March 15, 2022
The blessing of God is when God takes something natural and makes it supernatural. When He takes the normal beyond normality. When His hand and his smile are upon a person, a family, a land. To be under God’s blessing is to be in the optimum position for this life and the next.
THE DIVINE PRESCRIPTION
… is given for such a life to the Israelites as they prepare to enter the Promised Land, modern-day Israel. In a simple paragraph God gives them, once again, the pattern they must follow to know God’s blessing.
To live under God’s blessing, the Israelites were to do whatever was necessary to remember God’s word. In Israel today, you will see Orthodox Jews who have small black boxes called phylacteries on their forehead and arms. These contain a portion of this very passage. They took it literally, but for most, mechanically.
God wants His word on our hearts more than anything else. We must be daily at His throne, listening to His Word. Our great goal of our study is not mere knowledge, but Him. It is to see Him and know Him and love Him more and more.
And He wants us to be careful to teach these truths to our children. This is not a one-shot training. We are to disciple our kids constantly … “when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.” The truth of God is to be integrated and shared and lived 24/7. We are called to live in unceasing communion with God and to invite our family and those we disciple into that journey.
But it is not enough to just know God’s Word. We must be “careful to keep” all that He has said. That would be impossible if it were not for the Holy Spirit who has come to indwell every believer. The Spirit gives us the power—if we will rely on Him daily, hourly—to do everything He asks us to do. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” Paul said (Philippians 4:13).
Do you want a God-blessed life? The prescription is simple. Love the Lord above all else, listen to Him through His Word and prayer, and follow Him in the power of the Holy Spirit. God loves to bless those who follow Him!
Father, give me grace to look to You. To turn my eyes from the gods of this world who call for my attention. Help me get my training at Your feet from Your Word and prayer. And then, give me courage and strength to do everything you ask. And finally, help me a continual discipler of those You put in my care, beginning with my family.
March 29, 2023
As a pastor for the last 55 years, I have had the joy of being encouraged and blessed and prayed for by so many people. It is what carries you in your task of shepherding people. As I look back over five decades of ministry, their love has dramatically enriched my life.
But also, a pastor leads. And when anyone leads, there are almost always some who disagree.
March 28, 2023
March 27, 2023