Cover-Up

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Psalm 32:1

“Cover-up” means lots different things. It can be sinister like something that happens in politics. Women wear cover-ups when they are sitting beside the pool in their swimsuits. Hiding things from view is the general idea.

Here it means making our sins invisible to God. Although He knows all things, He deliberately chooses not to see the sins of those who are saved in Christ. The reason Jesus died was to cover up our rebellious acts toward His Father. When rebels are caught, they can be executed. This is much more than a “Get Out of Jail” card, it’s Him hitting the delete button over and over again. To get this blessing all we have to do is believe. He “covers-up” our faults and give us faith.

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Safe and Secure

But King Solomon will be Blessed, and David’s throne will remain secure before the Lord forever. 1 Kings 2:45

We are all growing old. It usually takes turning 50 for mortality to start to sink in. When it does, time feels much shorter and what we do with it seems more important.

Solomon had just become king, and was living the the shadow of his deceased father, King David. Everyone was watching him to see whether he could measure-up. He did because he prayed for help; for wisdom to be specific. We don’t have to be old to be wise. James says all we have to do is ask for it. Instead, we ask for health and wealth. If we want it all, including a secure throne for our family, let’s pray for wisdom. God will take care of the rest of it.

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Making Memories

The memory of the righteous is a Blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot. Proverbs 10:7

At a certain level we want to be remembered for something good. It may be the memory of us that a grandchild will cherish or a more tangible accomplishment. It could be our personality that leaves a void when we’re gone.

Not all memories of us will be good because we’re not all that good. We’re human, and we’re often self-centered, short-tempered and insecure. As Jesus observed, even the wicked love those who love them. What makes us good is God. He has infused us with the Holy Spirit to guide us, prompt us and inspire us. As Christians, we are commanded by Jesus to love those we don’t like and who don’t like us.  Accomplishing that would make us amazingly memorable!

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Fountain of Youth

May your fountain be Blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. Proverbs 5:18

Fountains are fantastic; watching the water cascading and hearing the sound of the splashing. They are peaceful places for rest and reflection. In many the cities, its fountains help define its character and soul.

Solomon’s focus is faithfulness. He understood the devastation that adultery can have on the family fountain, its character and soul. Those temptations were not new in his time, and the same ones infect ours too. Being married can become routine, and complacency is often the enemy. The spouse of our youth has grown old.  In the movie “Moonstruck” adultery was attributed to a fear of death. Whether it’s physical adultery or the emotional variety that Jesus cautioned against too, what we should fear is sin, and dying away from Him.

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Get to Work

So that the Lord your God may Bless you in all the work of your hands. Deuteronomy 14:29

Work, work, work! Some people say find your passion. Others demand workers rights. Toil is a synonym for work; so is labor. Work is usually not “fun”, otherwise it would be called recreation.

We all want our work to be meaningful. and we want God to bless it. God can give it significance and blessing regardless of our position. Christian history is filled with saints who had menial jobs but enriched thousands whose lives they touched. Making work worthwhile takes Jesus. His job is to bring people to His Father. That’s ours too. How we handle ourselves at work is a much more powerful than what we say. St. Francis of Assisi put it best, “Preach the gospel and if necessary use words.”

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So What

And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under Your Blessing!” Genesis 17:18

The Bible and the Koran have completely different stories about Ishmael. In the Bible he’s Abraham son, but later Abraham shows his obedience when God chooses Isaac as Abraham’s heir, not Ishmael. The Koran replaces Ishmael as Abraham’s heir, and Ismael was to be sacrificed, not Isaac.

Many people would say, “So What?” The What is that God answered Abraham’s prayer; He blessed Ishmael. He gave him twelve sons, and Ishmael became very powerful. Which reminds us that God can bless whoever He wants. It’s irritating when He is kind to someone we don’t like, but He sends rain on the righteous and the wicked. Mohammad was wrong, but the facts remain true. God blessed Abraham for his obedience, and He’ll bless us for ours too.

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Finders Keepers

Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding. Proverbs 3:13

Finding a treasure map marked with an X, or a secret passageway that conceals hoards of gold sounds tantalizing and improbable. We’re just happy when we find something we’ve lost, especially if it’s valuable.

Solomon applies this principle to wisdom. Wisdom and understanding are the most extraordinary discoveries. In Proverbs, Solomon  mentions wisdom over fifty times.  Wisdom is as close to God as we can come on this side of heaven. Wisdom is God sharing His understanding with us. That’s what makes it so precious. Solomon also said that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This doesn’t mean to be frightened; it means the reverence we have for superiors. All true wisdom come from God. And He wants us to pray for more.

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All or Nothing

I will Bless those who Bless you. Genesis 12:3

We want health and wealth from God, but what else? Fame looks like it would be fun. How about power? Being in a position to solve all the world’s problems, or at least a few of them would be rewarding. So, why don’t we get to do those things? Why are here doing things that are often frustrating and usually unappreciated?

Here God was telling Abraham to move to another country where he knew no one, just like modern missionaries still do.  He went because he believed God’s promise to bless him. And He did.  We all want God’s blessings; we just don’t want to obey. James says, “show me your faith without deeds, and I’ll show you my faith by what I do.”  What are we doing today? Nothing? Anything? Everything?

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Fat and Sassy

Then Joshua Blessed them and sent them home. Joshua 22:6

A land of milk and honey sounds too good to be true. The thought conjures up green pastures, babbling brooks and balmy breezes; tables full of food surrounded by happy people. That’s exactly the home God gave the Israelites after they had spent forty years in the desert; it was completely furnished with houses, gardens and vineyards. Unfortunately,  they quickly forgot that the blessing was from God.

We often get fat and sassy too. We take God’s blessings for granted, and envy those who seem to have more than us. Our milk and honey is our family, our work and our health. Even if one or more of those is going sour, God’s love for us stays sweet. And we didn’t have live forty years in a desert to get it!

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Singled Out

At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister and pronounce Blessings in His name, as they still do today.  Deuteronomy 10:8

Getting singled out is a mixed bag. Being singled out for praise or for an achievement is wonderful. It’s not nice when too much attention is paid to a screw-up.

The Levites were singled out as God’s special tribe because of their loyalty to Him. When the Israelites were worshiping the golden calf, they stepped in to defend God’s honor. Blessing the people was a special privilege. We also are called to bless people, especially those we don’t like – co-workers, bosses, family members and strangers. That’s very hard. Jesus died on a cross for us and them.  Which is harder?

 

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