I am certainly glad so many are getting blessed by this series but this may be the final part in this series, not that there aren’t many more blessings in the word, but I wanted to simply give an overview of some of the blessings God has for us.
You are a blessed people, completely loved by God, protected by Him, guided by Him but our challenge is living in a way that keeps us under His blessings…
But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
Our trust in Him and keeping our hope and faith (confidence) in Him not in ourselves or those around us or in what we can do always frees the blessings of God in our lives.
Today I want to look at various scriptures, some as a reminder and some may be new to you, regarding God’s blessings for those who trust in the Lord.
Freedom – you may be saying I live in the freest nation in the world, I have never been in bondage but we do end up in bondage sometimes to shame, guilt, anger, fear, unforgiveness, debt, alcohol, drugs, food, spending, as well as the little boxes of limitation we place ourselves into, and so many other things. Here are some promises regarding your freedom.
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Jesus reemphasized this a few verses later
So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.
There are so many things in this life that lie to us to tell us we can have freedom when it is really bondage. How many get into some kind of addiction thinking they have control over it but really it has control over them.
How many think they have their lives, finances, children under control only to realize they have a fear of the future, are spending much of their time worrying about money, try so hard because of wanting to keep up with the jones’ kids, or simply ensure that their kids don’t make the same mistakes they did growing up in all these things coming to realize in trying to control them they can actually become a slave to them….don’t get me wrong there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about your future, your finances, and your kids but apply God’s word to every situation,
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Perfect peace is complete freedom for us…in verses 31,32 Jesus is talking about completely trusting and knowing everything he has said and in 36 he is talking about being a son or daughter that is set free from sin….we gain our promised freedom by fighting to get to a place where we absolutely trust him, rather than thinking and focusing in on the problem we focus in on Him and trusting that He is going to solve it.
Remember Christians don’t have problems only opportunities for God to move.
Our truth is that regardless of how we may “feel” at times….
God is always there
God’s love for us never fails
God does have a plan for us and has our future in the palm of His hands
God won’t hold any blessings back from those who love Him
God will always lead and guide us through His Holy Spirit
God doesn’t cause fear, anxiety or worry but give instead, power, love, and clear thoughts
Simply our truth is “the” truth and that our God will never fail us
I believe Jesus emphasizes this freedom in Matthew 6: 26 (The Message)
Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
You are called to freedom!
Part of the blessing is that we can truly walk and live shame and guilt free. You have been completely forgiven. In God’s eyes your past sins no longer exist. When we come to Christ our sin is taken care of…You have heard me share many times Colossians 2:14 but I want us to also look at the verse before and after to get the full emphasis
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled(obliterated) the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
I want to make sure today that no one who claims the name of Christ is still feeling dead and controlled by sin, Christ has completely forgiven you! In fact, your sins no longer exist in this reality. Because your sins were nailed to the cross with Jesus. Satan and his demonic forces have all been neutralized in your life (not in the world), they no longer have free reign over you because Jesus has set you free.
Psalm 103:8- 12
The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. 10 He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. 11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
Obviously verse 12 is what I wanted to emphasize for this part of the blessing. Your sins are removed as far away as the east is from the west, an immeasurable distance but I wanted you to also understand when we blow it, the Father’s heart is not like some of our fathers or other leaders in our lives, He really loves us and is patient with our failings, when He looks at your heart and sees you really do love Him and desire to follow Him he moves in great grace toward us.
Forgiveness ties in with freedom as when you forgive you are set free. We receive the full benefit of our forgiveness when we make a practice of forgiving others. Jesus went to the cross for our forgiveness and He expects us to do the same to others.
I understand there is lots of pain in this room and in those watching. When the Bible talks about forgiving others it does not exonerate them from their sin toward us, it does not let them off of the hook. They still must deal with their sin especially the root of that sin.
Unforgiveness is like a weight around our neck. I have read studies over the years about the damage it can do to people physically and mentally and have seen first-hand the damage it does spiritually.
We have received a gift to set us free of every sin and all of the times we have blown it but the full effect of that blessing takes place as we forgive others which takes our hands off of them and allows the Lord to deal with them.
The person you are holding unforgiveness toward is someone God loves, no matter how despicable they may be, they are still created in the image of God, and He wants to reach them to set them free….when you set them free, by choosing moment by moment, day by day to forgive you too get set free and the full blessing of God’s forgiveness is on you.
Then Peter came to him (Jesus) and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
The rabbinical tradition was that a person needed to forgive someone three times and Peter was being generous saying seven but Jesus said it is endless how many times you should forgive. That doesn’t mean you allow yourself to remain in some kind of abusive situation, being constantly demeaned.
He wants you to realize how much you have been forgiven and you need to apply the same grace you have received to others….believe me carrying wounds, hurts, rejections unforgiveness does not hurt the person who wounded you, it only allows them to continue to wound you. The Lord doesn’t want you living in pain but instead living in freedom.
Choose today to walk in the truth and be set free….choose today to walk in forgiveness and take the control away from the person who hurt you and begin to walk in the blessing of forgiveness.
Today is your day of freedom…begin the road of freedom today…come to the altar and allow the Lord to meet you here!