Sermon in a nutshell: Blessings from God (Leviticus 26: 1-13
The blessings are stored for you and me!
God promised to bless us with the following blessings:
- I will give you your rains in their season.
- The land shall yield its produce.
- The trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
- Your threshing shall overtake the vintage, and the vintage shall overtake the sowing.
- You shall eat your bread to the full and live securely in your land.
- I will grant peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and no one shall make you afraid.
- I will remove dangerous animals from the land, and no sword shall go through your land.
- You shall give chase to your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
- Five of you shall give chase to a hundred, and a hundred of you shall give chase to ten thousand.
- Your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
- I will look with favor upon you and make you fruitful and multiply you.
- I will maintain my covenant with you.
- You shall eat old grain long stored you shall have to clear out the old to make way for the new.
- I will place my dwelling in your midst, and I shall not abhor you.
- I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people.
Among those 15 blessings, how many do you feel that you are enjoying now? If you do not enjoy all of them, why is the case?
The problem is not with God!
I believe that God is the same God yesterday and today. It is the same God who said, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be their slaves no more; I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.” The same God who brought people out of Egypt with miracles and wonders is with us and giving us those blessings.
Then we are the problem!
Many times people say that the prosperity Gospel and positive thinking are distorted Good News. The reason why people say that is they emphasize only a half of the truth. The other half is that God’s blessings are contingent to our obedience. God said, “You shall make for yourselves no idols and erect no carved images or pillars, and you shall not place figured stones in your land, to worship at them; for I am the Lord your God. You shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.”
We worship other gods when we work, live, and play in the world. We trust other means and resources more than God. For example, we trust that atomic bombs and computers can protect us and give us national security. We trust central banks and universities more than God. We constantly make idols and erect carved images or pillars. We do not keep God’s Sabbaths and do not pay reverence to God’s sanctuary. And we complain that God does not bless us.
Salvation depends on our faith and blessings depend on our obedience.
And faith and obedience are two sides of one coin. When we believe that Jesus is our “savior,” we are saved. Our status has been changed. We are no longer strangers but children of God. We are now heirs of God’s Kingdom. However, we need to grow and learn to act like God’s children. When we believe that Jesus is our “Lord,” we will follow his commandments. This following is the obedience that brings blessings upon us. We can truly exercise the power of the Kingdom as heirs. When we do not follow the commandments, we still are children of God but not ready to exercise power and authority. We still need to be taught by the slave teachers and sometimes go through disciplines. Now you know why we cannot enjoy all those blessings.
Let us claim all those blessings as ours and enjoy them while we are still growing and serving!
- What are the blessings among those listed ones that you do not enjoy now?
- What do you think you need to do differently to change the situation?