Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Be Careful Blessings Ahead
DEU 8:1-20 NLT
“Be careful to obey all the commands I am giving you today. Then you will live and multiply, and you will enter and occupy the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord . For all these forty years your clothes didn’t wear out, and your feet didn’t blister or swell. Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the Lord your God disciplines you for your own good. “So obey the commands of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with fountains and springs that gush out in the valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley; of grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates; of olive oil and honey. It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking. It is a land where iron is as common as stone, and copper is abundant in the hills. When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. “But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. He gave you water from the rock! He fed you with manna in the wilderness, a food unknown to your ancestors. He did this to humble you and test you for your own good. He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath. “But I assure you of this: If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods, worshiping and bowing down to them, you will certainly be destroyed. Just as the Lord has destroyed other nations in your path, you also will be destroyed if you refuse to obey the Lord your God.
Everyone wants a blessing. We want a good life. We want more yield and just a bit better return. We want enough to share. We want to be comfortable. Who doesn't?
We pray for blessing, we ask for protection. We hope for good crops, better wages, longer holidays, sunnier days and plenty of rain, but not when we need to be outside. We love fresh fruit, rich cakes, hearty beer, fine wine, choice tender meats and tasty pastries.
We hope we don't get sick, we pray for healing and we long for a good night's sleep.
On our best days we pray that even our enemies share in the blessings of peace, prosperity and economic growth.
We applaud job creation, advances in technology and miracle cures.
Endcliffe Park, Sheffield
But be careful! Blessing can blind you! Abundance can bind you. Opulence breeds obesity.
And people forget God.
James 1:17 KJV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Got a raise? It was from God. Did you give him credit?
Healthy? That was from God? Have you thanked him?
Have a good meal? Travel safely? Get a return on your investment? Have a comfortable life? Enjoying the sunshine? Get a choice? Live in peace?
Be careful not to take it for granted. Your freedom wasn't won simply by your clever economics, your superior intellect, or your rigorous education. And you're not blessed because you deserve it.
If you got it GOOD, it was from God!
Be careful to not forget him. Give him credit.
Be careful, blessing can be your undoing.
Don't become proud.
Don't forget God!
Hunter's Bar, Sheffield
- Spoken Word