Wednesday – The Blessing Principle

By George Volpe

“And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.” Joel 2:26

I get a kick out of the people who bring a disobedient dog to the “Dog Whisperer.” They present a dog who seems to be uncontrollable. Cesar Millan spends a little time with the dog, and voila ─ the dog obeys. It’s like magic ─ but not really. He rewards the behavior he wants and withholds reward from the behavior he wishes to change. How simple is that? The disobedient dog learns to obey.

Of course, our relationship with God is surely not like a person with a dog, but there are some principles we can apply. Again and again from the beginning of time God has declared that man does not live in a vacuum to do what he feels like doing in his own little world. We are accountable to our Creator. A caring heavenly Father knows what is best for us. When we decide to go our own way in disobedience against God, He doesn’t shrug His shoulders and walk away. He is intensely involved in our lives for our benefit. He wants us to return to Him, to do what is right, and He will do whatever is necessary to help us understand that.

When we trust and adore other things besides God, and put them first before Him, that’s disobedience, and He withholds His blessings. Sometimes He may choose to allow and even intentionally put difficulty in our path to turn us around. If we repent, and return to God in obedience, He restores His hand of blessing on us. Maybe that seems simplistic. But in reality, it’s not complicated, and it has not changed over time.

The book of Joel gives some of the most striking and specific details in all of Scripture about the day of the Lord ─ days cloaked in darkness, bloody skies, violent armies of destruction, and no place to hide. Rooted in such vibrant and physical imagery, this time of ultimate judgment, still future for us today, makes clear the seriousness of God’s judgment on sin.

But even in the midst of the worst man can do, the grace and love of God is infinitely overwhelming. God never asks or expects man to fix his sin problem in his own way. He looks to the man who surrenders to His love, who is willing to humble his heart in obedience to Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only sacrifice that can satisfy the wrath of God against sin.

Read Psalm 51.

Bible Reading Plan - Day 3

Matt 5:33-6:18;

Ps 112–113

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