And God Blessed Them

​So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” – Genesis 1:27‭-‬28 ESV


#InHis Image #Blessed
And God blessed them.

“Blessed” 

In Hebrew,  the word is:

בָּרַךְ

If we were to sound it out ourselves,  it would be spelled like barak (bä·rak). What is interesting about this word is its meaning and usage in Hebrew. It means to kneel – and interestingly enough it is translated as blessing 302 times in the old testament,  but it is also translated as curse or blaspheme 6 times. How odd for blessing and cursing to come from the same word. I just find that so interesting! 

And the reason is because the Word is about relationship and position with respect to God. You see,  we were created to kneel,  to submit,  to yield to God. And if we understand who God really is, we would be honored to worship Almighty God, Heavenly Father. But if we’ve made some imperfect image of God in our heads that is more like ourselves, there’s no reason some might ask,  “Why do I have to worship God, that just isn’t right.”

For example,  let’s say the person we’ve lobbied for and campaigned for the whole year to get elected into office wins, and we are offered the opportunity to formally present them at their inauguration – wouldn’t we be excited?  But what if that other person won and we are faced with the same opportunity? Isn’t is clear that how we see God affects whether we see kneeling to Him, worshiping Him, obeying Him as either a blessing or a curse? 

And how this word for “kneeling” has gotten twisted into the worldliness of having an abundance of things – that’s not blessing! That’s responsibility to be a good steward lest the stones and beams in our own houses cry out and testify against us about the poor and the hungry and the afflicted at judgement! 

I’m talking about real blessing – a life surrendered to Christ,  not just in a confessed sinner’s prayer,  but in a believing heart that bears the burdens of his fellow men and that shares this Good News to the ends of the earth. Yes, a life anointed and flowing in the Spirit,  bearing fruit, renewing their mind, bringing Hope into the dark places, encouraging others in faithfulness, and leading one another in the holiness that is loving one another.

That is blessed. Blessing is kneeling surrendered humbly at the foot of the cross, not rich and proud at the edge of the cliff of worldliness and sinfulness. 

May we all be blessed by the reading of, and the meditating upon, the Word of God today. Thanks be to God! Amen!

Money, Sex, and God

Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.  Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?
Hebrews 13:1‭-‬6

God of my heart and Lord of my desire: money and sex are powerfully good gifts from you, yet both can become dangerous idols. Order my heart and discipline my desires so that money and sex have their pepper place. May the affections of my heart never run contrary to any of your commandments, but may your love be my greatest treasure. In Christ’s name, amen. (HC 113)

Do we desire the things that God can give us,  or do we desire His Spirit ever more alive and present in our daily lives as we grow glory by glory closer to our Heavenly Father? If we have this perspective backwards, if we cry out for prosperity in this world instead of crying out for God alive in us,  those same “things” can quickly become a curse instead of a blessing.

Money and wealth placed in the hands of a selfish man can lead him into all kinds of dangerous traps where he becomes an oppressor and a hindrance to his brothers and sisters.  But when it is placed into the hands of the faithful,  it can be a blessing for him,  his family,  his friends, and even to the strangers that he entertains and serves lovingly.

Sex brought to the awareness of an immoral man can lead him into all kinds of traps and soul ties with immoral women, to children not provided for physically or spiritually, to diseases and depression and all kinds of wrong thinking about the value of people and marriage. But sex in the hands of a godly and righteous man who loves the Lord will produce an abundant family of children who are brought up to be nourished both physically and spiritually, who will be a benefit and not a drain on those around them and their community.

And it comes down to the type of prosperity that is being sought after – do we seek things for ourselves, or do we seek God to offer ourselves?

Many, Lord , are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
Let the light of your face shine on us. Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord , make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:6‭-‬8 NIV

Excuses?

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.
Romans 1:20-22 NLT
http://bible.com/116/rom.1.20-22.NLT

How many will claim with their mouths that they know God? How many of these same people will not worship Him or give thanks to Him? And I’m not just talking about showing up to a church service once a week or saying a memorized set of words before eating  a meal – those actions can be empty and devoid of any true worship or praise. I’m talking about worship and praise – recognizing and demonstrating to God with a heartfelt reaction that we love Him and that He alone is worthy of our attention, our drive, our focus.

Continue reading “Excuses?”