God's Blessing Lives and Families

God’s not dead… transforming people’s lives, healing hurting people and reconciling relationships.
Today, He’s blessing people’s lives and families…
Some families live expecting great blessings while others need to experience great blessings.
A child asked his father, "Dad, How were people born?" So his father said, "Adam and Eve made babies, then their babies became adults and made babies, and so on." The child then went to his father, asked her the same question and he told him, "We were monkeys then we evolved to become like we are now." The child ran back to his mother and said, "You lied to me! Dad said we came from monkeys" His mother replied, "I didn’t lie son, your dad was talking about his side of the family."
Now that sounds like a family that needs the blessings of God and so today we are going to look at how God is still blessing us and blessing our families.
Today everyone wants to write a book about their horrible experiences growing up. I have thought that I need to write one about the great life I had growing up. I had two parents that loved my brother and I and who were active in our lives. When we were scouts, they were there. When we were in the Jr. High Class at church, they were there.. taking our class on a picnic and skying at the lake and many other things. My dad was the kind of guy who could make or fix anything.
Here is a pic of our camper. We grew up camping because when we were young, we didn’t have enough money to take vacations any other way. Even at our church, there was a group of 6 couples with kids that would often camp together. My dad made this trailer.
Even when my dad’s business burned to the ground and it took almost a year to repair, we never missed anything. We had food and everything as kids we needed. A lot of that came because my parents remained faithful to the Lord and gave above a tithe during that time and because of it, God always provided.
Let me ask,

How many of you want to be blessed by God in our own life and in your family life?

Most of us would say we do to that… right?
Our Bible text gives us some key ingredients to follow if we want to experience God’s blessings in our lives and in the lives of our families.
Psalm 128:1–6 NLT
1 How joyful are those who fear the Lord— all who follow his ways! 2 You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. 4 That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him. 5 May the Lord continually bless you from Zion. May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live. 6 May you live to enjoy your grandchildren. May Israel have peace!
Look at verse 1. Ps 128.1 “1 How joyful are those who fear the Lord— all who follow his ways!
The Psalmist is telling us that to be blessed, we should walk n the manner and customs of the Lord.
I believe everyone wants to be blessed by the Lord. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want good things to happen in their lives. The good news is that,

God wants to bless us and our families. (Jer 29:11)

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
God wants to bless us but too often we hinder his blessings. Write this down…

God’s blessings in our lives, circumstances, and relationships are tied to our obedience to Him.

Psalm 128:1 NLT
1 How joyful are those who fear the Lord— all who follow his ways!
Let me ask you a question…How many of you have ever felt strongly that the Lord was leading you to do something but you didn’t want to do it for whatever reason? (Raise hands. The rest of you just aren’t telling the truth). We’ve probably all done that at one time or another.
If you tell God no because He won’t explain the reason He wants you to do something, you are actually hindering His blessing. Charles Stanley
When I think about the many blessings the Lord has sent my way, I think about my wife – Kathy. She is one of the greatest blessings the Lord has ever given me and one of my strongest desires is to experience God’s blessings in our marriage and ministry together. Anyone besides me want that?
A survey showed that
53% of very happy couples agree with the statement that God was at the center of their marriage compared to 7% of struggling couples.
Happy marriages, and families are tied to our obedience to the Lord and God has been blessing the Lives of His followers for centuries.

How does God bless us when we are obedient to Him?

When we are obedient to God, He will bless us vocationally

Psalm 128:2 NLT
2 You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be!
According to this verse, when we are working and obeying the Lord, He will bless us on our jobs and whatever else we put our hands to. On the flip side, in Deuteronomy 28:33 the Bible says that the result of disobedience to the Lord is this: “A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days. (Deuteronomy 28:33 NIV) I don’t know about you, but the idea of me enjoying the fruit of my labor sounds a lot better than someone I don’t even know taking everything.
What does it take for the Lord to bless us vocationally?

