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Friday, April 17, 2020

Jesse Duplantis Ministries Featuring: The Book of ACTS: The Relentless Advance of the Gospel, Vol 4 Pt 4 | Cathy Duplantis

The relentless advance of the Gospel is still God’s plan to reach the world. Acts 2:21 “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Receive Blessings from God Through Obedience

By: Francis Hirak

Receiving blessings from God is contingent on obedience to Him.(Ex 23:25) God’s blessings rest upon the obedient ones, producing spiritual prosperity and filling their material needs, making itself evident in their homes, their land, their off spring, their animals, their food supply, their traveling, and in their every deed. God’s blessing is for "the head of the righteous one." (Prov 10:6-7) When we, as true Christians are faithfully obedient to His word, He is pleased to ‘open the floodgates of the heavens and actually empty out His blessings until there is no more want.’ (Mal 3:10)

Since the keyword is obedience in wining God’s favor, to receive His blessings, let us look at how Paul refers to obedience. In Rom 10:17, 16:26, (compare Acts 6:7) he shows that hearing plus faith produces obedience. Since true faith is the "assure expectation of things hoped for" and "the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld," and since it requires believing that God is "and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking Him," those having faith are moved to obey, having confidence and assurance as to the blessings that obedience will bring. (Heb 11:1-6)

There are times when God’s blessing comes after one goes through hard times and remains obedient to His Word, as Joseph did. Joseph was hated by his half brothers and sold into slavery. They hated him so much that they sold him to the merchant traders that were passing through for twenty silver pieces, even though he pleaded for compassion. (Gen 37:28; 42:21)

Eventually, the merchant traders brought Joseph into Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, the chief of Pharaoh’s body guard. (Gen 37:36) Even then he stayed obedient to God and showed himself trustworthy to Potiphar. With God’s blessing, every thing that Joseph did turned out successfully. When Potiphar entrusted Joseph as overseer of his house, all that he had he put under Joseph’s authority. (Gen 39:2-6)

Because of Potiphar’s wife, Joseph got thrown into prison where the king’s prisoners were kept. (Gen 39:11-20) Later, however, the chief officer of the prison house, (because of Joseph’s exemplary conduct under adverse circumstances and therefore God’s blessing being upon him), placed Joseph in a position of trust over the other prisoners. In this capacity, the prisoner Joseph, again through obedience, showed himself to be an able administrator by seeing to it that all the work was done. (Gen 39:21-33)

Again restored to his position, the cupbearer forgot all about Joseph for two full years, until Pharaoh had two dreams and no one could interpret the dreams. It was then that the cupbearer brought Joseph to Pharaoh’s attention and at once Pharaoh sent for him. Joseph then explained both of the dreams to Pharaoh, the one of plenty and the one of famine. Additionally, he recommended measures for alleviating the future conditions. (Gen 41:1-36)

Through God’s blessing Pharaoh recognized that the spiritual blessings of God were upon Joseph and that he was wise enough to administer affairs during the time of plenty and the time of famine. Joseph was therefore blessed and constituted second ruler in Egypt, Pharaoh giving Joseph his own signet ring, fine linen garments and a necklace of gold. (Gen 41:37-44)

And then there was Job who received God’s blessing through extremely hard times. Job was a man living in the land of Uz, in what is now Arabia. (Job1:1) God said concerning Job: "There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" (Job 1:8) Then Satan challenged Job’s integrity: Have You not made a hedge around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. "But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" (Job 1:10-11)

After Satan, (through various means) took away first Job’s livestock and servants, then his children (Job 1:13-19), Job never charged God with folly or wrongdoing. Neither did he turn away from God, even when pressure was brought upon him by his wife and others, Job continually kept to God’s Word. (Job 1:20-22) He spoke the truth about God. (Job 42:8) He accepted reproof for being anxious to declare himself righteous and neglecting to vindicate God (Job 32:2), and he acknowledged his sins to God. (Job 42:1-6)

As an example for Christians who follow the course of obedience, we see God’s blessing through the book of Job. At the end of his faithful course, under testing, God constituted Job a priest for his three companions who had contended with him and God restored Job to his former status. He again had a fine family and God blessed Job with twice as much as he had before. All his relatives and former associates returned to pay respect to him and to bring him gifts. (Job 42:7-15) God blessed Job so much that he lived to see his children and grandchildren for four generations. (Job 42:16)

Through the prophet Ezekiel, God pointed to Job as an example of righteousness. (Ezek 14:14, 20) His patient endurance of suffering is set before Christians as a pattern, and his blessed outcome is pointed to as magnifying God, for the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. (James 5:11) The account of Job’s trialsome experience and God’s blessing gives great comfort and strength to Christians, and many Bible principles are highlighted and illuminated by the book of Job.

Likewise Noah was faithful and obedient to God. He proved himself faultless among his contemporaries, for Noah walked with God." (Gen 6:8-9) It was due to the possession of strong faith that Noah, in implicit obedience, did "according to all that God had commanded him." (Gen 6:22) It was because of his unwavering faith in God that the Christian writer of the book of Hebrews included him in that "so great a cloud of witnesses." He wrote: "By faith Noah, after being given divine warning of things not yet beheld, showed godly fear and constructed an ark for the saving of his household; and through this faith he condemned the world, and he became an heir of the righteousness that is according to faith." (Heb 11:7, !2:1)

When Noah and his family came out of the ark after the flood was over, God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. (Gen 9:1) The blessing from God makes one rich. And He adds no sorrow with it. (Prov 10:22) God’s blessing comes to those whom He approves by protecting, prospering, guiding, giving success and supplying their needs, with a beneficial outcome for them.

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