water.

“So he prepared for them a great feast, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians did not come again on raids into the land of Israel.”
2 Kings 6:23

This story reminds me of three references in the New Testament. The first is of Paul’s words in Romans 12:20.

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Then the words of John come to mind, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

But, more than these, we have an example of Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, from Matthew 5 and Luke 6 to “love your enemies.” (See related article and sermon links below.)

We do not have prophets like Elisha in the world today. The prayers he prayed were for a different time. Now we have the Spirit of Christ to assure us of His love, His protection, and His wisdom. We don’t see the supernatural work of our heavenly Father with human eyes, but our eyes are opened spiritually to see and to know that He is always with us and how He works through us to respond to our enemies.

Before leaving His disciples, Jesus said to them:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20

Throughout the Old and the New Testaments, God promises to be with us. Elisha’s first words to his servant are, “Fear not.” Many of the books of the Bible quote these words from the Lord. In Isaiah 41:10, KJV, we read,

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

Dear Father in heaven, thank you for the prayer you gave Elisha so that his servant could see your marvelous work on their behalf. Give us faith to believe, and not fear what man may do to us. Thank you for bringing us into your presence, and opening our eyes to see the King of kings – not to receive your wrath upon us, but heavenly food and drink, and eternal blessings. Keep our eyes focused on the wonders of your great salvation in and through your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  And enable us to love our enemies as you  have loved us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Fran (Excerpt from PRAYERS That Bring the House Down)

Related article and sermons: From Daily Thankful Tough Love
Love Your Enemies Matthew 5:25 ~ Ryan McKee ~ Northern Ireland
Love Your Enemies Luke 6:27 ~  Chris Strevel ~ Georgia, USA

The Starting Point for Happiness

A sermon may put you to sleep. It may pass over you without leaving its mark — or it may very well pierce your heart, lodge within your soul, humble you and change your life. Such was last week’s message from our pastor as he began Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount.

If you have studied Jesus’ Sermon recorded in Luke’s and Matthew’s Gospels, you may know that the word Blessed is a description of a true follower of Christ.

In the Christian language Blessed translates Happy. Jesus’ teachings were radical in His day and in ours to show by His own life and His Words that the kingdom of God begins in the hearts of those who are humbled before Him.

This sermon serves to awaken again the desire to share what I have studied and written about the subject of Humility. It has been a constant study since 2014 through Andrew Murray’s Humility ~ the Beauty of Holiness; when I posted A Broad Review of his book — a chapter every month that year.

Since then, I have been using that Broad Review, (published in 2017), with its main points, to saturate my mind, to meditate, ruminate and perpetuate the truths of God’s Word concerning the character of humility that is desperately needed in our hearts and lives. The humility of Christ within us is our blessedness and happiness.

Please watch ~ more importantly ~ listen to this sermon and visit with us this week for snippets of the reality of Humility that you may have never known or heard.  May the Lord bless your week. Fran