The One Thing Christians Should Stop Saying was shared with me by a treasured friend. The author, Scott Dannemiller, boldly addressed the popularized expression: “I’m blessed”.
When I say that my material fortune is the result of God’s blessing, it reduces The Almighty to some sort of sky-bound, wish-granting fairy who spends his days randomly bestowing cars and cash upon his followers…
During our year in Guatemala, Gabby and I witnessed first-hand the damage done by the theology of prosperity, where faithful people scraping by to feed their families were simply told they must not be faithful enough. If they were, God would pull them out of their nightmare. Just try harder, and God will show favor.
The problem? Nowhere in scripture are we promised worldly ease in return for our pledge of faith. In fact, the most devout saints from the Bible usually died penniless, receiving a one-way ticket to prison or death by torture.
Jesus told us who was “blessed” in Matthew 5: 1-12.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
I highlighted verse six for a reason. This past weekend, I spent Friday night and most of the day Saturday at a woman’s retreat as a guest speaker. Our theme was “Instruments of Righteousness” based on the verses from Romans 6:13-14.
Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I prayed for the presence of the Holy Spirit to fill me with His Words, and for His presence to dwell among us and change us. I was once again AMAZED at constant confirmation from Him as I prepared, and the power He displayed in this tired, simple, ordinary woman. I felt Him walk beside me and guide every step not only with the message, but also where to be in a given moment to receive confirmation and direction on how to serve Him.
I was satisfied and filled by Him as we all hungered and thirst for His righteousness.
At church this Sunday, Pastor Stan, of Cloverhill Assembly of God, shared a message on “Bless Me Indeed!” I rejoiced that God saw fit to take the article by Scott, my weekend, and a Sunday sermon to bring it all together. Pastor Stan admonished prosperity preaching and shared the prayer of Jabez. I was so touched by his message, I desired to spend a few blog posts throughout the coming weeks on this message and the work God did throughout the ladies’ retreat weekend.
Scott was grateful for God’s provisions, and knew that he was called to be used by God.
So my prayer today is that I understand my true blessing. It’s not my house. Or my job. Or my standard of living.
My blessing is this. I know a God who gives hope to the hopeless. I know a God who loves the unlovable. I know a God who comforts the sorrowful. And I know a God who has planted this same power within me. Within all of us.
And for this blessing, may our response always be,
“Use me.” (Scott)
I look forward to spending time with you and Jesus –“Remembering Him…..”