He blesses those who work diligently at their jobs. (Pro 14:23; 12:11; 10:4; 22:29)

Does anyone like working with a lazy person?
Phylis Diller once said, “I should have suspected my husband was lazy; on our wedding day, his mother told me: "I'm not losing a son; I'm gaining a couch."
No one likes to work with someone who is lazy. According to the bible, we should work diligently or wholeheartedly in our jobs if we want the Lord to bless us.
Proverbs 14:23 NLT
23 Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!
Proverbs 12:11 NLT
11 A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies has no sense.
Proverbs 10:4 NLT
4 Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.
That means we need to stop talking, playing on FB, etc and work while we are at work
Proverbs 22:29 NLT
29 Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.
the Lord wants us to work diligently, but we must also …

He blesses those who work enthusiastically at their jobs. (Eccl 9:10; Col 3:23-24)

Ecclesiastes 9:10 NLT
10 Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
Colossians 3:23–24 NLT
23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.
That’s what Joseph did.
Genesis 39:2–4 NLT
2 The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. 3 Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did. 4 This pleased Potiphar, so he soon made Joseph his personal attendant. He put him in charge of his entire household and everything he owned.
Joseph wasn’t qualified for the job by the worldly standards around him. But God blessed Him with that job because he was a hard worker and because he did his job with excellence and enthusiasm. Listen to me…
God is able to create opportunities for us that everyone else thinks we are not qualified for. (1 CO 1:27)
1 Corinthians 1:27 NLT
27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.

When we are obedient to God, He will bless us financially.

How many of you listening to me could use a little more money? Now look around at those who don’t have their hands us and ask them to give you some.
I am not telling you that God wants to make everyone a millionaire (although he may want to make some of you millionaires). What I am saying is that one of the ways the Lord blesses those who obey Him is in the area of Finances
Psalm 128:2 NLT
2 You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be!
This verse doesn’t say that some random money will show up. There are some things that we need to do on our part if we are to experience the blessings of the Lord financially.
So, what types of people does the Lord bless financially?
The Lord financially blesses those who manage their resources well. (Pro 22:7)
We live in a culture that tells you to get whatever you want now and pay for it later. If you can afford the payment each month, then you can afford the item. Forget about the total cost, just get it now and make these affordable payments…. That kind of debt is not being a good manager of the money God gives us.

In the US the average household debt is 136% of the household income. The average credit card debt per household is $17,956. The average 21-39 year old owes 78,396. The number of households living paycheck to paycheck is 64%

Wealthy people don’t use debt. That’s why they are wealthy. They live within or below their income, but too many people live above their income and accumulate debt.
If your outgo exceeds your income, you are heading for trouble.
Proverbs 22:7 NLT
7 Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.
Living within your income requires putting off having things you cannot afford until you can.
The Lord financially blesses those who share their resources generously (Pro 3:3-9)
Proverbs 3:9–10 NLT
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. 10 Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.
When God is first in our lives, we demonstrate that by the way we give to the Lord. (Matt 6:24)
Matthew 6:24 NLT
24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
When people tell me they are struggling financially, one of the first things I have ALWAYS asked them is if they were tithing… not because I am legalistic, but because I believe what the Bible teaches regarding tithes and offerings.
Tithing is the financial way believers throughout history have demonstrated their love for the Lord and others, and their prioritization of the Lord in their lives. (Malachi 3:10)
The bible is very clear that God blesses those who are faithful in the area of tithes and offerings...
Malachi 3:10 NLT
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!
So what’s keeping you form giving like you should to the Lord? (fear, lack of faith, selfishness, mistrust of God or the church, or something else?)
The truth is that you are hurting yourself by not obeying the Lord in the area of your giving. Also, when you don’t give faithfully to the church, our ability to reach even more people with the message & ministry of Jesus is hindered.

When we are obedient to God, He will bless us relationally.

Psalm 128:3–4 NLT
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. 4 That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him.
I believe that God wants to bless us in many ways…
The Lord wants to bless us relationally with Happy Marriages (Eph 5:33)
Not perfect marriages… there is no such thing as that. There are no perfect marriages because there are no perfect people. But as Christians, we can and should have happy satisfying marriages.
Kathy is the greatest blessing to me and we have a great marriage, but it takes work if you want the Lord to bless it.
Ephesians 5:33 NLT
33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
The Lord wants to bless us relationally with healthy families
Anybody in here ever had any jacked up family members or kids?
Psalms says that the Lord blesses our children when we are obedient to Him.
Psalm 128:3–4 NLT
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. 4 That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him.
Moses also spoke to this when he wrote…
Deuteronomy 28:4 NLT
4 Your children and your crops will be blessed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed.
The truth is that God wants to bless you and your family… your kids.
The Lord wants to bless our children in many different ways, but often their blessings are tied to our integrity. (Pro 20:7)
Proverbs 20:7 NLT
7 The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.
Earlier I said that we sometimes hinder the blessings of God in our own lives when we don’t obey Him and His Word. So when we don’t walk with integrity, obeying the Lord, we can also hinder the blessings of our children.
Have you ever thought about how your actions cause your children to miss out on God’s blessing? (Examples)
Frivolously spending money deprives kids - Fuel the Future…
The good news is that when we obey the Lord and walk in His ways, He WILL bless our marriages and families

