God wants to bless his people. He wants to bless you! God’s heart of blessing appears in many passages throughout the Scriptures.
- The first thing God does in Genesis 2 after creating people is bless them.
- Jesus says in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
- Paul writes in Ephesians 1:3 that God blesses us “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”
God wants to bless you!
What does it mean to be blessed?
In Numbers 6:24-26, God gives Moses the direction to bless his people this way:
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’
Being blessed means to experience God in all His goodness. He’s not Santa who drops off blessings and disappears, but a lover who wants to share Himself with us. He wants to give Himself to us so that we can experience Him in all of His goodness.
We often misunderstand blessing to be having good circumstances, but God’s blessing is actually being able to experience His goodness in any circumstance.
Because of that, God wants to bless us far beyond our circumstances. We often misunderstand blessing to be having good circumstances, but God’s blessing is actually being able to experience His goodness in any circumstance. This is why in Matthew 5, Jesus says that we can still experience kingdom blessings in the midst of poverty, joy in the midst of heartbreak, satisfaction in the midst of hunger, and good company in the midst of rejection.
God wants to bless us beyond our capacity to contain it (Malachi 3:10). God’s blessings are not simply meant to fill our own lives, but to spill out into the lives of others. Blessings are like love – they are much better shared than kept to ourselves.
What keeps us from being blessed?
Sin and selfishness keep us from God’s blessings (Malachi 3:5-6).
Sin is a rejection or pushing away of God’s goodness. When we sin, we are telling God, “No, I don’t want Your good; I want what the world offers instead!” Selfishness is a fixation on our own good. These things keep us from experiencing and expressing the goodness of God. Left unchecked, sin and selfishness ultimately lead to injustice.
Malachi highlights six areas of injustice that keep God’s blessing out of our lives:
- Sorcery – depending on the devil rather than God
Sorcery is looking to the devil for guidance, protection, or retribution. We don’t need to rely on fortune tellers, horoscopes, or Ouija boards; we need to rely on Jesus so that we can experience His unfathomable peace.
- Adultery– being unfaithful to covenant love
Adultery is valuing passions over promises. God wants us to experience the blessing of His faithful love. When we step outside of covenant love through pornography, fornication, or infidelity, we forfeit the faithful love of God in our lives.
- Perjury– telling lies over the truth of God
We often lie in order to avoid consequences, whereas Jesus instructs us that the truth sets us free. Lies only compound our problems and the consequences of our actions.
- Exploitation of workers – benefiting from a system of poverty
God is our perfect Provider, so we never need to take advantage of other people to benefit ourselves.
- Neglect of widows and orphans – not caring about the helpless
God wants to share His heart of compassion with us, to care as He cares. When we ignore the helpless, we become heartless – we miss out on understanding the compassionate heart of God.
- Turning away foreigners – being prejudiced against people who are different from us
God wants us not to judge one another for our differences, but to experience the blessing of being fully accepted in Jesus.
Generosity is the antidote for injustice because it is the opposite of selfishness!
How can we leave here today more blessed than we came?
- Return to God. (Malachi 3:7) Turn back to His embrace!
- Stop robbing God of the opportunity to bless you. (Malachi 3:7-8) Sin and selfishness choke out God’s blessing. Let go of your fears and give them over to God!
- Release generosity in your life. (Malachi 3:10) It doesn’t matter how much money you make. You still have the opportunity to be generous and touch the lives of others with whatever God has given you.
- Repent and choose God’s goodness. If you know you need to return to God, then turn away from sin and embrace His generosity and goodness. Today is the day!