Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. (Deuteronomy 33:29)

Everyone seeks the blessed life. Some seek to find blessing in power, others in fame, and still others in the pleasures of this world. But the Scriptures make it clear that the life that is truly blessed is the one that is saved by the Lord and that is serving the Lord. I pray that this truth will encourage you mightily today.

Those who say that Christianity is nothing more than a list of rules and regulations, a veritable ball and chain wrapped around the neck of its long-suffering followers, are surely strangers to this great faith. To be sure, there are certain behaviors that our Lord expects His children to embrace and others we are commanded to eschew. But make no mistake, a right relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ is the mark of Christianity, not adherence to rules and regulations. You see, when God saves a sinner, that man or woman is at once transformed from being a slave to sin into an adopted child of the Most High God. The new believer is now a member of the family of faith, clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and given a seat at the great banquet feast. Every Christian believer has been blessed by the Best!

And notice that the primary blessing is not found in material things, but in our Master Himself. Indeed, our God blesses all of us materially. We have all received good gifts from His helping, holy hand. But if we limit our focus to these things, we miss the deeper message of what it means to be blessed, and when the storm winds blow (which they inevitably will) we are left stranded on a sandbar of suffering.

The greatest blessing we can strive for is knowing the One doing the blessing. Only when we see our relationship with God as our ultimate blessing will we be able to weather the tribulations that have been promised to confront us. Material gifts are good blessings that God gives us. But the Gift-Giver is far better, for He is our shield, our helper, and our glorious sword, and He has promised to bring us safely home into His glorious presence.

When Jesus left this earth, He promised to send His Holy Spirit. Knowing that we have the earnest (that is, the deposit) of our inheritance in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit is to know a blessing that will last forever, because we have been blessed by the Best. Christian, be encouraged and empowered to be all God has created you to be!

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!


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