I just celebrated my 63rd birthday! Praise the Lord! I always take the day off on my birthday and spend time with Jesus. As I was sitting and thanking Him for life and listening to what He had to say to me, He gave me a word, “BLESSED”.
I have been blessed with family and friends. I was blessed on my birthday with encouraging words, beautiful cards and thoughtful gifts that showed me how much I am loved.
As I reflected more on this word and what I have been blessed with I wrote in my journal that I have seen His kingdom come here on earth as it is in heaven in my life and many others lives. Blessed!
I was led to Ex 33:12-23 and as I was reading and reflecting on these verses, the words in verse 12 jumped out, “I know you by name and you have also found grace in my sight.” Blessed!
As I continued to reflect on the word, “BLESSED” I thought of Eph 1 and the Beatitudes in both Matthew and Revelation.
This all got me thinking about what it really means to be blessed? What am I really blessed with? Have you ever really thought about the answer to these questions?
The Greek word often translated as “blessed” is makarios, which means large, lengthy and to pronounce happy. The kind of happiness that comes from receiving favor (grace) from God.
In the Beatitudes Jesus says that those who display the inner qualities of a faithful servant of God are blessed and He gives an explanation of the blessing. Blessed is a deep joy-filled contentment that cannot be shaken by any trial or tribulation we face in life, even grief, war or persecution. The situations in the Beatitudes are far from “blessings” according to the world however because God is with those of us who follow Jesus, we are blessed by Him in them! With this in mind read and reflect on Mt 5:3-11.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. (Mt 5:3-11 NKJV)
As I read and meditate on these scriptures I am overwhelmed with God’s goodness and joy that causes me to praise God. Those who recognize their spiritual poverty and cast aside all self-dependence and seek God’s grace are blessed! The blessing is the kingdom of heaven. Those who mourn (bereavement and the sorrow of repentance) are blessed with comfort. Those who are humble and exercise self-control (the character and fruit of Holy Spirit) will inherit the earth. Those who keep a pure heart shall see God. Over the years I have asked Holy Spirit to help me, especially when going through trials, to keep a pure heart (free from unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, offence and hurt) so that I can see and hear from God as to how to respond in a way that would be pleasing to Him and bring glory to Him. I encourage you to take a closer look at all the Beatitudes and the blessings bestowed on followers of Jesus who display His character and allow His presence to work in us through all circumstances.
As followers of Jesus we are blessed, regardless of circumstances. Remember that the material things we crave can never bring genuine happiness or contentment. True fulfillment can only be found in a relationship with God through Jesus (Ro 5:1-2). Because of what Jesus has done on the cross we can receive the full blessing of God through faith in Jesus.
Look at Eph 1:1-8-read it slowly and meditate on it.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, (Eph 1:3-8 NKJV)
WOW! What are we who are in Christ really blessed with? We are chosen, holy, without blame, predestined to adoption, accepted, forgiven! All because of His grace!
So you can see that being blessed according to the scriptures is much different than what the world considers as being blessed. Being blessed only comes from fellowship with God through Jesus. To be blessed is to know God’s presence in our lives now and for all eternity.
Did you know that there are seven Beatitudes in the book of Revelation? I have listed them below. I encourage you to read and meditate on them and you will be both encouraged and challenged and probably even convicted!
- Blessed ishe who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is (Rev 1:3 NKJV)
- Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed arethe dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” (Rev 14:13 NKJV)
- “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed ishe who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” (Rev 16:15 NKJV)
- Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed arethose who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” (Rev 19:9 NKJV)
- Blessed and holy ishe who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (Rev 20:6 NKJV)
- “Behold, I am coming quickly!Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” (Rev 22:7 NKJV)
- Blessed arethose who do His commandments that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. (Rev 22:14 NKJV)
What stood out to me is those who read, hear, keep and do His commandments will be blessed! So I have purposed in my heart to continue to ask Holy Spirit to help me to love, serve and follow Jesus. To worship Him alone. To trust in Him alone. To be obedient to what He is calling me to do in the power of Holy Spirit.
Two scriptures have been on my heart lately and I have been asking Holy Spirit to help me live them!
"If you love Me, keep My commandments. (Jn 14:15)
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt 28:19-20 NIV)
You will be reading more about these two scriptures in my next blog.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 2:7 NKJV)