Soul Food 4 U

It addresses itself to every day issues of life from a Christian perspective. You'll be challenged. You'll be rebuked. You'll be encouraged. You'll grow.

Monday, August 14, 2006

BLESS AND DO NOT CURSE

REFECTIONS:
· ‘The feeble minded lack common sense, but they also lack
analytical criticism, which, like a brake, can be a hindrance to some
normal people’. Corrie ten Boom
· Do not turn people off with your religion. Do not criticise,
condemn or complain, instead fatten those not sharing your faith, as
yet,
with friendship.
· We do not see things as they are but we see things as we are.
TEXT:
Luke 6:27 "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to
those
who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat
you”.

Rom 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. . . ..
16
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to
associate with people of low position.. .. 17 Do not repay anyone evil
for
evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it
is
possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19
Do
not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is
written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20 On the
contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give
him
something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his
head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. NIV
1 Corinthians 4:1212 We work hard with our own hands. When we are
cursed,
we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; NIV

Can you think of a warm sunny day when on a walk with friends around
the
Park, some monkeys up the trees throw objects, irritate and obstruct
you. Looking up you realise one of them is different, there is
something familiar. Though naked and swinging like other monkeys, you
recognise that is your twin brother who unfortunately did not get the
same opportunity you had of being adopted into a ‘normal’ family. He
grew up with the monkeys and so never developed his speech cords, and
learnt their manners. Would you throw back stones at him, ignore him
and walk away? Suppose as you try to woo your sibling who was raised
differently from you, the response you get is scratch, bite and kicks,
would you look for a gun to shoot him because he is not treating you
right? Just think about it.
What is normal to you is a result of God’s unexplainable mercies. We
have
our brothers and sisters who share our genes, but have not as yet known
the grace of God as we do. Is it ‘normal’ to react to their behaviour
as
if they had the same privilege that we have had? Might the irritation
with the behaviour of our other brother, who do not see things the way
we
do, reflect that we have not understood our adopted status? Is our
cursing and shielding of ourselves from them a sign of pride or
ignorance?
Remember ignorance brings death to God’s people (Hosea 4:6)

When you know,’ But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While
we
were still sinners, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8), then you have no
reason to be proud. God’s intention from the beginning is that his
creation lives within the cover of his blessing. His message to those
who
have known him is to go and befriend those who do not know him as a
father
so that they too can have the opportunity to experience that love.

DISTINGUISH BETWEEN CULTURAL AND GOD’S BLESSING

To bless is to have approval and backing by one who has authority and
power, I want to believe that there is a cultural ‘blessing’ which is
having a net of approval when one keeps the expected standards of the
culture. To be blessed may mean one has a piece of good fortune and has
general appreciation. The good expected has been realised.
To be blessed of God is to have a net thrown over us that keeps us
within
the boundaries of God’s goodness and warmth. God’s blessing may not
necessarily be similar to cultural blessing. The blessing of God in
a
way is having God’s delight and that remains as protection. God’s
blessing
cause the blessed to honour him and value what he values. That covering
does not mean that we do not experience environmental changes that at
times cause famine. Famine may mean no job for some time, no promotion,
no
contract, and no expansion in business, etc.
Ø Abraham had no child for a long time, he had challenging
moments
such as mentioned in Genesis chapter 20 when he was so afraid that he
allowed his wife to be taken away by another man yet he was blessed.
When
God called Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) he blessed him and told him that it
was through him that the nations of the earth will be blessed. ‘Gen
12:2
". . . I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will
make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those
who
bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on
earth
will be blessed through you." NIV

Ø Change of location and zeal of the enemy cannot break the cover
that God puts over his people. The incident of Balaam and Balak in
Numbers
22-24 confirms that a person that is blessed of God cannot be cursed.

Ø To try and fight people whom God has blessed is to call for
your
own destruction. Think of Haman in the book of Esther, who thought
that
he could fight against the Jews. ‘His advisers and his wife Zeresh said
to
him, "Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of
Jewish
origin, you cannot stand against him-you will surely come to ruin!"
(Esther 6:13-14). To assume that your advantaged position permits you
to
look down on those are blessed of God is courting embarrassment. To
determine to be good to all people may be wise caution.

All those who put their faith in the God of Abraham get the blessing of
Abraham. Galatians 3: 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are
Abraham's
seed, and heirs according to the promise. Does that make you feel
secure
and at ease? Yes! We have the cover of God over us at all times
whether
we are relaxing on ‘green pastures or walking through the shadow of
death’. Isaac had the blessing of God yet he experienced famine.
However, God created an oasis for him in the foreign land (Gen 26:12)
Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a
hundredfold,
because the LORD blessed him.

