-America: Blessed or Blessing-

The phrase is a staple of most speeches by President Bush. You often hear it as a salutation in a conversation or a letter. You can see it on bumper stickers, key chains, and printed on cheap air fresheners hanging from the car’s rearview mirror. It is an especially popular phrase for this time of year. Have you guessed it yet? GOD BLESS AMERICA! Thanks to the President, this phrase has really become a fashionable clause in everyday writing and speech. My problem is, I can’t figure out why people are saying it? I guess it’s just a bi-product of our self-seeking society. In my opinion, shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Biblical precedence shows us that prior to a nation being blessed by God, the nation basically blessed Him. So it makes more sense to me that if America is truly seeking the blessing of God, our motto shouldn’t be God bless America; it should be AMERICA BLESS GOD!

Think about it. Many of the most blessed people in the Bible were not focused on themselves, but on the worship and exaltation of God. It was after this act of worship that God chose to bless a person, city, or nationality of people. If Americans would start putting God first in their lives, focus on worshiping and bringing Him glory, and not be so self-centered, we wouldn’t have to be asking for God’s blessing. God would be pouring blessings on us so fast we wouldn’t have the time or the room to receive all of them. So as you verbalize your thankfulness during this holiday season and are tempted to ask for God’s blessings in your life and family, first ask yourself: What am I doing in my life to bring glory, honor, and blessing to God?

-Spending time in the Word-

“Look to see what God says and how He works in the Scriptures. Make your decisions and evaluate your experiences based on biblical principles.” -Henry Blackaby

1. Read about God’s showers of blessings in Ezekiel 34:26-30

2. Read Psalm 67. The first verse is an outcry for God to bless His people. But look at verse 2 - they ask for blessings not for selfish reasons, but to bring God glory. Now read verses 3-5 - these verses show what the people are going to do in order to receive those blessings. It is a kind of conditional passage - If we do this, then God will look at us in favor. Notice how verse 6 starts with the word “then.” It is AFTER their praise and glory goes up to God that His blessings will come (verses 6 and 7).

-Hiding the Word in your heart-

Memorize these verses as you continue to study the Word of God daily.

1. Psalm 19:4, “Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

2. 1 Corinthians 9:25, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

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