…by Jeff Sanford
Blessing. We all love blessing, right? Often, when I seek God in prayer, that’s what I ask for…blessing. Bless me. Bless my marriage. Bless my kids. Bless my finances. Bless my church. Bless my travel. Bless my efforts. Bless this. Bless that. As a follower of Christ, I am good at asking for blessing.
However, I am not nearly as good at noticing the ways that God has already blessed me. I mean, I got that job because I did really well during my internship. And the promotion, well that was just because I worked really hard. My talents…I’ve spent numerous hours sharpening my skills. We may not admit it, but that’s how many of us think. But the truth is that every blessing that comes our way comes from the hand of God (James 1:17).
And often, I’m too busy complaining about all the things I haven’t been blessed with to pause, look around, and notice all that I do have. Every one of us has been blessed beyond measure. We’ve haven’t all been blessed in the ways that we tend to recognize (namely, financially), but we are all living blessed lives. Think about it this way. God, who created galaxies and sunsets and mountains and caterpillars and jellyfish and flowers, loves YOU and sent his only Son to die for YOU while YOU were still rebelling against Him (Romans 5:8). The fact that God even thought about me for a second makes me wonder why, but that the same God sacrificed His Son to make right all of the wrong that I’ll ever do while I was still running from Him makes me recognize that I am loved and blessed and that I actually owe God my entire life.
As Greg mentioned in his message, God did not bless us with life, gifts, talents, finances, etc. so that we can sit back, relax, and “get fat”. God blessed us so that we can go and share that blessing with others (Genesis 12:2-3). It only makes sense. Since the blessing is not of my own doing, then I have no right to hoard it. Hoarding the blessing is my attempt to bring glory to myself (Genesis 11:4), while giving sacrificially is a way to worship and give glory to God for what He’s already done.
So, this week I’m going to pause, recognize, and thank God for all the ways that He’s blessed me. I’m going to pray that the Holy Spirit will grant me power over my own selfishness and transform who I am so that I have a generous heart. I’m going to pray that God will supply the courage and faith to give sacrificially to the Jesus mission in view of all that God has blessed me with so that I can continue the system of blessing that God started in my life.
P.S. I’m also going to pray that I do more than just honor God with my lips and with my written words but more so with my heart and my actions.