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02 April 2008

The Blessing of the Lord is Here (sorry it's a long one)

This morning I woke to gospel cranking out of my alarm clock, "The blessing of the Lord is here. The blessing of the Lord is here. I feel it in the atmosphere. The blessing of the Lord is here. The blessing of the Lord is here...." I woke up happy with the words radiating through me. It was a reassuring and joyful way to awaken.

God has an interesting way of making things connect. I've been trying to do a daily study on Proverbs. This morning the verses were Prov. 10:22-26. The four that stood out to me were 22, 24, 25, 26. Allow me to elaborate:

v.22- "The blessing of the Lord brings wealth and He adds no trouble to it." The wealth that is important is a product of God not a product of human attainment. In Prov 10:2 it talks about "blessings" (God's gifts and favors) and in 10:2 "ill gotten treasures" are discussed (they are fleeting and resulting in God's judgement). It's not enough to have the wealth that God has gifted us. We must have a heart to take the comfort of the gifts, do good with the wealth, and serve God with joyfulness and gladness of heart in our use of His gifts. When we receive riches from the Lord, they don't come with sorrow. These gifts are given to those who follow and obey Him. Money can be included as part of the wealth God provides to us. He says that he will provide for what we need as he provides for the plants, flowers, and birds. What we do with the monetary benefits we receive is important to Him. This is not just in tithing but in our everyday choices of what to do with the money that we have, whether large or small. The choices should be made to glorify God. I try my hardest to write my tithe check every week. There are many Sundays that I hold the check in my hand and pray "Lord you know this check would pay a _____ bill; it would help with _____. I'm trusting you to take care of me." I feel that the Lord appreciates honest conversation. Why not say it? He knows what you're thinking anyway:)

True Riches of God: love, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

v. 24- "What the wicked dreads ("fears"-KJV) will overtake him; what the righteous desire will be granted." Fear has torment and is a form of sorrow. Fear is the opposite of faith. This one hit me hard. This is the source of a lot of my conversation with God. (safety at my apt complex, money, school- where to apply, will i get in, what if I don't get in). Fear can easily trap you but once you're in it's hard to break the cycle. If we repent and trust in God, the devil will have to flee with his temptations (fear, envy, doubt) and we can walk in the Lord's mercy and grace (what an amazing gift). We are promised as God's children the righteous desires of our hearts. (Ps. 37:4)

v.25- "When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever." I also like the KJV... "As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the Righteous is an everlasting foundation." No matter what we go through, we cannot be destroyed. We are eternal beings in Christ and shall live forever with God. (Rom 6:23- "gift of God is eternal life.")

v.26- "As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is a sluggard to those who send him." Sluggard is someone who is habitually lazy or idle. God doesn't choose people like this to do a job for Him. If we want to be used by God we have to also serve others. He is looking for faithful people who will take responsibility, so that He may commission His work to them. This comes with a warning though.... to say yes to everything and every opportunity is not good either. A burned out individual can help no one. A compromise/ a happy medium is the goal. Our willingness and the openness of our hearts is what He longs for.

My hope is that: we do a good job at each task laid before us and the works of our hands will be used to glorify God. I pray that God will keep His hand of protection over friends, family, and those we have yet to meet.

I pray God that You will reveal Yourself to us in a very deep way. Thank you for what you are doing in our hearts and in our lives.

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