Can't Stop the Blessings
I like hiking. Well, I used to like hiking. Or actually, the more I think about it I think I just liked the idea of hiking. When people used to ask me what kind of outdoor activities I enjoyed I always used to say hiking. But the more I've hiked (and mind you this ends up only being like 1 medium difficulty hike a year) the more I realize I don't so much like hiking as I like the view after the hike. I don't enjoy the incline, trudging through dense woods as my back and neck are bitten by mosquitoes, climbing over fallen trees, getting my feet wet as we cross a small creek that just happened to have made its way through the designated path. I don't enjoy it all. I don't even enjoy the trek back down. But the view... The view is the part that I actually enjoy! Now you might say, "but Pastor Abraham, climbing makes the view worth while!" Yes that is partially true... The view would be less appreciated if it were more easily accessible but it's just so hard! We tend to appreciate things more when there's a bit of effort on our end. As much as we might love things that are free we value something more when we put a little effort of our own. We also value something more when we receive something we know we could never afford on our own.
24 Every square inch on which you place your foot will be yours.
Your borders will stretch from the wilderness to the mountains of Lebanon,
from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea.
25 No one will be able to stand in your way.
Everywhere you go,
God-sent fear and trembling will precede you,
just as he promised.
Deuteronomy 11:24, 25 (MSG)
The Israelites are finally about to enter God's promised land after they failed to enter it 40 years ago on their own. They come back and they know that the conquest of Canaan is not something they would ever be able to pull off without God. And Moses reminds them that God is going before them to fulfill the promises He makes to His people. Moses say, "no one will be able to stand in your way." We appreciate the things we have when we work hard for them, but the blessings that God has for us are things we could never work hard enough for. The blessings God has in store for us, the ones He promises us, could never be earned through our works. It's impossible to gain what God has for us on our own. Salvation, heaven, our promised land, is something that can only be received through the free gift of God's mercy and sacrifice. The amazing thing about this gift is that there is no power in the universe that could ever take away God's gift of love. No one, no thing, no power, could ever stand against us when we have God in our corner. Nothing can stop God's blessings and even though we receive it freely we must never take for granted the gift that Jesus gave His life to give us.
13 Greater love has no one than this:
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
15 I no longer call you servants,
because a servant does not know his master’s business.
Instead, I have called you friends,
for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
16 You did not choose me,
but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit
John 15:13-16 (NIV)
God help us to appreciate the gift of salvation that you’ve gifted to us. Help us to never take for granted the sacrifice you paid on the cross out of love for each and every one of us. You have promised to prepare the way before us so inspire us to have the courage to claim your promises and receive your blessings. AMEN