Discerning The Times

The Blessings of God
The Eternal Plan of God for Believers 

Ephesians 1: 3-7 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Him- self, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” 

This scripture encourages us to aim to lay hold of the spiritual blessings of God. It re- minds us that before we met the Lord, He had already invested in the ETERNITY of spiritual blessings for believers. God’s plan for us has always been an eternal one. He pours great blessings on those who trust His Son Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Before Christ became our Savior, God dealt with people by blessing them with material blessings. He blessed Abraham with such blessings as lands and cattle. Since Christ, God deals with people spiritually, giving such spiritual blessings as peace and hope. Spiritual blessings are of the spirit. It is the spirit inside a person that controls him or her and the outcome of the circumstances he or she faces. A person may feel bad, down, depressed and op- pressed, but if his or her spirit is strong, they will arise and revolt against all negativity. 

A person with a strong spirit overcomes oppressing situations by trusting in the Lord. A strong-spirited person lives a VICTORIOUS life. But someone with a weak spirit often walks around in self-pity, grumbling and living a DEFEATED life. 

God’s spiritual blessings enable us to control our lives in a godly way. Spiritual blessings are the very opposite of temporal blessings, which don’t last because they are temporary. They are also mainly material, and material pos- sessions definitely don’t remain forever. 

Too many people want to have the best of all material blessings here on earth, even to show off. But let’s think about the parable of the rich fool. 

The Parable of the Rich Fool 

Jesus said, “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully, and he thought within himself saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, “I will do this. I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods, and I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat,drink, and be merry.”’ 

“But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you, then whose will those things be which you have provided? “So is he who lays up treasures for himself, and is not rich towards God” (Luke 12: 16- 21).  

This rich fool thought that he had it all. What he didn’t take time to realize is that we can’t take material blessings into heaven, but material blessings when we worship them can lead us to hell. 

Spiritual blessings are vastly superior to material blessings because they are permanent and perfect. They are of the very same nature as God Himself. Spiritual blessings are found only in Christ Jesus, Who rose from the dead and is at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. 

God does give material blessings to us, but not for us to abuse. He tests our faith with material blessings. Will we love them more than we love Him? 

Worldliness and material inheritances cannot bring peace nor security. Peace and security are blessings only of the spirit. We all need God’s peace and His security, but we don’t all need to be rich with material blessings. 

Meditate on this. No one is righteous, nor will anyone ever be righteous without Christ. Our only hope of ever living eternally with the Lord is to believe in Jesus Christ, love Him, serve Him, and obey Him. And desire His spiritual blessings above everything else. Are you in Christ? 

~ Pastor Joe Ribeiro