#blessed: Lesson 1: Part 2

March 22, 2018

I’m so happy you’re back for Part 2! We are studying the word blessed, so let’s do a quick recap.

 

BACKGROUND

There are four main words which have been translated blessed in our modern English Bible translations:

 

Old Testament (Hebrew)          

barak

esher

 

New Testament (Greek)

eulogeo

makarios

 

APPLICATION

We’re starting our word study with barak and eulogeo, which we know refer to being divinely favored and consecrated to God. Today we’ll finish up our conversation about blessings, which we learned are outward symbols of divine favor and consecration to God. We left off in Part 1 having answered part of this question:

 

What about the things that don’t feel good to us, and what about good things that are bestowed upon people who aren’t consecrated to God? Are all blessings from God?

 

So let’s get right into it! We’ll start here today...

 

Are all blessings from God?

 

Yes! The Bible is very clear that anything good and favorable is from God:

 

John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven. (John 3:27, NASB)

 

For who makes you so superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? (1 Corinthians 4:7, BSB)

 

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (James 1:17, NASB)

 

Remember, the very definition of the word blessed acknowledges the existence of God. This being the case, why do so many people use the word blessed - why don’t people just say “I’m lucky?”

 

I believe we don’t like to say we’re “lucky” because that would somehow make the good things in our lives seem random and meaningless. Or, maybe we don’t say we’re “lucky” because that would insinuate we hadn’t worked hard to earn what we have. But even when we work hard, it is still up to God’s discretion what form our blessings will take.

 

God bestows good things upon people at His discretion because EVERY blessing points back to Himself!

 

Remember too, God’s view of “good” and man’s view of “good” aren’t always the same. This is where we must trust the character of God - that He is right, perfect, and just:

 

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. (Deuteronomy 32:4, NIV)

 

But here’s the dichotemy...how can we trust God’s character when we don’t know Him?!

 

The longer we walk this journey with God, and the closer we draw to Him, the more we will see the truth of Who He is begin to take shape in our lives. (We’ll talk more on this in the weeks to come)!

 

The Bible says God has set eternity in the hearts of men (Ecclesiastes 3:11), so we were all created to know He exists from somewhere deep inside our souls. To acknowledge that something good has been bestowed upon us, we are inadvertently acknowledging the existence of a Bestower!

 

We’re going to pause here for just a second. All throughout Scripture, while God was always the Bestower of the blessing, people were often His conduit. The same is true today! God often uses people to deliver a blessing (through acts of kindness, etc.) or to speak blessing over another person.

 

In Part 1 we talked about how those of us who have accepted the gift of Jesus Christ are consecrated to God as a vessel for His purposes. We are blessed in the fullest and most absolute sense of the word.

 

This brings me to another thought I’d like to propose: The most basic outward symbol of our blessedness, our consecration to God, begins with our words.

 

Do you remember the definition of eulogeo? “To praise or speak well of, to bless.” So when we are blessed, when we have accepted the gift of Jesus Christ, God has “spoken well of” us. Therefore, our words should “speak well of” the God Whom we represent!

 

Our words are powerful.

 

With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, this should not be! (James 3:9-10, BSB)

 

Our words have the power to pierce or to heal (Proverbs 12:18), to crush or to bring life (Proverbs 15:4). Our words have the power to build up and to bring grace (Ephesians 4:29) - to bless! If only more people truly understood the gravity of this.

 

How many of us desire for God to give us greater influence when He can’t yet trust us with the influence of our mouths?

 

Do we purposefully and regularly bless God and others with our words? What words come out of our mouths (or come forth from our fingertips?!) on a daily basis?

 

Gossip or encouragement?

Slander or love?

Profanity or praise?

Complaining or thanksgiving?

Cursing or blessing?

 

Goodness, this is definitely a process. God transforms us in this area (stay tuned for future weeks:) as we walk with Him. Then, as we begin to understand the weight our words carry, and the potential our words have to do good, the more we start to be intentional when we open our mouths. Let’s be Christians who speak on purpose!

 

There is one final thing I want to point out before we wrap up this week’s lesson: other people in our lives can be blessed because of God’s blessing upon us.

 

There are various examples of this throughout Scripture as well, but we’ll look at just one. We see in Genesis 39:5 that God blessed Potipher because of Joseph’s position in his household. In fact, the verse says Potipher put Joseph in charge of all that he owned, and that as a result God blessed all that he owned.

 

There is always purpose in our blessings. We are not blessed just for blessing’s sake. Yes, God wants to bless His people as a gesture of His love and favor, but there is so much more to it.

 

We’ll close by looking at the whole blessing God gave Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3:

 

“I will make you into a great nation,

and I will bless you;

I will make your name great,

and you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,

and whoever curses you I will curse;

and all peoples on earth

will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:2-3, NIV)

 

There is one thing God makes clear over and over again throughout Scripture: we are blessed to be a blessing. Period.

 

Why?

 

Because every blessing points back to God!

 

#blessed

 

PRAYER

Oh God, I thank You and praise You for the many blessings You have poured out upon my life. Help my words and my presence be a blessing to the people within my sphere of influence, that You may use me to point them to Yourself!

 

PONDER

1.  Do I purposefully and regularly bless God?

 

2.  In what ways can I intentionally bless others, both through my words and my presence?

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