ďMAKE A WISH (1): BE BLESSEDĒ††††† ††††††††††By Pastor YAU
INTRODUCTION:† Making a wish at some point of life or some important days, such as birthday and New Year, is almost universal. Most people have the desire for a better life: a better fortune or a better person.† Even though the Bible doesnít have a formula to get richer and healthier, it does promise Godís blessings on those who live their lives Godís way. God even promised to bless the descendants of those who observed and obeyed His laws to many generations. (Exodus 20:6)
†††††† In the passage quoted above, the Bible promises Godís blessing on the man who fears God. (v.1) His children will be mighty in the land they dwell, (v.2) and he will have wealth and riches in his house. (v. 3) God will provide light in time of darkness, (v. 4) and good, instead of evil, will come to him. (v. 5) He will never be shaken, (v. 6) or be afraid of bad news. (v. 7) He will triumph over his enemies, (v. 8) and he will receive honor from the Lord, (v. 9)
†††††† In order to be blessed as God has promised, a man needs to walk in the way the Lord has prescribed. In this passage, the Lord has lay out ways of life the man needs to follow. Among the ways listed here, let us group them in the following:
A MAN AND HIS GOD: (112:1) ďBlessed is the man who fears the LORD.Ē
1) He needs to have GOD in his heart. Thatís the starting point. He cannot and should not expect Godís blessings without God living and ruling in his heart and his life. Anyone whose heart is full of other things, there is no room for God will not be qualified of His blessings.
2) He needs to respect God and His commands: To have God in oneís heart means to allow God to be in control of his heart and life. God should not be an invited guest. He should be the master and the Lord. Humility and the willingness to surrender oneís pride and control is not an option but a pre-requisite to Godís blessings.
3) He needs to observe and obey His law and guidance. Knowing Godís commands and decrees, obeying and following Godís directives, seeking and following Godís guidance in all things are proper conditions to receive His blessings.
A MAN AND HIS OWN LIFE: (112:2-3) He is upright and righteous.
1) He knows right from wrong, good from bad. A man needs to have a right mind to do the right thing. His conscience is in the proper position to choose the right from wrong. He needs to know good and evil from the perspective of God.
2) He will not allow his personal interest or bias to interfere with his sense of right and wrong. He will not bend the truth for personal gains. He will take a stand for what is right and good even to his personal loss. He will not flip flop for benefits.
3) He will keep his life as clean as humanly possible: do right, think right and talk right. He will shun from evil, stay away from the ungodly and uphold truth under all conditions. (Psalm 1:1)
A MAN AND HIS PEOPLE: (112:4, 5) He is gracious, compassionate and just.
1) Even with all that he has, he is gracious and humble with people. He is not boastful or self asserting. He will not over rule others when people disagree with him. He will admit fault and accept defeat graciously and sincerely.
2) To the less fortunate, he will express his compassion and care. He will never gloat on misfortune of others. He needs to have a soft heart, easily feels touched to help the helpless. He will forgive those who had wronged or owed him.
3) In business dealings, he will do what is right and appropriate and just. He will not allow profits to take control of his business transactions. He will not cheat or bend facts for personal gains.
A MAN AND HIS MONEY:† (112:5, 9) He is generous in giving to the poor.
1) He recognizes the sovereignty of God in his possessions. He knows he is only a caretaker of the trusts God has given him. He acknowledges Godís purpose in his riches and how he should follow His guidance in dispensing them.
2) He is not selfish on his riches. He will not indulge in reckless or wasteful life style. He will not withhold his hands when it is proper to give to the needy. His compassion will move him to help those who have needs. He will share not just his wealth but his love.
3) He will be honest and faithful in his tithes and offerings. He will not steal from what belongs to God and His church. He will use his resources to help advancing the gospel ministry at home and abroad to save more souls.
CONCLUSION: ††God never bribes people to do what is good and right. But He did promise blessings to those who follow His laws and commands. Psalm 1 gives us a simple but workable formula for a life that will be under the blessings of the Lord. As we draw closer to the new year of 2005, shouldnít we make a wish to be like the man described in both Psalms 1 and 112?† This is not prosperity theology. This is a journey of faith believing in the Lord for all His goodness on those who love and follow Him.
†††††† Are you ready to make that wish?† Ready to be a blessed person?