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Being Blessed by God

Psalm 1 begins with the words “Blessed is the man.” In meditating on Psalm 1, have you asked God the question, “What does it mean to be blessed?”

Does it mean financial prosperity, emotional stability, and physical well-being? Well, those may be external manifestations of God’s blessing, but we all know people who are financially prosperous, emotionally stable, and seem to be in good physical health who do not have a relationship with God. So, is there a deeper meaning to “being blessed by God?”

The Hebrew word for “blessed” in Psalm 1:1 means “blessed” or “happy” (see also, Job 5:17, Ps. 2:12, 119:1). It is a relational word, i.e. the focus is on a relationship with the almighty living God rather than the physical manifestations of being blessed. Being blessed involves blessings, but the true blessing is the “life-giving” relationship with Jesus, the Christ.

If you love someone and give them a gift, the relationship is the primary motivation. The gift is just a physical expression of your love and appreciation. The gift will be used or enjoyed by the recipient and it will be a manifestation or reminder of the love relationship. Giving blesses the giver (“It is more blessed to give than to receive” Acts 20:35), but it also evokes a response of gratefulness and appreciation on the part of the recipient. Thus, the relational bond is strengthened.

So it is with our loving heavenly Father. He desires to bless us with gifts. In fact, Jesus said, “If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts, unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him (Matthew 7:11). God’s focus or motivation is not His gifts to us, but it is His love for us. “For God so loved the world, that he gave…” (John 3:16).

Each of us, however, must choose to direct our attention to God if we are going to experience the relational blessing of God. We must turn from “the counsel of the ungodly,” and turn toward the “law [will] of the Lord” and the Word which became flesh (Jesus) to be “like a tree [an Oak by a Brook!]”… “that bringeth forth his fruit in his season” and one who prospers in “whatsoever he doeth.”

Christianity is not a formula to receive blessings. It is an active and dynamic relationship with the living God who desires to bless those who have entered into relationship with Him through faith in Jesus. Being blessed by God involves His love, provision, and promises. Those promises include wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, which we all need if we are going to fulfill the calling of being advocates of truth, counselors of reconciliation, and ministers of justice.

Look more closely at Psalm 1 and related verses and see what the Lord will “speak” to you.



Robert J. Barth
Associate Dean


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