Blessed or Blissed?

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22

It is a gross misconception when we equate God’s blessings with God’s sanctioning. Even Jesus decried this delusion when he said, “For he (God) maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45).

False teachers presume to preach a gospel of prosperity and mislead millions into believing if you’re blessed you must be pleasing to God and conversely, if you’re not blessed, you must not have enough faith. This is a miscarriage of the Gospel that Jesus taught…Blessed are the poor, the mournful, the meek, the merciful, and the persecuted! (Matthew 5)

This list reads like a “who’s who” of mistreated, brokenhearted, and the socially outcast of our day. What the world views as weakness, God sees as a trust in His Strength that is made perfect in weakness. What the world sees as poverty, God sees as being an heir to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Paul warned Timothy, “all that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Again, quite contrary to what’s being preached by counterfeit Christians. Jesus even warned we’d be hated by men for His name’s sake. So much for that popularity contest!

Don’t be sold a bill of goods that touts if things are rosy in your life you’re on easy street with the Lord. The very things Satan used to tempt Christ were the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. Had Christ taken those invitations to mean there was a “cushy” alternative to Calvary, He never would have been crucified, resurrected, and given us salvation and eternal life.

God does indeed bless His people in so many ways, but if we’re so infatuated with the blessings rather than the “Source” from whom all blessings flow, we’re in extreme peril of being “blissed” rather than “blessed!”

21-Day Fast (Day 15) ALL or Almost?

Scripture: Acts 26:26-29

For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. 28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. 29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.

As Christians, we have more than likely heard some of the same rhetoric. We spend hours with individuals sharing the love and Gospel of Jesus Christ with our friends and families only to hear the dreaded words spoken…Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. At least Agrippa didn’t lead Paul on by professing to believe, and refusing to change his life and completely turn it over to God.

Almost

Almost can be defined as, “slightly short of; not quite; nearly: almost time to go; was almost asleep; had almost finished.” How many of us, reserve a section of our heart for the “almost-factor.” As if to say, “just in case this doesn’t work, I have an out!” God’s not looking for people who almost love Him, and almost serve Him, and are almost faithful to Him. Because almost making it to church – isn’t making it at all. Almost telling someone about the Love of Christ – isn’t telling them at all. Almost living for God – isn’t living for God at all. And, almost making it to Heaven isn’t going to get you there. The key is, following through!

Golf Swing 101

I do not profess to be an avid golfer. I’ve made several attempts at it only to get a few good shots that make me keep repeating the frustrating game all over again, thinking that perhaps I’ll actually get good at it one day. A vital ingredient to a healthy golf swing in addition to keeping your head down, is to ensure you follow through with your swing. Not following through, will get your ball “almost” to the green. Which by now you’ve learned is not getting to the green at all. You need a solid follow-through on your swing to ensure you gain the optimal distance and height on your ball. Failing to do so will result in golfing like “Yours Truly!”

Commitment

On a more serious note, we must follow through if we expect to make to the Kingdom! Empty promises, vows, and unfulfilled commitments are not only an embarrassment (or should be), but they’re outright lies. I know situations arise that may interfere with our commitment, but they should never prevent you from completing it. God didn’t give you a limit on how many times to keep trying, but almost fulfilling our duty as a Christian – isn’t fulfilling it at all. No matter how many times you fail remember the scripture, Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me (Micah 7:8). The difference in people that get back up and try again, and people who wallow in self-pity and defeat? Provebs 24:16 – For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. So keep getting up. Keep trying.

In Closing

Don’t almost follow through with the commitment you’ve made to Christ. Matthew 10:22 tells us,”And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”

How Do I Feel?

I feel blessed! Because I know, Christ didn’t almost die on the cross for me. He didn’t almost rise from the dead. And, He didn’t almost fill me with His Spirit…Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6)