Saturday, January 6th, 2018
Beginnings (Part 22)
Your New Blessings
The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NASB)
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
Matthew 16:25 (NASB)
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
John 10:10 (NASB)
Understandably, Christians seek God's blessings. Generously, God gives them to His devoted followers. Within His Word, abundance is promised, but the form of our abundance is up to God. He heads the fulfillment department. John 10:10 is a favorite among prosperity preachers, but Matthew 16:25 is seldom discussed.
Consider both Verses. Jesus does not contradict Himself, so how can losing our lives bring us abundant life? Are we talking about Heaven? Certainly, but Jesus also said 'The kingdom of God is within you' (Luke 17:21). That means here and now, not just there and then.
Could losing our lives mean the surrender of selfishness? Could finding our lives mean receiving true abundance, when we abandon fake treasure? Consider a 19th century comment on a 21st century problem:
'The reign of God is 'in the heart.' It does not come with pomp and splendor, like the reign of temporal kings, merely to control the external 'actions' and strike the senses of people with awe, but it reigns in the heart by the Law of God...'
(Barnes Notes on the Bible re: Luke 17:21).
Jesus lived the definition of earth's best blessings, and He gave His life so we could enjoy them, too. Consider a few:
1) The freedom of a simple life
2) The fulfillment of every need
3) The pleasure of real friendships
4) The power of the Holy Spirit
5) The strength to make demons flee
6) The joy of helping people
7) The pleasure of working for God
8) Hope that anchors us
9) Faith for all things, including justice
10) Love that never fails
11) Assurance of eternal life
12) Grand reunions with beloved kin
Therein, don't be fooled into believing the world's definitions of blessings. Instead, seek God to receive everything Jesus enjoyed.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Beginnings series. To read similar devotions, please see the All Things New series.