When we are obedient to God, He will bless us emotionally

Psalm 128:6 NLT
6 May you live to enjoy your grandchildren. May Israel have peace!
First, the Psalmist is saying that the Lord wants us to live long enough to see, and enjoy, our Children’s children.
JOKE- Grandchildren are the great reward that God gives us for not killing our own kids when they’re teens.
But the Psalmist’s last words remind us that the Lord wants His people to experience peace, supernatural peace, in their lives. The reason I became a Believer was for inner peace. Today, I hear that more and more.
Everyone wants peace in their lives.
Peace is one of the blessings that follows our obedience to the Lord. But unfortunately, a lot of people live without peace in their lives because of problems, failures or people in their lives.
The problem people in your life could be your children. Someone said, “when children aren’t being a lump in our throat they’re being a pain in neck.” One teen’s mom said, “My daughter doesn’t tell me anything so I’m a nervous wreck. The other mom of a teen said, “My daughter tells me everything which is why I’m a nervous wreck.” Your problem people could be your parents (or your spouse’s parents). Your problem person could be your spouse.
Couple married & had problems so the woman called her pastor – “I thought you told me that when I became married I would be at the end of my troubles.” “I did, I just didn’t tell you which end.”
I don’t know who or what is the source of your difficulties in life, but I know that many people live with lots of stress, without much peace in their lives. Instead of experiencing peace & joy many people are filled with doubt, depression, defeat, and discouragement. It’s easy to be discouraged… Finish these sentences for me…
I’m ready to throw in the towel
I’m at the end of my rope
I’m a bundle of nerves
My life is falling apart
I’m at my wit’s end
I feel like resigning from the human race.
If you know the answers to those, you need peace.
Peace isn’t something we can obtain through a self-help book,
We experience peace in our lives as a result of loving and living for the Lord. (Rom 5:4; Phil 4:7)
Romans 5:1 NCV
1 Since we have been made right with God by our faith, we have peace with God. This happened through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Philippians 4:7 CEV
7 Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.
We can’t experience the peace of God in our lives until we experience peace with God.
I asked you earlier if you wanted to experience the blessings of God in your lives and families. You now have the key to unlocking the blessings of God in your life. It all boils down to obedience to the Lord.
When we obey the Lord, he blesses us vocationally, financially, relationally, emotionally and spiritually…
Ephesians 1:3 NLT
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.
In closing I want to tell you a story about a man named Max.
CBS news reported on the story of Max Melitzer, a 65 year old man who has been homeless for decades in Salt Lake City. Max and his brother lost touch with one another many years ago, but in 2010 his brother died and left him $100,000. The family hired a private investigator to look for Max and a year after his brother’s death, following a two month search, found him in a Salt Lake City park. The investigator told him the good news and then took him out for a seafood dinner.
For a whole year, Max wandered around Salt Lake City as a homeless rich man. His needs were met, but he did not know it. The investigator who found him did not make him rich. He already was, but didn't know it. The Private Investigator gave him the good news, spoke the truth, the truth he needed to be reconciled to his inheritance. Due to nothing more than not know what belonged to him, Max missed approximately 365 good nights’ sleep, over 1000 good meals, and perhaps 365 hot showers.
How many believers walk around seemingly unfamiliar with all that they possess in Christ?
Instead of peace, they live anxiously...
Instead of joy and meaning they have emptiness.
Instead of assurance of love, they live with shame…
The world is full of people like Max… wealthy in Christ but walking around in spiritual poverty.

The Lord has blessed us with abundant life on earth and eternal life in heaven (John 10:10; John 3:16)

John 10:10 NLT
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
John 3:16 NLT
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

We can’t imagine the great blessings God has prepared for us. (1 CO 2:9)

1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT
9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
Altar time -
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