Choose Life or Death, Blessing or Curse

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God followers have a choice in the way we live our lives – the way that leads to life or death, blessing or curse. Sounds so simple in our complicated lives but its true and filled with clarity when you look on the One who is the giver and sustainer of life.

“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, ‘by loving the Lord your God, by walking in His ways, and by keeping His commandments and His statutes and His rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you…'” (Deuteronomy 30:15,16)

A blessed life is filled with the goodness of God, of knowing that God is with you at all times and in all circumstances. He knows the number of our days, delights in blessing us with His best even to the point of sending His only Son, Jesus Christ to pay for our sins – past, present and future – by dying a sacrificial death on the cross that broke the power of sin in our lives.

We not only have the freedom to make a choice between life and death every day, we have been given the power to choose life and blessing over death and curse. Jesus did not leave us stranded but gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit who empowers us choose life and blessing, to live everyday in His resurrected power.

Choose to walk with God today and experience the abundant life through Him!

“Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days…” (Deuteronomy 30:19,20)

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Faith to Hear & Do

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God’s heart for you and me is to live our lives in such a way that all would go well with us and our family, even to the next generation. He also knows that for us to maintain this position of ‘wellness’ with Him that it requires developing a heart to fear, a reverence toward Him that sincerely motivates us to walk in all His ways.

“Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear Me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and their descendants forever.” (Deuteronomy 5:29)

God was preparing His people to enter into the fulfillment of all His promises connected with entering the promised land. The fulfillment would come with this condition, that they would maintain a faithful relationship with God.

When God blesses us our tendency is to become complacent with His generosity, take His goodness for granted and forget that it was His faithfulness to His promises that brought us into our promise land. He simply asks of us to keep Him first in order to maintain a ‘well lived life’ through every event of life. This is a blessed life.

“Hear…and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Deuteronomy 6:3)

Breaking Faith~Breaking Blessings

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God knew how difficult it would be to live a sin-free life. He also knew how important staying connected to Him in everyday life was vital to growing us up in our faith walk. And He made a way for us to live in uninterrupted fellowship with Him to Whom all our blessings flow.

“he shall confess his sin that he has committed. And he shall make full restitution for his wrong, adding a fifth to it and giving it to him to whom he did the wrong.” (Numbers 5:7)

Notice that when we sin there are consequences, sometimes seen and at other times unseen, but always in need of being accounted for and never forgotten by God until we confess.

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:8,9)

Sin in our lives not only breaks faith with God and the enjoyment of living in the fruit of His fellowship it causes a ‘break’ in experiencing the abundant life that we have been called into through Jesus Christ our Savior.

Confess your sin(s) to God and to those whom you have sinned against, accept God’s forgiveness and begin again to enjoy the blessings of a faithful life!

The Source of Blessing

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Growing in my trust-walk with God evolved through struggling with the tensions and trials in life. Learning to keep my eyes and heart fixed on Him in the various roles that I had been called seemed to evolve through a mixture of learning about Him, how much He loved me and His sovereign rule over all of creation. He is the only source of true and lasting blessing.

Daily life, the complexity of relationships and the varied roles that we have been called to fulfill seem to invite conflict and trials. This prevailing human condition can easily snatch our focus away from the source of blessing we have in God through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

God knew that in order to be successful in this life we would need to keep our focus on Him. He is the All-Sufficient One, the answer to every dilemma we would encounter in life. When He instructed Moses on how to set up camp for the nation of Israel in the Book of Numbers it is very interesting that the layout of the 12 tribes surrounding the Tent of Meeting were arranged to face the center, giving them a daily reminder that God desired to be the focus of their lives.

“The people of Israel shall camp each by his own standard, with the banners of their father’s houses. They shall camp facing the tent of meeting on every side.” (Numbers 2:2)

If you are not living a God focused life you are missing out on His blessings. Today can be the start of a new, trust-walk between you and God. Focus brings clarity to the real issues at hand, without clarity we focus on the wrong issues. Focus on God and He promises to give us all that we need. Where is your focus today?

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:33-34)

A Blessed Life

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Many seek a blessed life but few are willing to live in a way to receive and maintain the blessings.

Our heavenly Father is a generous and loving God who held nothing back by revealing His straightforward path to a blessed life ~ His Son, Jesus Christ.

“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.” (1John 4:9)

God loved us first and asks nothing of us but to love Him back in order to receive the blessings Jesus died to give us access to. Living by His Word gives us the confidence of living by faith, by the Word of God. It proves our love for God and validates our faith in Him.

“…but whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.” (1John 2:5)

Moses was a man sold out to following God with his whole heart and God blessed him like no other. God trusted him to lead and establish the Nation of Israel, to follow Him in complete obedience. Moses was so obedient to God that when the people had finished the work of constructing the tabernacle, not missing a single detail from the instructions given by God Moses blessed the people.

Obedience not only leads us into Gods blessings but it also positions us to bless other people. It’s not a formula nor a life of rule keeping; it’s a relationship with a heavenly Father who loves us and desires His best for us and those around us.

“And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the Lord had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them.” (Exodus 39:43)

God’s Promise to Bless

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How can you know that God’s blessings are on your life at all times regardless of the circumstances that you find yourself in – good or bad – joyful or sad – feast or famine and enjoy the peace that comes with knowing?

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Ex 20:3)

God kept it simple. He knew if left to our own understanding we would find a way to complicate the best path of life by adding all sorts of conditions and rules that reflected our limited wisdom perspective. From this first and most important commandment the next three shed light on the practical ways to ensure that we keep the first.

I heard my pastor, Andy Stanley, say once that if you keep the first four commandments the remaining six would not be a problem. Keeping God first in life becomes the platform against which all decisions must fall in line with and most importantly maintains a fellowship with Him that leads us in the direction of His blessings. After performing miracles among the nation of Israel and providing supernatural provision He made them a promise;

“In every place where I cause My name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you.” (Ex 20:24b)

When you think about an occasion when God’s name would be remembered it usually involves a display of His supernatural power, an intervention of some kind or a situation where only God can turn things around; when lives are saved or death is stayed. This is a place of absolute trust and surrender to God who promises to show up, to make a way and bless us and cause His name to be remembered!

“You shall have no other gods before Me.”

Beautiful In His Time

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Long ago when life was hard and my trust in God was being challenged I ran across this promise from the Book of Ecclesiastes 3:10;

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

Like a sponge I absorbed this word and my faith walk began to take on the reality and wisdom of a long term view, critical for those who have truly anchored their hope in God through His Son Jesus Christ.

What I have learned through the events of life, both good and bad, that there is beauty in all circumstances when looking through the eyes of trust and faith. Instead of trying to bear through hardships in our own strength and understanding we are encouraged to;

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

Endurance implies a journey worthwhile that by faith gives God opportunity to make something beautiful of our lives.  As long as we live in this world life will be filled with joy and laughter, heartache and suffering. Take God at His Word and trust Him all the way to the end, He is the only One who can make all things beautiful in its time.