Blessed

Are you feeling blessed or stressed these days?   A lot of people are still reeling from the effects of what has been a chaotic year.  How do you define blessed?  Most of us would say we are blessed when things are going our way, when life is good… good job, good marriage, good kids, good health, good neighbors… When life is good, we feel blessed.  


In other words, we feel blessed when we are physically and relationally prosperous.  And in many ways, God absolutely blesses us in those ways;  but He blesses us in many more meaningful ways.  When Jesus taught of being blessed, He spoke of being spiritually prosperous.  We see that clearly in Matthew 5, when Jesus started His sermon on the mount by helping us to clearly understand how we can experience God’s blessings in what we call the Beatitudes. 


3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,

    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are those who mourn,

    for they will be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek,

    for they will inherit the earth.   Matthew 5:3-5

Blessed in the New Testament refers to “happiness” and “bliss”.  If I asked you what it takes to be happy, filled with bliss, what do you think most people would say?  More money, more stuff, more influence, more followers on twitter or Instagram, more “likes”. 

Those things may bring happiness and bliss… until they don’t… what happens when you lose your influence, or enough people don’t like your posts, or your income shrinks or your health suffers or your kids make poor choices?  If your idea of blessedness is superficial, defined by material wealth and health, you will find yourself discouraged, disappointed and disillusioned.    


Blessed refers to a state of spiritual well-being and prosperity.  The happiness is a deep joy of the soul.  To be clear, the Beatitudes describe who we long to be as faithful Christ-Followers and disciples.  These represents the amazing benefits of following Christ.


Three Ways God Blesses Us…


1)  God blesses us by rescuing us from spiritual bankruptcy.   (Matthew 5:3)


What did Jesus mean when he said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit?”   The idea Jesus is teaching is not that we are simply spiritually “poor”, but that we are spiritually “bankrupt.”  You may know what it means to be financially bankrupt.  It means that you are unable to pay your debts.  Your debts exceed your assets and your ability to pay.  You are completely over your head in debt.


The truth is that we are all completely over our head in sin debt.  We could never pay that debt on our own.  Even the wealthiest or richest person in the world is spiritually bankrupt because of sin.  (1 John 1:8)


Being “poor in spirit” is admitting that, because of your sin, you are completely destitute spiritually and that you can do nothing to overcome that debt.  But Jesus goes on to say, “For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  So what does that mean?  This phrase refers to salvation… It is the good news that we are not destined to live eternally bankrupt!  God has provided a way to salvation… to pay our debts.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9


To be saved is to surrender my life to Jesus Christ.  It means to declare your spiritual bankruptcy by confessing your sins and asking Jesus to save you.  Realizing that your debts were paid on the cross.  (Ephesians 2:8-9).  When you do that, God begins a new work in you; you get a fresh start!  (2 Corinthians 5:17)


Have you declared your spiritual bankruptcy and surrendered your life to Christ?  Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to work in you, producing good fruit?  If not, do that today!  You will be blessed!  


2)  God blesses us by relieving our deep grief over our sin and failure.  (Matthew 5:4)


The “mourning” that Jesus is talking about is deep grief.   Have you ever grieved over the loss of something or someone very important to you?  If so, you know how heavy that grief was.  This is the kind of grief Jesus says we will experience because of our own sin and failure.  


But Jesus promises that those who mourn over sin will be comforted!  How?  Because we are comforted by the Holy Spirit…He is our Comforter!  We are comforted in the certain hope that our sins are forgiven.  We are comforted in knowing that God is not done with us… that He gives us hope and a future in Christ!  (1 Peter 1:3)

Do you mourn over your sin?  Does it grieve you deeply?  Are you leaning on God to change you… to make you into the fully devoted disciple of Christ He longs for you to be?  When you do, you experience God’s blessing!  


3)  God blesses us when we submit our lives to His control.   (Matthew 5:5)


Meek means having the right or the power to do something but refraining for the benefit of someone else.   I have heard it defined as “strength under control.”   Jesus was the model of meekness, even to the point of death.  (Phil. 2:8).


Jesus calls us to be meek. Christ-Followers are willing to give up our desires for God’s desires; willing to give up our will for His will; willing to give up our time, our treasures, our talents to serve Him… When you are meek, you will be blessed; you will inherit the earth!  


Are you willing to be meek?  To surrender your life to God’s control?   Is there any area of your life you are holding back, unwilling to humbly surrender to Him?  


For much more click here to watch Blessed - Part 2 - Blessed When Bankrupt.

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