It could be said probably, that, everybody likes a blessing. Those who do not believe in God, however, may not call it “Blessing”. What would you have to be thankful for? Who would you thank? I do not have the answer. My reading this morning was reading through Ephesians and Philippians. Two Epistles [Letters] written by the apostle Paul with words of encouragement to the church of Ephesus and the church of Philippi.
To Ephesus Paul writes,
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ…” Ephesians 1:3 (KJV)
It is one thing to bless God with words, such as the apostle does above; but how are we at blessing Him with our lives too. Both are a part of the faithful Christian’s life. We are to bless God by remembering His blessings to and upon us.
While Paul is addressing “Spiritual blessings” which involve the things that are in the following verses; “He has chosen us in Him”, “Predestinated us unto the adoption of children…”, “…We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins…”. He goes on and includes “…an inheritance”, and that “Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise…”. The spiritual blessings go on and on.
Those spiritual blessing work themselves out into living in this world and life. If we do not live with these spiritual blessings; having thankfulness for them, then, we will most likely be a negative, bitter, envious, carnal individual; probably not a true Christian. Do you realize your spiritual blessings? Are you thankful for them? Particularly for the grace given to us by the Father, putting His own Son to death on the cross, and raising Him again bodily from the grave?
In Ephesians we are told about grace. It is by grace we are saved; plus nothing, minus nothing.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
In chapter five we are admonished to “…Be filled with the Spirit”, not spirits; how husbands and wives are to respect and love one another, especially how the husband is love his wife as Christ loves the church, and gave Himself for her. Children are to obey their parents, parents are not to “Provoke” their children (chapter 6). Servants, even employees, are to serve their bosses as though they are serving Christ.
In Philippians we see that Jesus Christ was a man of humility; humbling Himself even to the death of the cross;
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5-8 (KJV)
It is one of the greatest spiritual blessings to know the God/Man who came to be with us and without sin, offer His life as an atonement for our sin, that we might be like Him. Because of Him we have great cause for rejoicing, which the apostle addresses in the letter (4:4).
Let me end with just a note concerning the passing of a man of God. Charles Colson who was the founder of Prison Fellowship and aided in many prison reforms; and many men and women coming to faith in Christ who were in prison; has gone home to be with Jesus. Reading his book “Born Again” was a blessing to me. I have also read several of his other books. Thank God for men such as Charles Colson who devote their lives to the name and cause of Jesus Christ.
-Tim A. Blankenship