We should not be surprised by these blessings, but a little awe and a lot of gratitude are in order. Why we should not be surprised is this: God has promised us blessing upon blessing, and we can read about them in scripture. Let's take a look at some of these promises to refresh our memory about God's love and his desire to shower us with his goodness. All are NIV translation:
Jeremiah 32:41 - I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.
Ezekiel 34:26 - I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.
Job 42:12 - The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys.
Psalm 1:1-3 - 1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither - whatever they do prospers.
Proverbs 22:9 - The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.
1 Peter 3:9 - Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
Luke 14:12-14 - 12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Isaiah 30:18 - Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you, therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Proverbs 16:20 - Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD.
The Bible is filled with accounts of blessings, favors, gifts and graces that have been poured out on God’s people from his extravagant love; the above are just a few reminders. Take the feeding of the 5,000 (Luke 9:10-17), for example. God intervened – and lavishly – on a situation of need, as Jesus blessed the loaves and fishes to feed the people. Miraculously, they became enough! "And all ate and were filled," as we are told, in Luke 9:17. People left that gathering satisfied in their physical as well as their spiritual hunger. There was even food – and love – left over! Baskets and baskets of both, given in grace.
Come enjoy this grace with us on Sunday, as we gather to worship this abundantly loving God!