Mark VanOuse

Blessed #11 Blessed of God (Part 4)

They didn’t deserve to be blessed… yet GOD blessed them anyhow! In this episode, we continue looking at the lives of those who are blessed of God, yet didn’t deserve to be blessed. Today, we look at:

  • Ruth – an outsider, a Moabite. Even though she was not a part of God’s blessed people, the Jews, yet she persisted in staying with her grieving Jewish mother-in-law. God gave a great legacy: she became the great grandmother of King David.
  • King David – the least of Jesse’s many sons. He didn’t deserve the choice blessing of the oldest son, yet he was richly blessed to be anointed as King of Israel… with a royal line that would reach even King Jesus!
  • King Solomon – once again a younger son blessed with great privilege. He enjoyed great wisdom from God and, as a result, great peace.
  • Daniel – and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Captives in a foreign land, yet delivered and blessed by God.
  • Esther – another Jew in the time of the Captivity. Yet she enjoyed favor with the secular king and was mightily used of God to save her people from certain destruction
  • The Most Blessed Person of All – The Lord Jesus Christ!
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Blessed #10: Blessed of God (Part 3)

Why is that we see in the Bible that God repeatedly blesses the undeserving? We learn more about this fact in this lesson, as we examine people in the Bible who were blessed of God, even though they didn’t deserve it. Today, we’ll study:

  • Joseph – the youngest of Jacob’s sons. Even though he faced adversity, he held onto the fact that he was indeed blessed of God, Who had a great destiny for him
  • Moses – another one who was not the firstborn of his family, yet God chose Him for His purposes.
  • How there was a Great Divide of how God related to His before and after Mount Sinai and the giving of the Law: before Sinai, no judgment against Israel, after the Law, a man was cursed and stoned… for picking up sticks!
  • After the law, curse after curse. And yet, God still cherished and blessed His people!
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Blessed #9: Blessed of God (Part 2)

Blessed Beyond Imagination. Sounds a bit “over the top” don’t you think? But God actually DOES bless like this, in an exceeding measure! This is what God DOES… because of WHO HE IS.

So WHO is blessed of God? And WHY are the blessed of God? In today’s episode:

  • God blesses us solely because He is good.
  • We begin to look at prime examples of people blessed of God, even though they did not deserve it. People like Abraham.
  • Then, there is the unusual pattern where we see God blessing the younger son, even though the firstborn son always deserved the richest blessing. Please like
    • Abel
    • Isaac
    • Jacob
    • More examples will follow in Part 10.

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Blessed #8: Blessed of God (Part 1)

Throughout the Bible and down the corridors of time, we find people who were known to be BLESSED OF GOD. How did they ever get to such a place of being SO BLESSED? What was their secret?

  • People are blessed not because they are so good, but because God is good.
  • None are righteous.
  • So what IS the grace of God that brings such incredible, beyond imagination blessing into our lives?
  • Another thing that we see in the life of a person blessed of God is that there is evidence of PROSPERITY upon their life
  • A person blessed of God CANNOT be cursed
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Christ in me the hope of…

26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. — Colossians 1:26-28

Colossians 1:27 says that Christ in you — in me — is the hope of glory!

Some time ago the Lord showed me that the hope of glory means the hope of the glory of the full extent of all that our Creator God means for us to be. Recently, God revealed to me something even deeper that can connect better in my mind and in the minds of others and it is this:

  • Christ in me the hope of righteousness
  • Christ in me the hope of love
  • Christ in me the hope of wisdom
  • Christ in me the hope of purity
  • Christ in me the hope of courage
  • Christ in me the hope of patience
  • Christ in me the hope of joy
  • Christ in me the hope of self-control
  • Christ in me the hope of goodness
  • Christ in me the hope of peace
  • Christ in me the hope of gentleness
  • Christ in me the hope of faithfulness
  • Christ in me the hope of strength
  • Christ in me the hope of healing
  • Christ in me the hope of being a blessing to others

Christ in me, my hope of glory!

