Numbers 6:22-27. What does this Blessing mean and why did God have it said over the Israelites every day for 40 years? You’ve heard the blessing, “May the Lord bless you and keep you, make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you, may the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace”. When you hear this, do you know the root of the meanings of the verbs? Did you know that the “you” is singular in original Hebrew, not “all y’all”, so it means that God is speaking over individuals. We are exploring the Priestly Blessing over God’s people.
The church has gotten away with pride for too long. Scripture teaches the Church, quite clearly, to put aside issues of pride. We are to lean on humility and grace. In fact, God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. How are you working on identifying pride in your life, and working on eliminating it from your every day life? God calls us to humility because we cannot both worship God and worship self at the same time. Let’s grow in humility.
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We look at the issues of control in the life of the one who follows God. If you have a faith in Jesus, you might know that God calls us to lay down our lives before Him and give up our issues of control & fear. The issues of control come from insecurities and fears. When you let fears rule your life, you don’t give up control to God to work things out. When you trust God with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-8), then you begin to let go of your need for controlling others. Your life actually becomes more filled with peace and joy. What are the things hanging you up as you try to control others around you? How can you learn to give up control, so God can work through you to bless the world a little bit more?
Do you face persecution as a faith person? Do you face trials that want to hurt your faith? We all face some kind of opposition in life, and even Jesus said, “don’t be surprised with people persecute you because of me, in fact, rejoice in your suffering.” We are called to a new perspective in suffering trials. Peter tells us to not be surprised with trials come, because we are enduring suffering with Jesus, as we walk by faith. Trials that come will make us stronger in faith when we endure to the end. We don’t want to be lawn chair Christians, kicking back and taking life easy. It seems like like would be better to not suffer for faith, but in the end that kind of easy life faith makes us weak and useless for God.
God has called you; chosen you; picked you out of a line up, to be different in this dark world. You have the gifts and qualities necessary to meet the needs for someone near you. Open your eyes, and open your hands to serve those around you with the love of Jesus. You don’t have to have all the right words, just serve with an open heart. God will provide a place to serve, when you follow your callings. If God nudges you in life, say yes to his leading. You don’t have to worry about being embarrassed or confused, or afraid, with God in the lead, He will provide the care you need to serve his people. What are you afraid of? Step out in faith.
The culture says to “go with the flow”, “let it ride”, “don’t ruffle feathers”. When it comes to living like the culture, the enemy wrote the book on how to “fit in” without making waves. Wouldn’t the enemy of our soul just love to see us not be different from the world? He’s a jerk. God, however, calls us to live differently from the culture. We have a calling to live HOLY and wholly different from society.
We are being transformed into the image and likeness of Jesus, so therefore, we are called to not emulate the behavior of the world. It’s important to get the order of things right, however. We don’t act with ethical and moral values to earn God’s favor, we already have God limitless favor, therefore we act in accordance to God’s Holy Standard. “But I’m not like other people,” you may say. Well, the standard isn’t “other people”, the standard is God’s holiness.
God has called His people to a different kind of life than the world. The Apostle Peter tells us throughout 1 Peter, that we are foreigners living in a world that is not our home. How do you look at trials differently than the world looks at trials? We all face terrible things in our lives, but as followers of Jesus, we are called to respond differently. How is your faith being proved genuine?