Posts Tagged ‘blessing’

Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Genesis 39:1-5

W. J. W. D.

What do I do when I find myself in an adverse situation—do I lament, “This isn’t fair, ” or proclaim, “why has this happened to me?” Do I arrogantly declare, “My talent is being wasted, ” or do I swear vengeance against those who have wronged me? And what would I do if I were in Joseph’s sandals? If anyone had the right to gripe, Joseph certainly did, but instead chooses a superior course to follow and in so doing expresses what Jesus would do.

Christian Prosperity

A whole lot of churches are getting the wrong message about prosperity. If the Lord elects to bless a person with worldly wealth, so be it, but in so doing God is not declaring that this is what (godly) prosperity is or that we are all somehow entitled to it (wealth). Prosperity is characterized not by that we possess, but by an attitude we express. In Joseph we see a man who is blessed by what he has been given and not grieved over that which he does not have, demonstrating that in the pursuit of God’s righteous there is satisfaction.

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6

A Blessing to Others

I like that the Bible records that as a result of Joseph’s behavior and attitude, that the Lord blessed Potiphar’s house as well. My mind immediately goes to the work-place—can my boss say of me, “This is the best employee I have ever had—whatever he does is a blessing to me, ” or do I let my feelings get in the way of my performance? Wherever I find myself, are those around me somehow blessed because of my obedience to God? In emulating Joseph we imitate Christ Jesus—let our focus be on His promise and His provision for His honor, glory, and praise.

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God…If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Corinthians 10:31 & 1 Peter 4:11

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When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me–me also, O my father!” Genesis 27:34God’s Will Be Done

When we examine the account of Isaac blessing his sons Jacob and Esau, we no doubt take notice of the devious and deceitful behavior being exercised by those concerned. It really boils down to the futility associated with trying to help God with things He really does not need our help with. While the world screams ‘efficiency’ God commands effectiveness and regardless of how disconcerting treachery is, God’s plan will ultimately be accomplished. Worldly efforts serve only to delay the inevitable and typically garner undesired consequences for the one who sins.

A Model Blessing

Despite all the deceit, Isaac does display for us a wonderful example of what it means to offer blessings. Sadly it is a lost art. For example, the practice of blessing our children has almost vanished through the ages and as a result our children often look to be blessed elsewhere. Oh that we should resume the role as children blessers, for this practice is indeed a blessing to our Heavenly Father.

A Blessing Defined

If we break a blessing down into its basic parts we learn that a superior blessing achieves two things: it proclaims who a person is and reveals a direction for that person to go. Isaac’s blessings for both his children accomplish these things. When we fail to bless those under our care the result is often horrific. Our children, in search of affirmation of any type, end up discovering surrogate donors who are quick to provide that which is perverse.

Pronouncing the Blessing

Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near now and kiss me, ” Genesis 27:26

A blessing is obviously a personal thing, but it is also a tender and meaningful event. In Isaac’s illustration we see this personal touch employed. Studies demonstrate that for children who do not receive this demonstrative touch at home will seek to find it in inappropriate places later one. In addition, let us not deny our children the touch of Jesus or the touch of discipline. Again, what cannot be found in the home will be searched for elsewhere.

Surely, the smell of my son Is like the smell of a field Which the Lord has blessed. Genesis 27:27

Proverbs 3:27 declares that we are not to, “withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so.” In Isaac’s proclamation to his son he gives recognition, essentially giving worth to the person he believed his son to be. Lord, help us to identify the good and worthy things our children do and bless them accordingly.

Therefore may God give you Of the dew of heaven, Of the fatness of the earth, And plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, And let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, And blessed be those who bless you!” Genesis 27:28-29

When it is within our power to do so we should be revelators, for God has blessed us with both a measure of discernment and a rear-view mirror. As we employ both we can effectively plot a course and determine a likely destination for our kids. Then as we perceive their direction, we can then either encourage them in their walk or redirect them to the superior (albeit narrow) path.

Do not buy-the-lie; it has never been wrong for us to telegraph our godly expectations for our children. I am reminded of Noah, who when building the ark incorporated separate rooms for his children, despite the fact he had not been blessed with any yet. By his actions Noah was essentially saying, “My children will be onboard with the program.”

“Indeed I have made him your master, and all his brethren I have given to him as servants; with grain and wine I have sustained him. What shall I do now for you, my son?” Genesis 27:37

In Isaac’s words (to Esau) we see a continued commitment by him to see the blessing through. The notion here is that blessings inspired and imposed by God are irrevocable. God has a plan for our children (and us) and as their earthly guardians we must do whatever we are able to see that plan through to fruition, not operating in our flesh, but by Divine guidance. When we stumble (and we will) we will trust God to lift us up.

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My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:2-5


A very cool thing just happened. During a time of fellowship this morning, we found ourselves discussing and then praying over a crisis that had developed inside the church involving a particular family. As we gingerly approached the subject matter, we were very careful not to react to the situation in our flesh or allow ourselves to be guided by our emotions. As we processed what we were receiving from the Lord, someone hit us with a snowball.

What if…

Have you ever played the ‘what if’ game? In our situation this morning we did. As we approached the problem we began to makeup scenarios in our heads, “What if we do this thing and others come along and need similar help? As the word gets out we will be inundated with cries for help!”

To Embrace or Dismiss the Snowball

Do we embrace the (snowball) vision or do we dismiss the vision…That is the question? The answer to both questions is, “Yes!”

First we are to dismiss it. Why? Because when we create scenarios in our heads that are a result of what may or may not happen, inevitably they become the stumbling blocks that prevent us from doing any good thing. The end result is that we know (from God) what it is we are supposed to do, but fear prevents us from doing it. This exactly what James was referring to when he penned these words in James 1:22:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

James prefaced that remark by telling us we need to remove all the ‘junk’ that would interfere with our being obedient to that which God has taught us. One of our biggest pitfalls as Christians is ‘knowing’ God’s word sufficiently, and falsely believing that knowing it is sufficient.

After having removed the obstacle, we are then free to embrace it. As it happened the morning, as a result of a good deed, we envisioned droves of people lining up for provision. While it was correct to dismiss it as the obstacle that it was, it is also right for us to embrace it as ‘possibly’ God’s bigger picture for the church.

A Big ‘Ouch’ Moment

The irony is that the pastor of this church had been given a vision years ago of people ‘lining up at the doors of the church’ and ultimately the pews being filled to overflowing with most (if not all) accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I confess that when he first shared this vision, in my mind’s eye I saw a bunch of middle-class, working stiffs marching into the pews. Right now I see the make-up of this assembly quite differently.

My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place, ” and say to the poor man, “You stand there, ” or, “Sit here at my footstool, ” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? James 2:1-5

Don’t Fear the Snowball

As a result, obedience ends up being a catalyst to Kingdom building. The Bible is quite clear; we are to give to everyone who asks. In so doing we should not allow the vision of an avalanche freeze us in our tracks-of-obedience to the request. However, that same vision provides for us an opportunity to be consistent givers and in accordance to God’s will. So while it is true we are to give to everyone who asks, the Lord is giving us an opportunity to respond as Peter did in Acts 3:6,

“Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”

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