by Troy Kearns
Our Almighty God in heaven has the power to do anything. He has given us life and breath. He has created the heavens and the earth. This same God is also able to bless our individual lives if we genuinely trust and obey Him; in fact, He promises to give us blessings!
Just because we are in God’s church, doesn’t mean we won’t go through any problems, challenges or trials. It comes part and parcel with living a Christian life as a disciple of Christ. However, God also promises many blessings and benefits when we choose to follow His way of life and obey His commandments. Yes, YOU personally, can benefit physically and financially from living a life obedient to God’s law.
Our motivation to obey God should obviously not just be to reap rewards and get what we can out of the deal. Jesus didn’t come to preach a “prosperity gospel” as many mainstream so-called Christian churches do today. He is ultimately looking to shape us and mould our character to be more like His. But it is encouraging to know that there are very real and abundant blessings from living God’s way.
Jesus Christ Himself pointed this out. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have life more abundantly.” (John 10:10) This refers to eternal life, but also applies to our physical lives. King David understood that rewards and benefits came from making the choice to live God’s way. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:2).
We can be blessed by God’s laws to the extent we obey them. Likewise, there are negative consequences to the extent we don’t follow them. And this isn’t just exclusively for those in God’s church, but applies to society as a whole. For example, if you obey the fifth commandment of honouring your father and mother, you can help create a happy family environment, because that right attitude and behaviour operates within the natural laws about family that God ordained. When God spoke the 10 Commandments to ancient Israel at Mount Sinai, He made this promise regarding the fifth commandment: “Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). This is a promise to individuals but also refers to a successful society that is operating harmoniously and effectively, generation after generation. Imagine if everyone in society obeyed this command. How different would the world be?
On the flip side, if a young teen or adult is rebellious towards his or her parents, it creates an inharmonious environment in the family home and becomes a source of anger, frustration and conflict.
Look also at God’s command to keep the Sabbath day holy. Natural benefits are derived from getting much needed physical rest at the end of the week. It also provides time for us to study God’s word in more detail than perhaps we have time for on other days. It’s also a time where you can-without guilt-forget about your homework or job for 24 hours!
Notice also the financial blessings God promises. Many of you may not yet have started to tithe, but read what God has to say about those who faithfully do so: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this…if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:10) God wants us to put Him to the test. He doesn’t promise to make us multi-millionaires, because ultimately our reason for being in God’s church is not to become rich in this life. Nevertheless, God does promise to provide for our physical needs and to watch over us, protect us and guide us.
Ultimately, God does promise us exceedingly great riches beyond what we could possibly fathom (2 Peter 1:4). How does eternal life sound to you? Never growing old, never getting sick, no longer needing food or water, travelling at the speed of thought. These are things that we could never attain in this life. However, these are “riches” that God promises to those who choose to live a life that is faithful and obedient to Him.
So, don’t waste precious time in the frivolous things of this world and the cares of this life. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy physical things, but that these enjoyments are not to be our focus and passion. Rather, cast your heart and mind on the things above. To the things which are eternal, which God promises to those who obey Him. As the Apostle Paul instructs us: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)