Reading Scripture: Matthew 22:37-40
Verse to Memorize: 1 John 5:3
Reference: Deuteronomy 10:13
Goal: to let believers understand the heart of God who wants to give His children true happiness and help them receive answers to their heart’s desires by pleasing God
God the Father abounds in mercy, grace, and love. Just as stated in Numbers 6:24-26, “The LORD bless you, and keep you; the LORD make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace,” He delights in giving good things to His beloved children.
When God blesses you, He will at least pour into your lap a good measure pressed down, shaken together, and running over (Luke 6:38). Of course, if we prepare our vessels well, God lets us bear fruit of what we have sown thirty, sixty, and a hundred-fold (Matthew 13:23). Then, what is the secret to receiving abundant blessings from God?
1. If we love God, we should keep His commands
The Word of God in the Bible can largely be classified into the four types: the first two are ‘to keep and to do something’, which are positive demands on us. God has given these commands to His beloved children because blessing comes upon those who practice His commands.
Next, God also tells us ‘not to do something’ and ‘to cast away something’. In order to be eligible as God’s children, we must not do what He commands us not to do, and we have to get rid of what God hates. If we do not obey, the wall of sin will stand between God and us, or it will bring God’s curse. Thus, you should practice His commands as well.
For instance, God tells us to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” in Exodus 20:8, to “Honor your father and your mother” in Exodus 20:12, and to “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” in Matthew 6:33. He also commands in Mathew 7:1, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged” and in Exodus 20:14 “You shall not commit adultery”. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says, “Abstain from every form of evil.”
These four types of the Word of God are just what we are supposed to practice in order to receive God’s love and blessing. ‘Commandment’ is defined as ‘a divine command, esp one of the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament,’ by the Oxford Dictionary, and it refers to the Law of Moses including the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament and to Jesus’ commands in the New Testament.
In Matthew 22:36, a lawyer of Pharisees says, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Placing the emphasis on the love for God and neighbors, Jesus answered as the following:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself'” (Matthew 22:37-40)
If we love someone we might want to act upon whatever they want. Even if they ask us something challenging we would probably do it joyously. It does not feel like a long journey, though it is a really long journey, if we travel with the one or ones we love. In the same way, if we love God it is never hard to keep His commandments.
If you sincerely believe God the Creator is our Father and He gave His only begotten Son to save us, you cannot but love Him. You will naturally try hard to live by His Word to repay His love and grace.
2. God wants to lead us to the way of blessing
God allowed for the commandments to be recorded in the Bible to lead His beloved children to the way of blessings. Deuteronomy 10:13 reads, “And to keep the LORD’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?” As spoken, God gives the commandments for His children’s good.
Parents teach their children many rules applied to daily life because they want their children to have nothing to do with diseases and accidents and live in safety and peace. In the same manner, God has given us the commandments because of love for us; if we realize it we will feel happy to keep them, and it is no longer something hard.
As recorded in 1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome,” we will be able to practice the Word telling us to do, not to do, to throw away, and to keep something from the bottom of our hearts.
To ‘keep His commandments’ does not mean that we have to obey them with a sense of duty or like a robot. God wants us to realize His love and obey within our freewill. Of course, it is hard to understand the heart and will of God from the very beginning. However, as you diligently practice the commandments one by one, you will gain understanding of His will and feel His love, and you will be able to love God from the bottom of your heart.
Here, God’s Word that says “Don’t do something” and “Throw away something” is likened to cultivating our heart-field. The Word cultivates our hearts by letting us get rid of evil, sin, and untruth from our hearts and changes them it into good soil. This is the circumcision of our heart and through this we can prepare our heart-field for seed-sowing. But our obedience to these commands is not piled up as a heavenly reward.
‘To do and keep something’ is paralleled to sowing seeds of blessing and reaping them. Just as farmers should sow seeds to reap fruit, we should sow the seeds of blessing, that is, ‘keep and do’ God’s commands. If we obey the Word of God, we will not be just protected from trials, tests, and all kinds of accidents but also we will enjoy both blessing on the earth and rewards in Heaven.
3. We have to sow seeds of blessings with joy and thanks
God accepts the aroma of our hearts, not our deeds itself. He is pleased with those who do their best to pray from the heart though they are busy. He is also delighted in those who fulfill their duty, even if it is a seemingly small one, in a humble manner. God knows all their situations, so He does not deem their faithfulness to be small if they do it with faith, hope, and love.
If we are just coerced to fulfill our duty or just follow what others do, it cannot be said that we sow seeds of blessing with faith and hope. Also, if we complain or make a negative remark after sowing the seeds of blessing, then it is as though we dig up what we have sown or destroy what we have built. Only when you joyfully and gratefully practice the commandment, no matter what it is, will God be pleased and give us back answers and blessings.
Hebrews 11:6 reads, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” As explained in the verses, God taught us what to do to fulfill our heart’s desire.
There were some forefathers of faith who were acknowledged as the ‘ones who pleased God with faith’. After he was sixty-five years old, Enoch walked with God three hundred years and shared love with Him. When he was three hundred and sixty-five years old he was taken up into Heaven by God. Elijah testified to the living God and led many souls to the way of salvation performing with amazing powerful works, and was caught up into Heaven without seeing death.
If we possess God-pleasing faith we can receive blessings in all aspects such as family, workplace, and businesses. The blessings are not limited to just some parts. Mark 9:23 reads, “And Jesus said to him, ‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.'”
Since he met the living God and received healing of all his diseases by His power, Dr. Jaerock Lee, Senior Pastor of Manmin Central Church has obeyed the Word of God joyfully, arduously and thoroughly with all his love toward Him. He has done without delay whatever was pleasing to God. Then, God has answered all his prayers and fulfilled even what he had in his heart. God knew in advance what he would need in the future and when it would be, so He prepared it beforehand and gave it to him. Dr. Lee experienced such things countless times. If we keep God’s commandments and please Him we can receive answers to all our prayers and fulfill our hearts’ desires.