Posted by: Pastor Bob Sugden | March 1, 2011

Bring on the Blessings?

This morning I received an email from someone who was reflecting on his recent devotional study of the book of Malachi. One of his comments struck me powerfully. He wrote, “Could it be that the level of blessing (we receive) is directly connected to our honoring God with the very best in our lives?”. The email writer’s thought seems to identify a connection between God’s blessing on me and my honoring of God with my “stuff”. It appears that if I give the best of my stuff to God then I should be able to expect good stuff from God. Is that really how it works?

As a father, have there been times when I wanted to bless my child, but withheld the blessing because I didn’t feel my child was giving me all the love she could? If my child dishonored me, did I ever withhold blessings from her? What are blessings anyway? Sure. I have withheld material gifts from my child because she was acting inappropriately. But, are material things truly blessings? When I read the scriptures, I read of fathers placing their hands on the heads of their children and blessing them. In those cases, material goods weren’t being bestowed. No, in those situations the father was imparting to the child a blessing (or curse) using words of affirmation.

Also, in the cases where I withheld material “blessings” from my child because her behavior didn’t meet with my approval wasn’t that more of a disciplinary measure? Almost a bribery kind of thing (I.e. “If you clean your room by 5:00pm, I will let you go and hang out with your friends.”)? Is that how God relates to us? Really?

I think the blessings we receive from God are nothing more than acts of unconditional love from Him. At times, He may choose to “bless” us with material stuff or spiritual gifts or good health or (you fill in the blank), but those “blessings” usually are given because He has a purpose for them being in our lives not because we’ve been a good kid. In other words, He wants us to do something for the kingdom so He equips us for the task. But, I don’t think that’s what a blessing is. I think a true blessing from God is given out of His heart of love for us. It is not something we earn through giving Him our best.

So, how do I get a blessing? Simply by being in right relationship with God. I can’t do anything to earn a blessing. I can’t force Him to bless me by giving Him something. That’s bribery. All I can do is remain in relationship with Him. It will be His decision if I am to receive His blessing.

But, isn’t being in a right relationship with God blessing enough? Anything else is just icing on the cake.

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Responses

  1. Pastor, Your thoughts shared in this message are right on!
    Thank you for taking the time to put your thoughts into words that are
    compelling.


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