FAITH: Praises for His blessings and provision
1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, 2 that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. 3 May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. 4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. 5 May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. 6 Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. 7 God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him. – Psalm 67
I am currently preaching through a message series called, “The Blessed Life!” It has become evident to me yet again, that the blessed life is about the condition of our heart. Obviously, I am not talking about our physical heart, though we know our culture continues to face a crisis of physical heart health, but of the place inside each of us where life is managed and where we are led. The condition of our life’s central command center is the platform for the Lord to lavish us with His blessings! Does my heart belong fully to God? Is my life in a place where the Lord can bless me? These are important questions we must be willing to continually ask ourselves if we desire to live in the blessings of God.
What I want all of you to hear is the Lord desires greatly to bless HIS people! The key word here is HIS! I cannot say the Lord does not bless people who do not follow Him, I cannot speak for the Lord. As well, we know the Lord is gracious, merciful, and kind, so I have an assumption He blesses all people in some form or another. The quest however is the blessed LIFE. A complete life of blessings is only possible for those who are living for God and continually yield their heart to HIM!
We also must consider how God blesses a nation. If God continually blesses the life of a person whose heart is devoted to God, then it seems to lend God blesses groups of people or even a nation filled with the hearts of folks yielded to Him! The criteria as well seems to be a nation intentionally making the ways of the Lord known and continually giving the Lord praise for His blessings and provision! I have continued to wonder during this year especially if our nation is still in a place in our heart towards God to be in line for His blessings.
Obviously, there are many in this nation who love the Lord, serve the Lord, and yield their hearts to Him. The concern I have is what looks like a dwindling number of people who are willing to be devoted to God and the increasing number of people who are committed to the selfish motives of humanism. By understanding the Word of God and the truth we find from the conviction of the Holy Spirit, it would make sense for our nation to be on the back end of God’s gracious blessings we have been used to receiving. Can God still bless America? Will God still bless America? I want to believe yes to both questions, but it still comes back to our hearts. A broken heart and a contrite spirit will not be denied by the Lord. Are we willing to repent and yield to HIM?
I would encourage you to ask these questions of yourself and your family and friends. It must start somewhere. I agree we are in such a shape of our civilization we are far from where the Lord would want us to be so He could continue to bless us. The error of our ways can be remedied, but we cannot continue to put it off. It can start with a remnant, and it starts on our knees broken and honest before the Lord. The Lord can and will heal the heart of a person and a nation willing to return to Him and walk in His ways.
Our nation is in turmoil and we have gone our own way, but when we turn our hearts to the Lord, He will never turn us away!
That is Good News!
Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.
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