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Aug 15, 2011

The Blessing Follows Obedience

There is no getting around the fact — our God takes delight in blessing His people. As I study the promises of the Word of God, there is blessing for every day of our lives and each aspect of our being. Look at these verses from Deuteronomy 28:
“And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you...Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your beasts, the increase of your cattle, and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading trough. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out...The Lord shall command the blessing upon you in your storehouse, and in all that you undertake; and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you...” (vv. 2a-8 NKJV).

This is just a portion of the blessing plan our Father has in store for us — family, business, home, nation — He intended for every aspect of our lives to be under the blessing. God intended for our children to be successful, and for the blessing of our households to spill over to all the nations of the earth.

Why then are so many of the household of God living under the curse? I lay the responsibility, in part, at the feet of the preachers. We have been so anxious to preach the blessing, we have not emphasized the key to unlocking the blessing in our lives. What is the key?

None other than obedience. Look at some of the other verses in the same chapter of Deuteronomy:

“If you will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful to do all His commandments which I command you this day...If you heed the voice of the Lord your God...If you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways...If you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day, and are watchful to do them. And you shall not go aside from any of the words which I command this day, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them” (vv. 1a, 2b, 9b, 13b, 14 Amplified).

IF...so much rides on that little word. The blessing of the Lord is real, but it is commanded by our obedience to God and His Word.

Many people miss this truth because they feel “we live in the age of grace now and do not have to follow the rules of the Old Testament.”

Now this is very important. Salvation and deliverance from sin do not come by obeying the laws of God. If we had to depend on keeping the law, none of us could be saved. That is why Jesus died — He became the supreme sacrifice for our sins — delivering us from sin with that one great act of grace.” (see Ephesians 2:8,9)

However, in accepting Christ as Savior, we do not throw away the commandments of Scripture. To accept Jesus as Savior and Lord is to accept the Father and the ways of His kingdom. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

This is the truth that can be found throughout Scripture. In fact, in the unparalleled “Sermon on the Mount” found in Matthew 5-7, Jesus took the core elements of the Old Testament law and expounded on them. Jesus demanded more than outward obedience, He demanded obedience of the heart:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart...It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery...you have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:27-28, 31-32, 43-45a NIV).

At the end of this message in Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus said that those of us who hear His words and do them would live as those who have their houses built on solid rock in the midst of the storm.

So many in our churches today are living in turmoil and shipwreck — battered about by all the elements that assail the family and ministries — because they heard the words of Jesus without taking them to heart. If we want to get our lives back on course, build a shelter for our families and live within the blessing plan of God — we must heed the words of our Savior.

It is time to obey.

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