Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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We Are Blessed! (Pt.1)
Ephesians 1:3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,"
Did you know that when you accepted Jesus as your Savior, that you were blessed with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places, because Jesus died for you? But it is so much more than just that.
Galatians 3:13-14: "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree''), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."
Redeemed means to buy back, to pay the price for something.
1 Peter 1:18-19: "knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."
Jesus paid the price for us, as Peter tells us, with His precious blood. Jesus redeemed us or bought us back from the "aimless road" outlined in the Law. A road that had already been proven to lead to death not life. When He did this He redeemed us from the curse of the law so that we could be blessed with all spiritual blessings and receive the blessing of Abraham.
What exactly is a blessing? The term we are referring to is defined as divine favor or advantages bestowed by God which bring pleasure or happiness. It brings benefits such as salvation, healing, prosperity, life, peace, well being ,joy, fruitfulness and plenty. It includes spiritual as well as natural blessings. Yes, I said just what I meant, natural as well as spiritual blessings.
God loves us and wants to bless us. We are redeemed from the curse of the law and we have been blessed.
Jesus talked about blessings in the "Sermon on the Mount", found in Matthew.
Matthew 5:2-9: "Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."
Notice one thing, we are to do or act a certain way and then we receive the blessing.
Blessings are the direct result of obedience to God and walking in His ways, not the worldís ways.
Jesus said that if we would be humble (poor in spirit), if we would be meek, merciful, pure in heart we would receive all these blessings, some of them spiritual and some physical.
God is so good and loves us so much. All He asks in return is for us to love Him completely and keep His commandments. (Matthew 22:36).
As Christians we should walk in blessings and not hop from crisis to crisis, begging God to miraculously deliver us. Living in Godís blessings is an everyday lifestyle, an everyday affair not a special reward because we have been "good".
Miracles are not blessings and blessings are not miracles. Miracles are temporary. God intervenes miraculously to meet a need in one special area and that is all. Miracles can occur in unbelief. God uses miracles to draw the unbeliever to Him. He also performs miracles in our lives, to draw us closer to Him. However, He much prefers us to walk in blessings than cry out for miracles.
Blessings are permanent. Living in your blessings is a lifestyle and what God really expects from you as a believer.
Deuteronomy 7:9: "Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;"
God made a Covenant, Jesus fulfilled that Covenant. God keeps His promises to us, when we are obedient to follow His commandments."
I am not talking about trying to live by the Old Testament Law. Remember, Jesus fulfilled that on the cross and redeemed, bought us back, from under that system. What I am describing is living a godly lifestyle that glorifies God and allows God to bless you! It is so simple. It also is a big responsibility, because it requires us to know Godís Word and to know Godís promises to us. When we do know Godís Word and walk in our blessings, it provides abundance for us. Appropriating that abundance allows God to bless us with more abundance so that we can bless other. Whether it is material things, or spiritual things does not matter. God will give you what you need to bless others, if you are obedient.
Blessings also help keep us out of crisis situations. They keep us in tune with Godís provisions and love so that we know He is always with us and provides for us. Living in our blessings help us recognize Godís goodness and mercy and worship Him for it.
Do you remember the old hymn, "Count your blessings"?
"Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings see what God has done."
The next time you are overwhelmed by the attack of the enemy, or the cares of life. Take a minute to stop and list all the blessings you have received from God. When you stop to recall what God has already done in your life, it will lift your spirit in such an amazing way, because it will remind you that God is faithful!
Psalms 9:1-2: "I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High."
Blessing are eternal, they do not pass away. God has an eternal plan for you, it does not start the day you die, but the day you are born again. You walk into Godís plan for your life and blessings start to flow.
Letís look at the blessings Christ purchased for us.
Deuteronomy. 28:1-6: ""Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.
And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:
Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out."
Notice that the first thing God said, "if you diligently obey..". That means that we have to walk a life that is pleasing to God, to love God and each other and then all these blessings will come upon us. They will not only come upon us, but overtake us!
We will be set above all nations, that means we will be favored of God, in our everyday lives. We will be favored in our cities, homes, neighborhoods. Our jobs will be blessed, and we will be blessed in our jobs. Our children will be blessed, even our animals will be blessed! We will be blessed with our daily needs being met and most of all we will be blessed when we come in and when we go out. That is what it means to walk in the blessings of God, if you are blessed when you come and when you go, then that means all the time!
Glory to God, Walk in your blessings!
If you do not know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, I urge you to pray this prayer.
Accept Him now, so that you can be blessed!
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37), So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.
Prayer of Thanksgiving and Blessing:
Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank you for your promises to me. I thank you that I have been blessed with all spiritual blessings. Father, your Word says, if we lack wisdom to ask and it will be given to us. (James 1:5). Father, I ask now, give me the wisdom to walk in your ways, to know and understand what my blessings in Christ are and the wisdom to appropriate them into my life daily. I thank you Father, that I am blessed in so many way, that these blessings keep me out of crisis and are eternal. Load me daily with your benefits, Father, so that I may be a blessing to others.
In Jesusí Name I pray, Amen.