This statement can be heard at least once every day, especially after a
sneeze. Christians use the phrase all the time without really giving it any
“I’m blessed and highly favored.”
“How are you?” says one, “I’m blessed.” responds the other.
“God bless the USA.”
“Go get the blessings of Abraham. Get your inheritance.”
What does this word ‘bless’ really mean? When does God use this term? Well,
It first occurs in Genesis.
Genesis 1: 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He
created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and
God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it;
have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over
every living thing that moves on the earth.”
The word is used again just a little later.
Gen 2: 3 Then God blessed the seventh day (Sabbath) and sanctified it,
because in it He rested from all His work, which God had created and made.
Deut 5: 12 ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God
What is He doing here? Think of it as a math formula. You know, like 1 + 1
equals 2. First God will give His blessing, and then He will tell you what
needs to be done in order to manifest his blessing. And because you are doing
His will, your efforts will yield success. The catch is doing what He says.
Deuteronomy makes it even clearer. Read the following passage.
Deut 28: 1 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of
the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command
you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the
earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you,
because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:
So the next time someone says, “God bless you,” remember this is not a wish
for some magical downpour of good fortune for your life but rather a call for
your obedience to God.
I work for a
construction company in its accounting department. Usually, I’m either
auditing or reconciling accounts, managing fixed assets and so on. What line
of work are you in? What does your workday look like? Do you sit around all
day thinking up new ideas? Are your eyes glued to a computer screen? Are
there mounds of paper all over your desk? What do you do? Most likely, you’re
busy all day like me. And when the day is done, your work can be seen by
others. Your boss or coworkers can easily see and analyze the work you’ve
Let’s turn the table a bit, how is your faith? Is it strong in the Lord? Can
you move mountains? Can you tell the wind to stop blowing? Or maybe you struggle
like doubting Thomas. If so, chances are you’re not as familiar with the Word
as you’d like. Let’s take a moment to figure out this faith thing.
Faith: a (1): belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2): belief in the
traditional doctrines of a religion b (1): firm belief in something for which
there is no proof (2): complete trust (Merriam-Webster)
James 2: 14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith
but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked
and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in
peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are
needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it
does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your
faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You
believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and
tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works
is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered
Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together
with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was
fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for
righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a
man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she
received the messengers and sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead
First off, we have the worldly definition of faith. Merriam-Webster defines
it as a strong belief or trust and that’s all. But then we go to James. The
apostle takes the time to really break down the word. He gives it life, “Thus
also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” It’s like a man
without breath or an animal drained of its blood. There is no life in them.
Dead. Faith cannot exist without works.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says God is faithful. What do you think of that? God is
full of faith. Is God simply believing and trusting in us? Why would He have
to believe and trust in us, or even Himself, if he already knows what we have
done, are doing and will do? He is all knowing. This can’t possibly be what
the author (God) is saying. But we just read that faith and works go
together. So let’s re-examine this truth. Go back to the end of James 2:18,
“…and I will show you my faith by my works.” We already established that God
has faith, and now He says He will show his faith by His works. Put shortly,
God is working. So instead of a strong belief or trust in us, He is working for
our good! All things work for the good of those who love God and are called
according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Who’s working it out? God!
Now let’s get back to us. How is your faith? Are you working it out? Let me
see it. Show it to me. Can your heavenly Boss come by your desk and check it
out? If not, then it may be on the brink of death. But don’t fear; you have
the power to revive it. Just get up and get to work!
Matthew 9:29 …"According to your faith will it be done to you"
The Marriage Vows
This is more of a lesson plan than a
blog but I pray it will be of help to some. Thanks.
The minister says to
the groom: "_____, will you take _____ to be your wedded wife, to live
together after God's ordinance in the holy relationship of marriage? Will you
love her, comfort her, honor and cherish her in sickness and in health, be true
and loyal to her, as long as you both shall live?"
The groom answers, "I will."
Then, the minister addresses the bride: "_____, will you take _____ to be
your wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy
relationship of marriage? Will you love, honor and cherish him in sickness and
in health, be true and loyal to him, as long as you both shall live?"
The bride answers, "I will."
When reciting the following vows, the bride and groom hold right hands, face
each other and repeat after the officiate:
Groom: "_____, I now take you to be my wedded wife, to live together after
God's ordinance in the holy relationship of marriage. I promise to love and
comfort you, honor and keep you, and forsaking all others, I will be yours
alone as long as we both shall live."
Bride: "_____, I now take you to be my wedded husband, to live together
after God's ordinance in the holy relationship of marriage. I promise to love
you and obey you, honor and keep you, and forsaking all others, I will be yours
alone as long as we both shall live."
1. What duties are listed within the wedding vows?
2. What duties stand out the most to you?
3. Are there any differences between the vows for the groom and the bride?
Genesis 2: 21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he
slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22
Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He
brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
and they shall become one flesh.25 And they were both naked, the man and his
wife, and were not ashamed.
Ephesians 5: 31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and
be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."[c] 32This is a
profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each
one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must
respect her husband.
1. To whom does Paul refer when speaking about the bonds of marriage?
2. How is Christ fulfilling his part?
3. How are we, the Church, fulfilling our part?
4. Similar to the bride’s vows, what duty stands out for the Church?
Why do we have such a hard time with obey?
We lose focus on who we are
commanded to obey (Eph 5:22-33).
The husband is the head, as Christ
is the head. The husband is the earthly representation of the spiritual
headship of Christ. Therefore, he can only remain in this position through
a lifestyle modeled after Christ. This is a huge responsibility that has
been put on the husband.
As a wife, we are to respect his
position and submit to his authority while acting in the role of Christ.
However, if the husband falls away from his responsibility, the wife still
must submit to Christ.
The Word says in Matthew 6:24 “No
one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other,
or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” It is impossible
to serve Christ and submit to a husband not acting on God’s behalf. It is
ONLY possible to serve both Christ and your husband if the husband is in
the representation of Christ.
Also look at I Corinthians 7
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