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BLESSING GOD AND OTHERS

The word "bless" is used often in the Scriptures. To bless is to praise, to glorify, to give to, to honor. The blessing of God upon us makes things natural, supernatural, infused by the hand of God. It is an essential exercise for us. Not only does it honor God, but it puts us in the proper posture, reminding us of our place before our Creator.

COMMANDED TO BLESS

In Psalm 134, we are commanded to bless the Lord. 

"Behold, bless the Lord, all servants of the Lord, who serve by night in the house of the Lord! Lift up your hands to the sanctuary and bless the Lord" (Psalm 134:1-2)

This particular Psalm was written to those fortunate priests who kept the night watch in God's temple. But they were instructed—throughout the night—to not fail in blessing God. Like the angels in heaven who never sleep, they were to bless Him continually.

The application? There should never be a moment when we are not blessing God, with our words, our worship, our deeds, our lives. God deserves a constant blessing from His creation, of which we are the highest part.

RECEIVING THE BLESSING

Then, the Psalmist turns and prays for a blessing on those who bless God.

"May the Lord bless you from Zion, He who made heaven and earth." (Psalm 134:3)

One of the reasons we should bless God continually is that He is blessing us without ceasing. The Psalmist here prays for that blessing to come from God's throne. And, we know He has the power to bestow it because He is the Creator of everything.

The application? We should ask God to bless those who need it. That His supernatural power and grace will be directed from the throne right to their situations. As I am writing, I received a text from someone in great need. And I stopped and prayed for this type of blessing to come from the Creator right at the point of their need.

Are you blessing God, all the time? And, are you praying for God's blessing on others? Pause right now and do both … and then make it your habit day and night!

 

Posted by Bill Elliff

THE REVERSE EFFECTS OF PRIDE

 

A man's pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor.

(Proverbs 29:23)

What is the desire of a proud man? He only has one really. He wants to be lifted up. He longs to be known and honored, recognized and revered. His arrogance makes him believe that he deserves such acknowledgments and, like wood to a raging fire, he looks for every opportunity to feed his ego and increase his standing among men.

The paradox is that, in God’s economy, exactly the opposite of what he desires takes place.

UPSIDE DOWN

Pride lowers, humility exalts. A desire to be known will cause a man to be known for all the wrong reasons.

Pride is not a sin that hides. Its’ very nature pushes itself into view. To see a man’s pride is a vulgar thing, for God created us for the opposite. We were designed to glorify Him and anything less than that is a tragic caricature of a creature fearfully and wonderfully made by none other than God Himself. Pride pushes our features out of place and distorts the image of God we were destined to display.

HUMILITY EXALTS

But the opposite is also true. A humble man will always be lifted up—in time—in the eyes of God and men. God loves to exalt humble men because he knows they will handle such recognition properly.

A humble man has a proper view of God and himself and knows the difference. When he is acknowledged, he has enough self-awareness to know it is only by God's grace. He gently, with no false humility, gives thanks to the Almighty and defers the credit. He does this, not out of duty or pretentious piety, but because he genuinely believes it is exactly where the recognition belongs.

Do you want to be recognized? Then realize the genesis of this desire and put the ax to the root of the tree. Ask God to show you His glory so you may properly bow before Him, vowing never to steal what He alone deserves.

Stay before God in the word and in prayer long enough to rid yourself of the ugly desire to be known. Ask trusted friends to point out pride when it rears its head. Watch what comes out of your mouth and the injection of words and phrases that draw attention to you instead of God.

Evaluate ruthlessly, for your future usefulness depends upon the elimination of this deadly trait which is the mother of all sin.

And realize that you must protect your heart from pride until you die. Unguarded moments will be seized by the enemy when you least expect it. A lifetime of humility can be undermined in a moment of unguarded pride. 

Lord, please show me the groundwork of my heart. Reveal to me every particle of pride, every subtle turn of arrogance and self-absorption. Let me be genuinely willing to take the lowest seat, reserving the highest place for others and for You. Help me grow in the grace of humility so you can be more clearly seen.

Posted by Bill Elliff

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