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Sunday, November 15, 2020

Inspired by . . . a blessing and a warning

Do God's blessings have strings attached? No. He gives to us freely, with grace, love, and often in my case, with abundant mercy.

But there is nothing singular or finite about our relationship with the God of the universe and His actions toward us are always part of something bigger. His blessings to us have a purpose.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:10)

At the end of the first chapter in the gospel of Mark, we are told about a leper who begged Jesus to heal him. Moved with compassion, Jesus does heal him. He also gives the man a stern warning, He commands him to tell no one and to show himself to the priest and make an offering for his cleansing. The man immediately goes away and does just the opposite.

We are all well enough aware of what leprosy is to understand the magnitude of how this blessing from Jesus would have changed this man's life. Yet, although this man had just moments before knelt at Jesus' feet in apparent worship and humility, he quickly shows by his actions that he cares nothing about Jesus or His authority.

It reminds me of the parable in Matthew 21 about the man who had two sons. The father asked the first son to go and work in the vineyard. He said no, but later changed his mind and went. The second son, when asked, said yes, but never went. Which of the two sons obeyed?

Those who really love Me are the ones who not only know My commands but also obey them. My Father will love such people, and I will love them. I will make Myself known to them." (Joh 14:21)

Beloved, the point is obedience.

We don't obey to seek a blessing anymore than He blesses to earn our obedience. The motivation for both our obedience and His blessings are the same: Love

However, the blessings He gives us do provide a means for us to obey Him. Whether it be by simply singing His praises or by using the blessings in tangible ways to glorify Him and advance the Kingdom.

As we freely receive, so we should freely give.

The leper's actions showed the true state of his heart toward Jesus. When we are given a blessing what is our response? Is the blessing a catalyst for us to obey the Giver?

There is a question posed by George MacDonald that convicts me every time, "ask yourself whether you have this day done one thing because He said, Do it, or once abstained because He said, Do not do it."

On days when I'm not mired in the mud of this world, I ask myself this question. Growth comes when I can ask myself this question even in the midst of the mud and the mire and find the answer to the affirmative.


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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June