From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. John 1:16 NIV
When you hear the word blessing, what comes to mind? Your home, family, food, a new iDevice maybe? Ask any group of children and these are the types of answers you will most likely hear. One of my favourites last year, ‘I’m thankful for Jesus and meat’, was accompanied by a drawing with Jesus in the center and the girl off to the side eating meat at her kitchen table. These are all good things to be thankful for. Definitions for blessing range from "a beneficial thing for which one is grateful; something that brings well-being" to "God’s favor and protection". (source)
Yes, we are blessed. But wait a minute. Can I measure the degree of my blessing from God by the amount or type of things I own? I have more material goods than someone living a nomadic life in Nigeria, does that mean I have been granted a greater blessing? What does the blessing of God truly look like? Is His blessing in the two thousand square foot home, the Costco-sized pumpkin pie or the latest iDevice? We may have these things, and it is certainly not wrong to be thankful for them, quite the contrary, but I am frustrated when people refer to these things as ‘blessings’, like those who do not have them are not blessed. North Americans on one modest income of $30, 000 per year make it into the top three percent of the wealthiest people in the world. You can check out your own income here.
We live privileged lives, but does privilege equal blessing?
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8
I believe there are blessings given by God that you cannot see. It does not matter where you were born or how much money you make, these blessings are for you. They are the great equalizer. Young or old, rich or poor, man or woman, living in Canada or living in Cambodia, these blessings are for you.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Ephesians 1:13 NLT
If you believe in Christ, you are an heir to His promises, you are His child, you will live and reign with Him forever. Talk about blessing.
Redemption, forgiveness, grace, relationship, these are the blessings I’m talking about. There is no discrimination, they are a free gift and guess what? You cannot earn them, You cannot buy them. You cannot perform for them. They are a gift because you are united with Christ. And the best part? Nothing can take these blessings away. Not rust or moth, or rot or fire or time. They are permanent.
I asked a class of students today to think about the blessings in their life that were not things. I was curious. Family and friends came up, (and those are amazing blessings), but they just kept rolling with it. Love! Faith! Forgiveness! And my heart was saying Yes! You get it! Thank you Lord, that these children can recall what we sometimes forget. The most valuable blessings in our life will never be things of this earth, but the wealth of God’s upside-down Kingdom.
May your heart find joy in the true blessings of God this Thanksgiving, and may He be at the center of all our thanks.