May 25-26. Ephesians 1:3. #blessed (a short reflection).

Ephesians 1:3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places

If you search #blessed on Instagram there are 111 million posts. This doesn’t include #blessedlife, #blessed with white praying hand emoji, #blessed with black praying hands emoji, #blessedbe #blessedday, #blessedbeyondmeasure, or #blessedmama (all actual hashtags).

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And if you look at a few of these 111 million posts you will see things like:

  • New hat today from the flea market #blessed
  • Motherhood isn’t easy but it’s worth it #blessed
  • New deeper rims and tires are expected soon #blessed
  • Flight time #blessed
  • It’s Friday #blessed
  • I won on the Price is Right #blessed
  • Caught 19 fish #blessed
  • Headed out to (favorite restaurant) #blessed
  • Haven’t showered in 56 hours but still loving Europe #blessed

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If you look at how the Bible actually uses the word blessed or blessing you might be surprised to know that it is most often used to describe how God is to be blessed by us, like at the beginning of Ephesians 1:3 – blessed be God, or like Jesus being blessed on Palm Sunday, or when God is being blessed around his throne.

Then comes the times it is used in prayer. Like Jesus blessing the bread and the wine at the Last Supper or the bread and fish at the feeding of the 5000.

And then there’s the times we are told to bless others. Like Romans 12:14.

Finally, and actually quite rarely, there is us being blessed by God.

As you know, Ephesians 1 says we are blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. A deeper word search reveals that in Galatians we have the blessing of Abraham. In Romans we are blessed because our sins are forgiven (4:7-8). In 1 Corinthians the single woman is blessed in the Spirit for staying single (7:40). In James we are blessed when we remain steadfast in trials, receiving the crown of life (1:12), and when we obey the law of liberty (1:25). In 1 Peter we are blessed when we suffer for righteousness (4:14). And in Revelation we are blessed a lot, mostly for dying and living eternally with God (1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7; 22:14).

What do we NOT see? Not a single verse connects God’s blessing of us to a material or earthly blessing. Not a single one. The blessing is always a deeper experience of Christ and his love and grace.

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What does this mean for us? It means yes, go ahead and count your blessings name them one by one. But if you are failing to see the ONE who is your Blessing then stop. Your heart has been misled. If your hope is found in new hats, fishing, motherhood, game shows, and treks across Europe then you’re missing it. Those things are not eternal enough or good enough to satisfy your soul. Only God is – blessed be God!

Refocus. Christ is the ONE true blessing from God. Every spiritual blessing is found in union with him alone. Nothing else. Only he can make you #blessed.

Listen closely: Rend is singing about spiritual heavenly blessings, not just earthly.

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