Malachi – Part 4
Psalm 73:2-3, 17
Speaker on Sunday May 24th:
Pastor Jason Doyle
Malachi – Part 4
Psalm 73:2-3, 17
Speaker on Sunday May 24th:
Pastor Jason Doyle
Who benefits from the blessings the Lord pours out on His believers? Who does the Lord draw to Him with His daily intervention in the Christians life? The answer is probably deeper than you think.
We are going to read a portion from Genesis, specifically about Joseph. Where we come in, Joseph has been sold into slavery by his brothers. They were jealous of him and wanted to get rid of him. I encourage you to read starting from Genesis chapter 37 and read the life of Joseph. For now, I want to focus on a particular set of passages that identify the answer to my question above.
And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmaelites, which had brought him down thither. And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous 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 that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. (Genesis 39:1-5 KJV)
Notice that the Lord was with Joseph, and even in slavery, he was a prosperous man. This is a man whom the Lord loves and watches out for. We know we have this as Christians as well. The Lord loves us, cares for us, guides us, and protects us. We have this same relationship because of the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Here is the amazing part however. Did you notice that last verse? The Lord blessed the Egyptians house, all that he had, and his fields, for Joseph’s sake! That is to say, because Joseph was blessed, those around him were blessed as well! A nonbeliever was blessed by the mere proximity of a believer. Ponder on that for a minute.
This leads me to the question, what are you doing with the blessings God is pouring out on you? Are you keeping it to yourself? The great commission to make desciples doesn’t mean preaching, Bible thumping, or even scripture knowledge (but it helps). What is important is our presence. Now this isn’t to say you don’t need to read your Bible, in fact, it’s imperative that you do!
You see, Joseph’s master saw the blessings that Joseph received from God. It was apparent to him. The same applies with us! When we are obedient, and the Lord pours His blessings out on us, it will be apparent to the world. Not only that, but it might even bless those that do not beleive because of their proximity to us.
That is the importance of getting into people’s lives. That is the reason we must strive for obedience. Words, knowledge, and belief get us so far. Faith in action, caring and working with the nonbeliever will take us where we need to go. It will ensure that the blessings God pours out on us will be fruitful to others besides ourselves.
I encourage you to ensure the blessings God pours out on you are able to affect those nonbelievers around you. That you put yourself in a position that it could.
Harsh title, right?
Boy oh boy do we mess this one up though. I can’t even begin to enumerate the number of times I forget to shut up and listen. On top of that, I like to let my anger rise at the drop of a hat. How often have you let your anger rise at the jolly fellow in the car in front of you doing 20 miles under the speed limit, until you get to the passing zone where he does 20 miles over? Why is that? What is it in us that makes us this way? Why do we find so much ease is letting this wrath we have escape us? Why do we have so much trouble listening, and such an easy time flapping our jaws?
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20 KJV)
Oh, did you see it there? The answer to why is right there. If we are not working the righteousness of God, what is left to say we are doing? It’s safe to bet that we are working the works of someone else. We are always serving someone, if our wrath cannot work the righteousness of God, than it can only work the destruction of the enemy.
This is one of those common sense lessons. It’s so obvious and simple, yet so difficult. There are no complex theories to discuss, no abstract patterns to dissect.
Shut your mouth and hear what the person is saying to you. Stop waiting for your turn to speak, stop forming your response while they are speaking. Just shut up and listen to what they are saying to you.
Think about what you are about to say. Process it thoroughly, understanding how what you say will be perceived. Often time we like to spout of with snap responses, whose sole purpose is to trigger what this scripture tells us we ought not be doing:
Don’t let your wrath rule you. In wrath, you cannot work the righteousness of God. You cannot do His work while satisfying your fleshly desire to retaliate or attack those whom you feel deserves it. You cannot do His will while seething with rage over stuff. Let’s be honest, when put up beside eternity, does that perceived anger really matter all that much?
Nobody can take away your salvation. No one can come between you and God. So what really is there that can make you so distraught that you let your anger rise?
Do you want to see a fast change in your life? Do you want to see the Lord work a major change in your life? Do these simple steps as He directs:
Shut up, listen, and stop getting all worked up over stuff.
I know, a pretty simple question. Who is God? I want you to look deeper than the obvious for this however. We like to compare who God is with the same pattern as who “me” or “I” am. While God uses us to relate himself to us, to better understand His will, we should not be comparing this way ourselves.
Here is why: He is God, we are not. You knew that though, right? Here is why I say the generally used comparison in our minds is wrong, for that, let’s look at Revelation:
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:8 KJV)
The complexity of this verse, and the profoundness of it are staggering. Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Not meaning present at the beginning and the end, but the very substance of the beginning and the end.
He is what was before all, what is in all today, and what will be for all eternity. He is the cosmological constant (funny how science is searching for something already exposed, right?). Every question originates from Him, every answer provided by Him.
Think about this: how often have you changed in the course of your lifetime? How often has your perception of the world varied through time and circumstance? God has NOT changed in the slightest. Let read a little more from Revelation:
And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (Revelation 1:17-18 KJV)
Here is where the authority of God is laid bare. Where He reveals to us just what it means for Him to be God. He is the first and the last, He lived, He died, and He will live for evermore. He is a straight line from eternity to eternity. An unfathomanable awesomeness so far beyond ourselves that we we cannot ever assume to comprehend it.
Finally, to further emphasize just how distant we are, He reveals that hell, and even death succumb to His authority. With a simple thought, they can be eliminated. What power! What majesty! What an awesome God we serve!
Good news, this God we serve, in all His power and glory, loves us. While we are not worthy to even compare ourselves to Him, He lowered himself to us out of love. He took on the form of this weak flesh to prove how much He cares for us. He took the unnecessary steps to provide us with salvation, companionship, and hope. We are loved in such a way that we cannot even begin to understand it. So I ask this: What are you doing with it?
We tend to spend a lot of time pondering where we are in our faith. This is important, we should be consistently comparing ourselves to Jesus, using His life as our measuring stick. This goal may seem futile to some of you, and honestly, it is. We will never have a life that is perfect like Jesus.
This begs the question then, why do we do it? Plain and simple, it’s grace. How do we get this gift of grace? By our saving faith in what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 KJV)
By consistently comparing ourselves against Jesus, we can keep ourselves in the correct perspective. We can plainly see that what we are, what we have, is through grace we obtained by saving faith. We cannot boast at how much we have, how good we are at something, or how righteous we are.
What we have, who we are, is a gift from God. We were created to do good works, and we can, because of Jesus. There is no other source, what is good is of God, and we cannot boast about something we are not the authors of.
Here is the second major part, we are to walk in those good works. That is, our life should be dedicated to that work. It’s what we were created for, what this new life in Christ is all about.
Look to Christ, bask in His grace, understand where your good works come from, and choose to walk in them.