What is a blessing?
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The definition of blessing is: a) God’s favor and protection. or b) A prayer asking for such favor and protection.  I hope you experienced God’s blessing this Christmas.  My house did not burn down while I was cooking the Christmas meal and no one became ill shortly after eating – that was probably God’s favor and protection.  I’m just teasing…kind of.  I think I might use the word blessing in my life too casually.  I often close an e-mail or letter with the word, “Blessings.”  I say “bless you” when someone sneezes, but I don’t really mean what I am saying.  I refer to a lot of things as God’s blessing – and maybe they are but they are also partly a result of hard work.  Did God bless my hard work?  Did God bless me with the ability to do hard work?  How do you know when you have received a blessing from God?

First, a blessing is receiving God’s favor.  What does that mean.  Genesis 4:4-6 says, “And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.” When Abel made an offering to God, he found God’s favor because he brought what God required, with the attitude of obedience that God could bless.  Cain, on the other hand, brought “some” of what he was required with the attitude that he would only give what he wanted to give.  God did not find favor with Cain’s partial obedience.  The tricky part comes with the second part of the definition, God’s protection.  Read Genesis 4 for the entire story but to sum it up, Cain kills Abel.  Did Abel receive a partial blessing?  What about God’s protection?  Does finding God’s favor mean that we have also found God’s protection?  Yes.  But God doesn’t always define blessing the same way we do. 

When the heavenly host appeared with the angel to the shepherds they praised God saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14).  James was quoting Proverbs 3:34 when he said, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6).  Here is a simple answer to the question, “How do you know if you have received a blessing?”  Did you receive God’s favor because of humble obedience?  Do you find yourself at peace, maybe even having a peace “that transcends understanding” (Philippians 4:7)?  Have you been protected from harm, from consequence or maybe from sadness or pain – because you chose to walk with God through your circumstance?  If so, Scripture would say you have received God’s blessing.

I often say the most important thing you can do, is live a life God is able to bless.  You have a choice today…you can live as Abel did, or as Cain.  One found favor with God, the other didn’t.  But…you can’t live today with the promise that if you do live as Abel, you will never get hurt or harmed.  Again, God doesn’t always define blessing the same way we do.  This isn’t an easy subject to understand, and I could never teach it fully in a blog post.  {source}
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{/source}But in my last post I mentioned that I wanted to share some of my favorite Christian songs with you.  I’ve included the song, “Blessings” by Laura Story in this post.  She is a Christian songwriter and has written several worship songs, many of them recorded by others for radio or sung by praise teams in churches.  She sings this song for radio herself.  It is her story.  I was driving down the Tollway the first time I heard this song and the first thing I did after entering my house was google her name, learn her story and download this song.  I knew, the first time I heard it, that this song was born out of a powerful work of God.  This lyrics contain profound truth about what a blessing truly is.  I hope you will take the time to watch the video of her story and then listen to the song.  This song has been a blessing to my life, I hope it will be to yours as well.

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