The first thing we talked about was you must receive God’s blessing through Christ. Everything God does for you and to you and through you and with you and in you and by you, he does because of Jesus Christ. The second thing to do is…
Celebrate God’s blessing in worship
What do I mean by that? Thank God for what he’s already done for you. God loves to bless people who are grateful for what they’ve already got.
When you do that, it’s called worship. And when we thank him for what he has given us, he blesses us with even more, because he loves to bless those who worship him.
Remember worship is far more than just a church service or music. Worship is a lifestyle. It’s an attitude of gratitude where you continually thank God for everything in your life. That’s worship - living in an attitude of perpetual thanksgiving.
The book of Romans 5:11 in the New Testament says, “Now we rejoice (that’s the celebration part) in our wonderful new relationship with God all because of what our Lord Jesus has done for us in dying for our sins, making us friends of God.”
It says Jesus Christ died for our sins. He paid for our blessings with His life.
Everything you have in life is because of Jesus. The grace of God is free but it is not cheap, because it cost Jesus Christ His life.
Should I feel grief that Jesus died on the cross? No, because He didn’t stay dead. He’s alive today! He rose again on Easter. That’s what Easter is all about. He said, “I’m going to prove that I’m God by coming back to life,” and that is why we have 2015 AD
In fact, every time the church practices Communion, you are celebrating what God has done to pay for all the blessings in your life. What blessings or benefits do I get from what happened on the cross?
There are three big ones I can tell you off the top of my head!
1. Jesus paid for the penalty of your sin so you don’t have to pay for it. You don’t get to go to hell, you get to spend eternity with Jesus Christ because he paid for all the sins that are wrong in your life. That’s good news.
2. Then he broke the power of sin which means I can now change. I don’t have to stay stuck in a rut. I don’t have to be addicted. I don’t have to be kept in the mold that somebody put me in when I was a kid. I can be free and I can change. I don’t have to stay the same.
I can let go of habits and hurts and hang-ups.
3. He has guaranteed a place for me in heaven.
When Jesus Christ died for you on the cross, he solved your biggest problem, your eternal destiny, your eternal salvation. What does that mean? It means every other problem you have in life is minor by comparison. If He loved you enough to pay and solve your biggest problem, He certainly loves you enough to handle the little problems in your life.
The Bible says in the book of Romans 8:32,“Since God did not spare even His own Son but He gave Him up for us all, won’t God who gave us Christ also give us everything else?
The answer is obvious – Yes! If God loved me enough to pay for my eternal salvation, He certainly loves me enough to help me with my finances, and my health, and my relationships, and every other area of my life. So I don’t need to worry.
Think about that for a minute. Jesus Christ took your place on the cross. He’s doing time for you, so you don’t have to do time in hell. He paid the penalty for your sin.
Once you’re set free and a prison sentence has been paid for and the doors open, do you hang around the prison? No. You walk out into the light. I’m saying that whatever has had you imprisoned, in Jesus Christ you can walk out of it.
Some of you have been imprisoned by guilt. You can’t forget what you did. Some of you have been imprisoned by resentment.
You can’t forget what others have done to you and you’re still locked in the prison of bitterness and hatred and anger and resentment. Or you’re locked in the prison of loneliness. Or worry and anxiety and fear. Or you’re locked in the prison of addiction.
You can’t stop it, no matter how hard you try. I want to tell you today. This power that raised Jesus Chris from the dead is there to help you to walk out of that prison and be free. God wants to bless your life. You receive him through Christ and you celebrate him through worship.
I want to remind you and challenge you to never let a day go by that you don’t thank Jesus Christ for the cross. And now, here’s the third key to God’s blessing in your life.
Expect God’s blessing by faith
You receive it in Christ, you celebrate it in worship, and you expect it by faith. God blesses people who trust him. God blesses people who believe in him. God blesses people who expect him to bless them. In the New Testament book of Hebrews 11:1 it says this: “Only faith can guarantee the blessings we hope for.”
Not going to church, being a nice person or anything else. Only faith can guarantee the blessings we hope for. God blesses you when you trust Him. And God loves it when you expect him to take care of you. It’s a compliment to him.
You say, “God, I don’t know how to handle this problem but I’m trusting You.” And God says, “That’s my girl! That’s my boy! You’re doing exactly what I want you to do. Trust Me.”
It is faith that brings the blessing of God in your life. The Bible says “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
How many things did you do this week that were unpleasing? Every time I chose to worry instead of have faith, I was unpleasing to God. The Bible says “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” How many times did you sin this week? All those times I chose to have anxiety instead of trusting God is sin.
The Bible says this in 2 Corinthians 9, “God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything.”
Let me ask you a very personal question. What are you expecting God to do in your life? I’m talking about this next week, this next seven days. I already know what He’s going to do in your life and I’m no prophet. The Bible says: “According to your faith it will be done unto you.” That means you get to decide.
According to your faith it will be done unto you. You know what God’s going to do in your life this next week? Exactly what you expect Him to do. No more, no less. God says you get to decide how much I bless your life. When you study the Bible you find that every time God did a miracle in somebody’s life, it’s because somebody believed.
In the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus gave he said, you really only have two alternatives in life. You can either worry or trust. Trust God or worry about it yourself. Jesus says this in the gospel of Luke 12:24-31: “Look at the birds.
I feed them and you are worth so much more than birds. Don’t have so little faith. Don’t always be thinking about what you will eat or drink and don’t keep worrying. Your Father knows you need these things. But seek God’s kingdom and all these other things you need will be given to you.”
In all the entire universe there is only one thing that God has created that worries and that’s human beings.
Nothing else that God’s created worries. Everything else in creation trusts God.
Animals don’t worry, plants don’t worry, rocks don’t worry, at least I don’t think they do. The only thing in creation that worries is human beings. We’re the only ones who doubt our creator. The challenge I leave with you is this: that problem that’s keeping you awake at night, that problem that has a pit in your stomach, God is asking you a question right now: “Will you trust Me?”
God blesses people who trust Him, who expect God’s blessing by faith.
There’s one more key. If you want God’s blessing on your life in a great way…
Share God’s blessing with others
You receive it through Christ, you celebrate it through worship, you expect it by faith, and you share it with others.
God doesn’t want to just bless your life, He wants to use your life in a great way. God doesn’t want to just bless you so you can feel good and go, “Isn’t this great? I feel blessed.” No. He wants to make you a blessing to other people.
The more you share with others, the more God is going to bless your life. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:8: “God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance so that by always having enough of everything you may share abundantly in every good work.”
God says, I bless you abundantly so you can bless others abundantly. Some of you are saying, “But I don’t have any abundance.”
Oh, yes you do! By being in the Cook Islands, you’re in the top eight per cent of wealth in the world. You have been blessed abundantly. So don’t give that excuse.
Here’s how it works. You start blessing others with what you’ve got, and God will give you more. That principle never fails. You start sharing what you’ve got, and God will give you more.
You don’t say, “When I get to a certain level… When I achieve a certain thing… When I get more time… When this happens in my life… then I will start sharing.” No! You start sharing what you’ve got, and God will give you more. I will leave you with this verse from the Bible in Acts 20:25: “Remember that our Lord Jesus said, ‘More blessings come from giving than from receiving.” If you want God’s blessing start being a blessing.
Enjoy your weekend and expect the best from God.
Pastor Tevai Matapo.