The word “blessed” is used 82 times in the new testament. Would you be surprised to know that not once is it discussing wealth or physical prosperity?
“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 satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive 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 others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Matthew 5:3-11 ESV
And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
Matthew 11:6 ESV
Yes, Jesus turns the teachings of the world on its head when it comes to blessings, because He is more interested in opening or eyes to see past the veil of this temporary physical existence and its comforts and pleasures that we can choose to buy and lavish upon ourselves. He wants our eyes to be open to the treasure of having Him in our life, the treasure of saying “you can have all this world, give me Jesus”.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21 ESV
His teachings tell us to be more focused on helping those in need, and less in building up our own empire our wealth.
Luke 12:33 ESV
Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.
In fact, He warns us that our lavish living will testify against the true desires of our hearts.
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.
James 5:1-6 ESV
Ezekiel 16:49-50 ESV
Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.
Because how many look to their choice of mammon as their god, seeking personal prosperity and wealth and honor for themselves and moral compromise and unfaithfulness – not looking to the one true God who tells us to love God with our everything, to acknowledge that everything is His and that we are merely stewards of what we have been entrusted to manage responsibly, to love and serve others giving to the needy with an open hand, and lending to anyone who asks. But instead, we cling to our idols and we know little of the truly blessed life, because we are trading it for pieces of silver.
So we should ask ourselves, are we seeking a blessed life of service unto the Lord and unto others, our does our heart desire something else? Are we content with Jesus Christ as our portion and trust that our needs are met, or do we desire to be rich and prosperous in this life?
1 Timothy 6:7-10 ESV
For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
Hebrews 13:5 ESV
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Matthew 6:24 ESV
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Proverbs 11:28 ESV
Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
So we should examine ourselves and ask what do I truly desire most? And if it is not Christ, if it is not living and serving God, if it is not laying down our lives for one another – then we should repent, we should call upon the mercies and grace of our loving c Father to forgive us, and we should all that He change our cold hearts and that He alone should be our desire and our portion.
Or if we have no interest in picking up our cross to bear it and only have interest in claiming His name with our lips but denying Him in our actions – we should be turned away now into the darkness and be made aware of the desperate state of our wicked and rebellious hearts – so that we might count the cost of being a disciple of Christ and choose today to serve the Lord.
“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord . And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord , choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord .”
Joshua 24:14-15 ESV
Lord, strengthen us so that our choice to serve you does not testify against us. Let it be your grace and power that establishes our steps. You are Faithful and true, Lord. Let your Holy Spirit overcome our lives and let us resist evil and resist not your divine will and purpose for our lives.
But Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord , for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good.” And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the Lord .” Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord , to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord , the God of Israel.” And the people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey.” So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and put in place statutes and rules for them at Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone and set it up there under the terebinth that was by the sanctuary of the Lord . And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord that he spoke to us. Therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God.” So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance.
Joshua 24:19-28 ESV
Let us decide now what our inheritance will be – an eternity of hell traded for some silver coins and a bowl of soup – or an eternity walking with Christ who lives in us even today. Let us not seek to gain the world, but to gain Christ. Whether we give our receive, whether we live our die, let us count it all for loss of it is not in Christ.
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Mark 8:34-38 ESV
And let’s not do this out of sacrifice or obligation as if we were trying to earn our seat at the table – but let’s understand the grattitude that comes from being a free child of God, saved by the blood of the Lamb and reconciled to a life eternal with our Heavenly Father, trusting that He has prepared a seat for us at His table but testing ourselves to prove ourselves His.
Colossians 3:17 ESV
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.