Blog #30 – Receiving God’s blessings

By John Cline
It seems to me that there are too many Christians – at times I have fallen into this category – who prefer God’s grace of salvation only in their lives rather than His salvation by grace PLUS His full blessings. What I mean by this is that some Christians are so content with their salvation that they don’t go further in their Christian lives. They don’t witness about Jesus to anyone, they rarely pray, their devotional life is non-existent, they knowingly disobey God’s rules and, even flaunt their sinful lifestyle. As a result, the joy of the Lord is missing from their lives, despair and despondency overwhelm them, and fatigue and burnout are a constant in their lives. God feels far from them and they blame God for these negative emotions and feelings.
If this describes you, it is time to start receiving God’s blessings. It is like the person who comes to the front door in the middle of winter and, instead of receiving the host’s offer to come in to where it is warm, prefers to stand on the door sill, just barely inside the house and hardly gaining the benefits of the warmth inside. The person is inside the house, sure, but is not receiving the blessings found deeper within the house. Today, it is about you receiving.
Receiving!  That’s a word that we don’t embrace very well. Our lives are about giving out, not taking in. Our lives are about serving others not receiving for ourselves. Choosing to receive God’s blessings means doing certain things in advance.
There is an interesting encounter in the book of Mark that is about receiving.  And this brief story can be helpful for us. It is the story of a blind beggar named Bartimaeus.
When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
“Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him.
But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”
So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!”50 Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.
“My rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”
And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.
(Mark 10:46-52)
This was a day of incredible opportunity for Bartimaeus.  It was not easy for him to get to Jesus, but there was a kind of desperation in Bartimaeus that would not be denied.  When the voices around him tried to silence him, he just cried out louder. I love that Jesus was stopped in his tracks by the cry of Bartimaeus. Jesus calls for him.  Bartimaeus jumps to his feet, throws off his cloak and runs to Jesus. Notice his anticipation, desperation and abandon! Then Jesus does something a little curious.  He asks “what do you want me to do for you?”
Jesus already knew what Bartimaeus needed, so why did he ask the question?  I believe Jesus wanted Bartimaeus to name and declare his need and longing.
I want you to get quiet for a moment and imagine Jesus asking you that question… “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus knew what blessing he wanted, but do you?
Maybe you don’t even know what you want and need from God these days.  Perhaps you are so out of touch with your soul, the question leaves you perplexed. Let me challenge you to ponder Jesus’ question: “What do you want me to do for you?” I ask you to get serious about praying to the Lord, about spending time with Him in personal devotional habits such as reading His Word, in witnessing to others about Him, in obeying His laws. Then, you will receive His full blessings. Your heavenly Father tenderly cares about what you are going through.  He already knows what you need… but sometimes it is helpful for us to declare what we long for and put ourselves in the position to receive. Today I hope you can hear the gentle and generous voice of Jesus asking you “what do you want me to do for you”? And, I hope that you will start doing what you should in order to receive His blessings.
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