SOME WAYS THAT A BLESSED PERSON CAN GET OUT OF THE BLESSING.

1. In ability to control the desires of the flesh- It is full obedient
and
careful walk (Deuteronomy 28:1). Making choices that disregard the law
of
God. Numbers 25 illustrates how people who had been so zealously
protected by God to the extent of having a donkey to man, they later on
willingly walked out of the cover. The men were enticed by the girls of
Moab and off they went. We have to make choices that are in line with
God’s promise to us. My brothers learn a lesson from Job who was
blessed
of God. Job 31:1"I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully
at a
girl”.
2. Failing to honour God (Malachi 2:2). Our theology determines our
view
of God and is one of the very deep core issues. Lack of understanding
of
whom God is and his value for humanity. Human inclination is to wish
evil
those whose behaviour does not agree with our norm. Thieves, murderer,
rapists, oppressors, terrorist and all those whose thinking is warped
up
can provoke us to where we can be tempted to wish them evil. Somehow
these
are the people that Jesus came to seek and save.
3. Using cultural view to serve the purposes of God. We have been sent
to
be a witness of Gods unfailing love to the world whose view is
different.
To be born again is to choose to drink from the fountain of life. How
can
people who have being transformed by the word of God start reigning
curses
on those to whom they have been sent? Do you realise that when you give
in
to the desire to pronounce negative spell over those for whom Jesus
died
because they have stolen or destroyed what you consider to be your
property, may be a reflection of ‘loving the world and the things of
the
world’? What earthly property would equal to God’s value for man so
that
you can wish him closure from eternity because a building or car or
money
was taken? Have you treasured things to where they have blocked your
mind
from realising that you are a steward? My friend when we equate
people
whose views differ from ours to property or even lower level, we get
ourselves out of God’s blessing. Ps 109:17 ‘He loved to pronounce a
curse--may it come on him; he found no pleasure in blessing--may it be
far
from him’.
Do not take responsibility that is not yours. Jesus Christ message to
us
is to bless and not curse those who do not treat us right. No behaviour
of
God’s image bearers qualifies those who have received the mercy of God
to
shut off others.

BENEFITS OF BLESSING PEOPLE
1. The warmth of God’s love ‘paralyses’ people and so hinders
progression
of evil. When you call upon God to bless those whose view is different
from yours, they become incapacitated from doing evil. People who are
blessed do not harm others. There is power in blessing others. Once
your
mind is inclined to see good in God’s people, you weaken their evil
resolve and multiply good. Throwing the net of God’s goodness over
others
demonstrates your appreciation of Christ’s’ love and that multiplies
the
good.
2. Increases you appreciation of God’s fatherhood. “Our father who art
in
heaven’. To develop a habit of blessing people increases you
possibility
of seeing good in others. Since you are seeing things from God’s
perspective, you see the potential in others and so get concerned on
how
to win them over. You become an encourager to those whose thinking and
action makes them think of destroying others. If you think like them,
it
may mean that you are not sure of your status.
3. You become more confident in your walk with God. To bless those who
persecute you shows that you have confidence in God. It is God who will
avenge and so do not assist him.
4. You are on the Lord’s side. To fail to bless makes you be on the
same
side with the devil who accuses others before God. Your duty is to
plead
God’s mercy over those who are blind and not able to know the grace of
God. It is keeping the greatest commandment when you refuse to get
emotionally trapped and do to other as they do to you. It is when you
love
the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul that you do to
others
what you would love them do to you. Do not let the world set the
standards for you.
5. Release from being a victim of other’s behaviour. To start getting
irritated and reacting to their behaviour makes you a victim of their
actions. Once you are bound by behaviour of others you cannot be used
to
release them from their prison. You have entered the same person. To
bless
is to remain in God’s power and authority where you can light your
world.

To bless releases you to a life of productivity. A Church management
got
concerned about sheep entering the sanctuary and so posted a notice at
the door that read’ keep the doors firmly closed because sheep may come
in’. The church doors should be left open to welcome in the sheep. When
fear of the behaviour of the people make us close doors and burglar
proof,
we may seem active but may have lost our reason for being. Our mission
is
to be a light in the darkness. We are to go to the streets and by ways
to
call them. To give in to the natural man’s desire of wishing evil to
those
who are not good to us may be a pointer that we are off course. It is
nullifying the power in the blood of Jesus. Remember you have been
blessed so that you may bless and through you the blessing of God may
flow
through to others. Africa needs blessed people who can pronounce God’s
blessing in the homes and institutions.
The dying lamp thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved to sin no more.

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