February 24

I have seen numerous bumper stickers that say something like, “Be blessed.” I’ve often wondered what that actually means. When someone sneezes, I still say, “God bless you.” I do that because I like talking about God every chance I get. But, do we really know what it takes to “be blessed?” Do we ever really think about what it takes for God to bless us? After all, the Bible clearly states that God has “… blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians1:3).

The reality is that God has blessed us with all these blessings, but we don’t always access these blessings. If we live in sin, God will withhold His blessings. That means that we must live in a way that pleases Him if we expect Him to show us these blessings He has for us. I do know one thing, God does want to bless us. However, that blessing is contingent upon our obedience to His Word.

Today I read a great verse that speaks to what it takes to experience the blessing of God. “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:25). This verse makes it clear that in order for us to experience the blessing of God, we must read the Word of God. However, we must do much more than simply read the Word, we must follow that up with obedience to the words we read. It is not enough to simply look at the words in the Bible, we must also apply them to our heart and behavior.

James uses a phrase that impresses me. He warns us not to be a “forgetful hearer.” The opposite of being a forgetful hearer, is that we are a person that is a “doer of the work.” That is what brings the blessing! It has nothing to do with giving money to a TV evangelist. It has nothing to do with a bumper sticker. It has everything to do with simply doing what it is that God has told us to do. Like a father, who loves his children, God wants to give good things to His children. But, like a father, God will withhold blessings from a disobedient child. Today I want to read His Word with a heart to obey. I want to be a man of spiritual action. I want to be as committed to doing what I read in the Bible as I am committed to anything in my life. I want my wife to see the difference. I want our children to see a father who is committed to Christ. I want to be a man who practices what I preach. The purpose of this devotional is to remind myself, and you, that there is a way to the blessing!

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