Saturday, July 23, 2016

July 24, 2016

"Blessed is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly , nor stands in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down where the scornful gather."   Psalm 1:1

Here's a pop quiz: "Would you rather be blessed or cursed?"

I think I know your answer.

Though the answer is obvious, the significance of that answer is not. You are either one or the other. If you are not blessed you are cursed. I say that because I fear there is a tendency to think that there are shades of blessedness. But the fact is if you are not living under God's blessing you are cursed. There are not "kind of blessed" or "sort of blessed" people. His blessing begins with the removal of the curse. Unless you understand that you will not appreciate the importance of being blessed.

The writer of the Psalms spells out clearly what it means to be blessed.

I like the Amplified Version of the Bible to give clarity to the undesrstanding of Biblical texts. Here is how it explains what it means to be blessed: BLESSED =  (HAPPY, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable).

You can plug in those synonyms without it altering the meaning of the verse. HAPPY is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly......."

To be blessed means to be happy! Happy about what? He is happy because of Who he loves - God! He is happy because of how he lives - godly! And He is happy because of what he learns - the Word of God!

Also, you can substitute the word "fortunate" as well! A blessed man is a fortunate man because of what Jesus did for him on the cross! Notice it didn't say "lucky" it said fortunate. Blessing comes as the result of right choices and decisions not from a random confluence of events.

Thirdly, you could replace "blessed" with "prosperous". Usually, a blessed man becomes prosperous because he makes good choices and wise decisions that result in profitable outcomes for a "blessed" man.

You have it within your power to live a  "blessed" Life! The question is, "Will you?" Will you choose to live a bless life? Now that you know three things God blesses and you refuse to do any of those things - you will live under the curse of sin and pride.

Do you love God with ALL your heart?

Do you live according to His Word?

Do you have a desire and a discipline to learn His Word?

Loving, living and learning lead to blessedness! 

Reject the curse - receive the blessing!

July 23, 2016

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” Mark 8:29

You don't have to be a believer to begin following Christ. His early disciples were slow to "get it" when it came to faith in Christ.

You don't have to be a saint to begin following Jesus. Everyone of His disciples were sinners when the first began to follow Him.

But there will be defining moments as you follow Christ that will confront you with His claims and what you choose will change you forever.

We find Peter and the disciples at just such a moment in this verse from Mark's Gospel. They had experienced a great miracle when Jesus feed 4,000 with a few spare morsels of food. Then they saw Him restore sight of a blind man. Witnessing those supernatural events should have provided clear evidence of Who Jesus was. Yet, when Jesus asked them point blank, "Who am I?" there was only one who answered and for once Peter got it right!

"You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!"

Even though you may begin following Jesus without knowing Who He is once you are confronted with the truth of His true identity you can never be the same. This is a defining moment that will identify you as a disciple or as a doubter.

In this instance, Peter stepped up and declared Jesus as the "Messiah". "Messiah" is the Hebrew word for "Anointed One". The Greek equivalent of Messiah is "Christ".

Life changes the moment you finally understand Who Jesus REALLY is. Life changes when you fully grasp Who He is! Life changes because you change once you meet Jesus face to face you are confronted by His glory and His love and His righteousness and your own lack of the same. It is a defining moment! You cannot remain the same! 

It matters that Jesus is the Messiah!

It matters that you know it!

But what really matters is who you do about it!

He may be THE Messiah but until you surrender to Him and make Him YOUR Messiah you will not benefit from all He has to offer.

Have you declared Him your Messiah?

Have you confessed your need of Him?

Have you received Him for the forgiveness of your sins?

Have you anointed Him as your Savior and Lord?