Sunday, September 17, 2017

Harvest of Blessings

Jesus told the Jews to believe in the works he did and they would know who he was.  These gifts were from the Father, for he was the Son of God.  In Isaiah 35:5 God promised the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.   Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego were bound and thrown into a burning furnace, but they were seen walking in the midst of flames that didn’t harm them.  Hezekiah was sick, and about to die, when Isaiah the prophet was told by God to let him know he has heard his prayers.  God decided to add some fifteen more years to his life.  Living abundantly in the Lord leads to a harvest of blessings.

Joel Osteen (b. 1963), a televangelist and senior pastor of Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas, remarked: “When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.”  By not being self-centered and reaching out to others, Christians freely share these blessings.  The more they honor people, the more they are blessed by God. 

When offering blessings we mustn’t distinguish between the rich and poor.  We’re all God’s children.  A president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) felt, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough to those who have little.”  Roosevelt was cognizant that the poor has a special place in the eyes of God.

God’s Gifts

Abundance might not come only with material satisfaction.  Some may have these comforts and be miserable.  The founder of Simple Abundance Charitable Fund, Sarah Breathnach (b. 1947) explained, “Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.”  No doubt, we have to be in the right frame of mind to accept these gifts.  Are your hearts open to God’s gifts?

People may make distinctions about what they are praying for.  Often, we pray when faced with set-backs and challenges.  Khalil Gibran (1883–1931), a Lebanese-born artist and writer captured this phenomenon by saying, “You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might also pray in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.”   By being blessed with the gifts from God’s bounty we must thank him.  Christians who do so will receive more blessings.

Love What You Do

You ought to love what you do.  In loving what you do you’ll be enthused when you spread your happiness to others.  A self-help author and motivational speaker Wayne Dyer (1940–2015) advised, “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.”  You don’t have to wonder about those things about which you have no interest.  Gravitate to the tasks that bring you joy, happiness, and peace of mind.  We’re all blessed with at least one gift that gives us satisfaction.

In our society there are some who have material gifts.  A Spanish priest and theologian Saint Ignatius (1491–1556) wrote, “If God has given you the world’s goods in abundance, it is to help you gain those of Heaven and be a good example of sound teaching to your sons, servants, and relatives.”  In short, it depends on how you use our treasure.  For Saint Ignatius, these gifts have to be instruments for blessing people.  This is the right way to live with wealth.                 

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