Ah, to be the recipient of God’s favor and blessing! How does the writer of Proverbs put it… “The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it!” (Proverbs 10:22) It’s one thing to have the approval of the broader culture… It’s quite another to have God’s favor and blessing! This morning I read a very well-known passage – the Beatitudes – where Jesus makes the point that what receives His approval and blessing is not at all what the broader culture esteems, honors, values and “blesses”! In fact, what He blesses is diametrically opposite of the things the broader culture awards and approves of!
Here is what Jesus said that God blesses…
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
“God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.
“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice [what is right/righteous], for they will be satisfied.
“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
“God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will one day see God.
“God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
“God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are My followers.”
(From Matthew 5:2–11 The New Living Translation)
Yup… Not at all what the broader culture values, seeks, and approves of! But it is what GOD approves of and blesses! Sorry… I’m counter cultural on this one! I choose to spend my life seeking God’s approval and blessing!