....be blessed by God.
We live in the information age. The bible even states that in the "last days" knowledge would abound. Surely this is so in this hour we live in. This internet has become an information resource like no other. It is totally unprecidented. If we want to know "how to" do anything, we can usually find some answers online.
The online bonanza seems to have squelched the seminar boone somewhat, but not entirely. There are still many "how to" conferences and seminars each year for both business and church.
The hype usually involves an expose' of benefits combined with testimonials from satisfied customers. Promises then follow, that if you will attend, you too will be a satisfied customer as well.
Conferences and Seminars usually enlist the service of speakers of some notariety. Perhaps the conference or seminar is sponsered by the main speaker, with some guests thrown in as extra "attraction".
Maybe it's just a special church speaker invited by your pastor to stir up "the gifts" you received by the laying on of hands. You did receive didn't you?
Setting aside what the business community is doing, what about you, have you ever been to a church sponsored seminar or conference? Church not meaning necessarily the local church. Have you come away from these events with lasting positive affect on your life? Or was there a sense of disappointment that maybe you didn't get what "everybody else" got. Of course you're not about to say so. We do have to keep our thin veneer of exterior spirituality in tact.
We often see "altar calls" in these kinds of events, and even in local church services where there is much emontional excitement. People are asked to come forward to receive a special blessing from God in some fashion or other. Yet we too often notice, that these same folks are in the same line at the next service and the one following that one. Why is that? Are we not providing what we promise? Or is there something missing?
Maybe I'm not the only one who has felt this way at times. How do we really get a lasting blessing that benefits us each and ever day. How do we get benefit that moves us ever up the narrow way that leads to life, real life, abundant life?
Of course the bible tells us. But do we really believe it? If we believe it like we say we do, why aren't we being changed? Why aren't we being blessed? Is what the bible really teaches being taught in our pulpits, at seminars and conferences? Do we really key in on answers that have lasting effect?
How do we get "blessed by God"? I'm glad you asked. Best of all, this is free. You won't need a work book or a set of tapes. All you need do is to believe the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Now each one here will probably unanimously agree that we believe what Jesus said. Do we? I want to share with you some red letter text. It's from the Gospel of John. I've mentioned it before in passing on other threads. But let's focus on it together today.
John 14:21 The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.] (Amplified Version).
This is one of the most important verses for the believer in the entirety of the bible, in my humble opinion. In all of our teaching and preaching, how many messages and tapes do you hear on obedience; keeping His commands? Are we not disciples of Jesus Christ? Does not the word "disciple" mean that we are being disciplined and shaped into the image and ambassadorship of Jesus Christ? Can we say "we are like Him" and not be obedient?
"But Bro. Lahry, we are under grace, and not under the law". This has nothing to do with your statement, beloved. This has to do with being Christlike. It is impossible to be christlike unless we are willing and desiring to be obedient. The bible says that Jesus was obedient unto all things, even to death on the cross. Dare we flounder along after the flesh and doing sinful things pleading "grace, grace", and expect to be blessed by God? Is that being christlike?
Jesus said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. You do love Him don't you? But wait, there's more. If you love Him, that is keep His commandments as an expression of your profession, you will be loved by the Father. Bam! That's the blessing. Saint, if you are loved by the Father, there is no greater blessing! Alleluia. But the Lord of Lords is even more generous. He also promises to manifest Himself to us, make Himself clearly seen by us and real! Oh Glory to God. Now we are talking blessing!
Now the thought may be passing by....."Lahry, how do I become obedient"? Beloved, the same way you got saved. By faith, in Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. The same faith that saves you changes your nature. If your nature isn't changing, you are not saved. Let me say that again, if you nature is not changing, you are not saved. If there is no internal conflict between the desires of the Spirit and the desires of the flesh, there is no Holy Spirit in you and you are not saved.
We simply cannot pray enough, study enough, attend church enough, listen to the most famous enough to change. God is the changer. God is the One who places in us both the will and the desire to do His good pleasure. That is the only way we can become obedient. We must desire to, and even that comes from God. Then we must yield to His power by the shed blood of Jesus through the working of the Holy Spirit to mold us and shape us into obedient and worshipful children who give thanks in all things. You can also expect that God will give us plenty of opportunity to prove that we are obedient, obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Now, please don't tell God how to do the changing. Trust Him that all things will work for your good if He is leading the way.
Beloved, there is nothing that will bring forth the blessing of God like obedeince. We are not talking justification here, so don't get confused. From the very beginning, obedience brought blessing to the children of God. The New Covenant did not change that, and Jesus said so. In fact, He said it over and over in John 14.
In verse 12 He promised that we would do the things that He did. When you read that verse, does obedience come to mind? If not, you're missing the foundation of blessing.
"Bro. Lahry, I just can't".....that's right, but God can. All you have to do, is ask Him too in faith. The only conduit you have to ask Him through is the One Sacrafice offered One Time, for all time, the shed blood of Jesus Christ. When you ask Him through faith in the shed blood, He will answer. Expect Him too. You don't have to buy airplane tickets. You don't have to take off time from work. You don't have to leave your home. You simply yield to His unmerited favor right now, and say Lord, help me, for Jesus' sake and His glory, help me.
Not only will He give you the desires of your heart, He will place desires in your heart that will be a blessing to you...desires for obedience unto God.
Now, reach out and touch the Lord, by faith, as He goes by. You'll find He's not too busy, to hear your hearts cry. He's standing by this moment, your need to supply. Reach out and touch the Lord, as He goes by.
Expect His supply. You will get blessing that will last for all eternity. Obedience leads to reward. That reward is the love of the Father and the manifest presence of Jesus Christ in your life. Your life. Yes you. He cares for you, so much so that He has already given His life for you. He gave it in the most torturous way known to man. He gave it to you because He loves you. If He loves you that much, and He surely does, will He not place His desires for obedience in your heart if you ask Him too? Oh yes He will. And you will be eternally blessed.
Given as freely as I received it,