Photo by KEEM IBARRA on Unsplash

Only God Can Be God of Our Lives (Not us!)

O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself;
It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
Man is not capable of being God:

Jeremiah 10:23
  • “I know the way of man is not in himself
  • “It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps”

Only God is capable of being God in our life: as our source, our means (even for direction and leading).

Only God is capable of leading our lives. We are not capable of leading our lives because “the way of man is not in himself” and “it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”

That’s the problem with us: we want to grab the steering wheel of our lives and control things. That’s when stress and disaster happens. If we allow God to control our lives, step by step every day, it leads to peace and sure direction.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.

Psalm 37:23

A man’s steps are of the LORD;
How then can a man understand his own way?

Proverbs 20:24

Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

Blessed With The Blessing of Abraham!

In Genesis 12:1-3, we see God coming to an undeserving, pagan man, Abraham, and unilaterally blessing him:

[12:1] Now the LORD had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
[2] I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
[3] I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

This blessing is staggering. Abraham became incredibly rich in so many ways, and he became a blessing to billions. Abraham’s physical descendants, the Jews, have produced incredible advances in science, technology, the arts, and so much more. Yet God’s heart is not only to bless the Jews but also us. So what is the connection between this astonishing blessing and me and you? Watch God’s rich heart of love for us unfold as we connect the scripture dots from Abraham to us:

Genesis 22:18, all the nations blessed:

“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

Genesis 26:4-5, to Isaac:

(4)”And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; (5)”because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”

Genesis 28:14, to Jacob:

“Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Galatians 3:8, to the Gentiles

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.

Galatians 3:9, to you and me:

So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. For more on what “of faith” means, read Romans chapter 4 in the Bible.

This why, Galatians 3:16

Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. 

And now the ULTIMATE reason! Galatians 3:10-14

(10) For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”° (11) But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for”the just shall live by faith.”° (12) Yet the law is not of faith, but”the man who does them shall live by them.”° (13) Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”°), (14) that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Dear brother and sister in Christ, it seems too good to be true. God is indeed richly blessing me and you to such a fabulous degree! Why? Because that’s His great heart of love. He does this because He is that good. Not only that, but we are blessed to be a blessing to the nations

2 Corinthians 9:8 expresses this so well:

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

(Photo credit: Marvin Meyer on Unsplash )

Abraham’s Faith Was Based on the Ability of God, Not His Own Ability

The Bible speaks greatly of Abraham’s faith:  

  • He inherited the promises by faith
  • He looked for the City of God by faith
  • He became the heir of the world by faith
  • He received the son of promise, Isaac, by faith
  • He became a father of many nations by faith

But what was at the epicenter of Abraham’s faith? At the center of his faith was God’s ability: 

Romans 4:20-25 (faith in God’s ability to perform what He promised): 

[20]  He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, [21] and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. [22] And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”* [23] Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, [24] but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, [25] who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.  

Hebrews 11:17-19 (faith in God’s ability to raise the son of promise from the dead): 

[17] By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, [18] of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,”* [19] concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.   In contrast, Abraham’s inability was so great that he was described as “as good as dead”:  

Hebrews 11:12

[12] Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.   Romans 4:19 (NKJV)[19] And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.   

How much ability does a dead person or body have? Zero. We’re talking total inability.   Here’s the second key of Abraham’s great faith:  he did not consider his total inability but was looking to GOD’s total ability! 

(Photo credit: Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash )

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Blessed #7: The Incredible Steadfast Love of The Lord – Part 2

[Part 7 of the “Blessed Beyond Imagination” series] Have you ever been betrayed by a friend, rejected by someone who used to love you or ever had someone say, “I’m DONE with you!”? At some point, we all experience the pain and loss of broken love. On this edition we learn about the steadfast love of God that NEVER GIVES UP ON YOU:

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