Acts 3:17-26 — Before we can receive blessing

Lots of people desire to receive blessing from God.  And God is a Father that gives his children good gifts.  We can expect blessings from him as his children.

But before we can receive blessing, there is something we must do first.  Peter told the Jews,

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you–even Jesus…For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you.  Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.’… When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.  (19, 22-23, 26)

Now Peter, as I mentioned, was talking specifically to the Jews.  And he told them, “Moses himself told you that someone like him would come and that you must listen to him.  If you don’t, you will be cut off from God’s people.  That prophet has now come in Jesus.  So listen to him and repent.  God sent him to bless you, but first you must repent from your wicked ways.  And if you do, he will wipe out your sins and times of refreshing and blessing will come.”

What Peter said to the Jews is true for us in many ways as well.  God sent Jesus to the Jews first, but now he has come to us non-Jews.  And just as he came to bless the Jews, he has come to bless us.  But before that blessing can happen, we must repent from our wicked ways.  We can’t keep living our own way.  We must listen to Jesus and follow him.  If we don’t, we’ll never receive God’s blessing in our lives.  Worse, we’ll be cut off from his kingdom forever.

Too many people want God’s blessing in their lives, but continue to live their own way.  They expect God’s blessing on their terms.  But if you want God’s blessing in your lives, you must come to him on his terms, not your own.

That starts with salvation.  You can’t earn the blessing of salvation on your own terms.  You can’t earn it by doing a lot of good things.  Rather, you must put your faith in Jesus and his work on the cross.  Only through faith in Him can you ever be made righteous in God’s eyes.

But this truth continues after we have received his salvation as well.  We can’t consistently expect God’s blessing in our lives if we continue to live our own way.  We need to live his.

Am I saying that we have to earn God’s blessings in our lives?  No.  None of us could ever do that.  But the thing that God is looking for from us is our faith.  Do we trust him enough to do what he says?  And if we do, he will bless us.

Noah found that out when he built the ark.  Abraham found that out when he left for Canaan.  Daniel found that out when he refused to eat the king’s food.   And so have many others down through history.

Are you seeking God’s blessing?  Then the question you need to ask is “How much do I trust him?  Do I trust him enough to stop living my way, and start living his?”

 

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About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: crossroad-web.com 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください: crossroad-web.com
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