Eternal Riches and Blessings in Christ
Do you wonder what true blessedness in life is? Over the years as a Christian and as a minister of the Word, one of the lessons that I've been learning over and over again is that God's acceptance and approval of us in Christ is what really matters in life.
What do I mean with that? When we believe what God says, do what He commands, heed what He warns, and focus on things that really matter to Him, then we're truly blessed regardless of our circumstances in life. Being able to obey God is itself a blessing!
This truth is really important to our identity and ministry. Oftentimes we tend to be easily swayed and convinced by what other people say about who we are and what we do rather than by what God says about us in His Word.
For example, we tend to feel good about ourselves and have a high image of self only when we have gained others' acceptance of us. Usually, however, their acceptance of us is based on our looks, performance, achievements, ability, talent, or possession.
When we base our identity and worth upon others' view of us, we will end up frustrated and dejected. This is so because other people's perception of us is often unrealistic and unreliable indicator of our true identity and real worth.
Knowing that we are created in the image of God and we are gifted by Him with unique personality and talents is the true basis of our worth. God made us wonderfully in His wisdom. He has woven us in our mother's womb. He has the accurate view of us.
When we recognize this truth we may thank others when they say words of affirmation or appreciation when we are doing the right thing. We may also listen to them when they criticize us or say unpleasant things about us.
When their criticisms are valid, we must learn to accept our fault and make the necessary changes. Otherwise we should not let other people's words or perception of us devalue our worth as people created in the image of God or destroy our identity as believers redeemed and renewed in Christ.
The same thing is true in the area of church ministry. When we equate material wealth, big buildings, large numbers, and big budget as measuring sticks of God's delight for our ministry, we are in for some inevitable disasters.
Understand that these things are not bad in and of themselves. But when these valuable things become the standard of a successful ministry or blessedness in the church, we are using inaccurate indicators of a church's significance and effectiveness in God's economy.
Christ had to rebuke the rich but lukewarm (a kind of useless and ineffective) Laodicean church and called her to repent from her self-sufficient and self-deceptive attitudes (Rev. 3:14-22). The Lord commended, however, the poor and slandered but faithful church in Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-11).
We need to remember that our worth as people is in God and the way He created us (He created us in His image) and has given us dominion over creation.
We may have failed miserably in grasping this truth and in fulfilling our calling, yet it does not lessen our significance or change our purpose as people created in God's likeness.
That is one reason why Christ came. He made it clear that although we fell from and failed God's calling and purpose in life, He came to accomplish what we, men and women created in the image of God, were supposed to be and to do.
For our sake and in our behalf, Christ lived faithfully before God pleasing Him and doing His will, including God's purpose of redeeming us and saving us from sin and death. He did all these that we might be able to live again in obedience to God pleasing Him.
Realize this: the greatest wealth and blessing we possess are not measured by money or anything material. And they are not perishable but eternal.
As disciples of Jesus, accepted and loved by the Father in Christ and gifted with the Spirit of power and grace, true blessedness is found in our faith-union with Christ. It is measured by the greatness of God's love demonstrated by giving up His Son for our sake and our salvation.
Our appreciation of that love and mercy of God toward us is determined by our faithfulness and obedience to God. It is measured by perseverance in our calling as His children and members of His glorious kingdom (see Matt. 5:3-12).
Regardless of our social or economic status in life, we are truly blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies (Eph. 1:3). That truth alone ought to make us grateful to and satisfied in God for His glorious grace.
Our wealth and inheritance as God's people are of infinite value and unfading. They are kept safe and secure in heaven for us (1 Pet. 1:3-5). And these blessings belong to us who are heirs by the undeserving grace of our God through faith in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
On this truth we rejoice and give thanks to the Lord who delights "in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love" (Ps. 147:11)!
Posted with permission from Ptr Vic Bernales, Pastor, Davao Covenant Reformed Church
Original from a Facebook post here.