So what does it mean to “Be Blessed”?

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Money in hand

I know..it’s been a long while since I wrote a blog….no excuses…just haven’t…but man am I ready to write one now!!

So many things seem to have accumulated over the past couple months that have really caught my attention and now its time to speak (actually write)…up. So what does it mean to “Be Blessed”?

I recently read a ‘rebuking’ type blog (which I now can’t find)! The core of the blog was the author’s concern over how followers of Christ tend to gauge or measure ‘being blessed’, on externally based things coming into a believer’s life. Examples were how God had ‘blessed’ someone with a new phone, car or maybe even a house! Or more controversially perhaps…….healing, trip to see a Grandie overseas  etc.

The writer was quick to point out that he didn’t see anything wrong with receiving such things, but had a problem with the idea that Christ-followers seemed to base ‘blessing’ strongly on these seemingly good things coming their way. He went on to question whether the millions of people worldwide who consider themselves followers of Christ, who live in abject poverty would (if they ever got to hear or read of these stories) consider themselves not blessed as they didn’t come into or are subjected to these ‘blessings’.

I realise this opens up a whole subject of debate among believers as there are varying thoughts, doctrines, etc around wealth and Christians. But this is not the point of my blog today. Below are a few disturbing and sad before/after pics of a sugar/citrus/banana farm on Northern borders of my home country, South Africa. This farm was sold to (taken by) the SA Government in 2007, in their land reform and re-allocation program whereby the riches are distributed among the less advantaged, oppressed “indigenous” community (i.e. black economic empowerment). The farm was visited just over 4 years later by the previous owners and the right hand pics below are what they found.

Again my point in including the pics is not to engage in political debate….However it is more to ask the question of myself…..and you if you are interested…..what is considered blessing? I was born in a country where something similar has happened over the past 36 years, where thousands of homes, farms and viable businesses faced the same fate. Sadly, the country and many lives were disrupted, damaged and extremely negatively impacted from this policy.

But…….can I still be blessed in losing something as significant as a car, home, or even a loved one? Let me be clear, I do realise the loss of any of these mentioned will have huge impact on our lives. I do propose though…that we can still be ‘blessed’ in the midst of these losses. Take a look at the pics;

House front

House front (Left Jan 2007 and Right Aug 2011)

Back yard (Left Jan 2007 and Right Aug 2011)

Back yard (Left Jan 2007 and Right Aug 2011)

Driveway (Left Jan 2007 and Right Aug 2011)

Driveway (Left Jan 2007 and Right Aug 2011)

Pool area (Left Jan 2007 and Right Aug 2011)

Pool area (Left Jan 2007 and Right Aug 2011)

So looking at these pics sent by a friend, all sorts of negative thoughts and feelings welled up inside of me and I felt pain for the previous owners, who had obviously worked hard to get it to what it was when they left! But I caught myself and was reminded of the fact that this is all temporary, but a place awaits in Glory that will far out-splendour, captivate and comfort anything we experience here. My intention is not to be super-spiritual but it’s my hard-core belief, that this ‘home’ is temporary and my eternity is based on something more ‘real’ and being ‘blessed’ is something entirely different

Part of Jesus’ sermon on the mount reads as below;

 Matthew 5:

vs 3.“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

vs 4: Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

vs 5: Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

vs 6: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

vs 7: Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

vs 8: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

vs 9: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

vs 10:Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Helga Van Niekerk (a favourite blog writer of mine) summed this up for me as she concluded her blog today http://www.helgavan.com/the-meaning-of-life-uncovered with this scripture from Matthew 6:33

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

So in contradiction to ‘blessings’ as they are sometimes described……….the  verses above describe “these things” that will be given to us and will lead to enormous eternal gain.

What about you…how do you perceive being blessed?