Maintaining a Legacy

Family ShadowHow many of you noticed that my domain lapsed last month? Honestly, I considered just letting this all go. Over the past two years, millennial as a definition has grown less important to me. Rather, “husband” and “father” are much sweeter sounds to my ears than some generational affectation designed by some sociologist. Even so, I’ve put varying degrees of work into this blog over the past four years. And while I know that I’m succumbing to a bit of a sunk cost fallacy here, I’m not ready to let it fade quietly into the night, though I think all I will be able to manage is a long-form post once a week. [Read more…]

100 Verses about Peace | What Does the Bible Say About Peace?

Annunciation by Leonardo Di Vinci

Annunciation by Leonardo Di Vinci

100 Verses about Peace | A Reflection for Advent

Our modern notions of peace are only a shadow of what the Bible describes about peace. Peace in our time is generally viewed as the absence of war and crime where we can focus on solving the long-term problems that plague mankind, namely how to keep our species alive. The Bible is replete with verses about peace, and the absence of conflict is only one small part of it. The peace found in Jesus is more than that. Here are a few things I noticed:

  • The peace of God is everlasting.
  • The peace of God only comes through union with Him.
  • The peace of God is a powerful ordering of the universe.
  • The peace of God is an expression of His sovereignty.
  • The peace of God can not be defeated, but we can depart from it.

Without further ado, here are 100 verses about peace:

  1. Psalm 4:8 – In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
  2. Psalm 29:11 – The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
  3. Psalm 34:14 – Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
  4. Psalm 37:11 – But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.
  5. Psalm 37:37 – Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.
  6. Psalm 85:8 – I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants— but let them not turn to folly.
  7. Psalm 119:165 – Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.
  8. Psalm 120:6,7 – Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.
  9. Psalm 122:6-8:
    Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure.
    May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”
    For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.”
  10. Psalm 147:14 – He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.
  11. Proverbs 3:1-2:
    My son, do not forget my teaching,
    but keep my commands in your heart,
    for they will prolong your life many years
    and bring you peace and prosperity.
  12. Proverbs 12:20 – Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.
  13. Proverbs 14:30 – A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
  14. Proverbs 16:7 – When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.
  15. Proverbs 17:1 – Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.
  16. Isaiah 9:6,7:
    For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
  17. Isaiah 26:3 – You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
  18. Isaiah 26:12 – Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
  19. Isaiah 32:17 – The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
  20. Isaiah 32:18 – My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.
  21. Isaiah 48:18 – If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.
  22. Isaiah 48:22 – “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”
  23. Isaiah 52:7 – How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
  24. Isaiah 53:5 – But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
  25. Isaiah 54:10 – Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
  26. Isaiah 54:13 – All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.
  27. Isaiah 57:2 – Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.
  28. Isaiah 57:18-21:
    I have seen their ways, but I will heal them;
    I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners,
    creating praise on their lips.
    Peace, peace, to those far and near,”
    says the Lord. “And I will heal them.”
    But the wicked are like the tossing sea,
    which cannot rest,
    whose waves cast up mire and mud.
    “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
  29. Isaiah 59:8 – The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks along them will know peace.
  30. Isaiah 60:17 – Instead of bronze I will bring you gold, and silver in place of iron. Instead of wood I will bring you bronze, and iron in place of stones. I will make peace your governor and well-being your ruler.
  31. Isaiah 66:12 – For this is what the Lord says: “I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees.
  32. Jeremiah 28:9 – But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the Lord only if his prediction comes true.”
  33. Nahum 1:15 – Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, Judah, and fulfill your vows. No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed.
  34. Haggai 2:9 – ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”
  35. Zechariah 8:19 – This is what the Lord Almighty says: “The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.”
  36. Zechariah 9:10 – I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
  37. Malachi 2:5-6 – “My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.
  38. Matthew 5:9 – Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
  39. Mark 5:34 – He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
  40. Luke 1:76-79:
    And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
    to give his people the knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins,
    because of the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
    to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
  41. Luke 2:14 – “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
  42. Luke 7:50 – Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
  43. Luke 8:48 – Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
  44. John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
  45. John 16:33 – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
  46. John 20:21 – Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
  47. Acts 9:31 – Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
  48. Acts 10:36 – You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.
  49. Romans 2:10 – but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
  50. Romans 5:1 – Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
  51. Romans 8:6 – The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
  52. Romans 12:18 – If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
  53. Romans 14:17-19:
    For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
  54. Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  55. Romans 15:33 – The God of peace be with you all. Amen.
  56. Romans 16:20 – The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
  57. 1 Corinthians 1:3 – Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  58. 1 Corinthians 14:33 – For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.
  59. 2 Corinthians 1:2 – Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  60. 2 Corinthians 13:11 – Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
  61. Galatians 1:3 – Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
  62. Galatians 5:22-26:
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
  63. Galatians 6:14-16:
    May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.
  64. Ephesians 1:2 – Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  65. Ephesians 2:13-18:
    But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
  66. Ephesians 4:3 – Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
  67. Ephesians 6:23 – Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  68. Philippians 1:2 – Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  69. Philippians 4:4-7:
    Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  70. Colossians 1:2 – To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
  71. Colossians 1:19-20:
    For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven,by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
  72. Colossians 3:15 – Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
  73. 1 Thessalonians 1:1 – Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.
  74. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24:
    May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
  75. 2 Thessalonians 1:2 – Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  76. 2 Thessalonians 3:16 – Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
  77. 1 Timothy 1:2 – To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
  78. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
    I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
  79. 2 Timothy 2:22 – Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
  80. Titus 1:4 – To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
  81. Titus 3:1-2 – Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
  82. Philemon 1:3 – Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  83. Hebrews 7:2 – and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.”
  84. Hebrews 12:11 – No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
  85. Hebrews 12:14 – Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
  86. Hebrews 13:20-21:
    Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
  87. James 2:16 – If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
  88. James 3:17 – But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
  89. James 3:18 – Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
  90. 1 Peter 3:11 – They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.
  91. 1 Peter 5:14 – Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
  92. 2 Peter 1:2 – Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
  93. 2 Peter 3:14 – So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
  94. 2 John 1:3 – Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.
  95. Jude 1:2 – Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.
  96. Revelation 1:4 – John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come
  97. Revelation 6:4 – Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword

98-100. John 3:16-18:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Learning From A Tantruming Child

This is the Doctor. He's a 2,000 year old alien and goes gallivanting about through time and space. He's also got some major PTSD and knows a thing or two about a tantruming child.

This is the Doctor. He’s a 2,000 year old alien and goes gallivanting about through time and space. He’s also got some major PTSD and knows a thing or two about a tantruming child.

First of all, this is not a post about Miss E. Secondly, this isn’t a post about X number of steps to magically calm a tantrum (secret: there aren’t any). Third, if you haven’t seen this week’s episode of Doctor Who, “The Zygon Inversion”, you may be able to infer spoilers from this post even though I’m not really discussing the plot. Fourth, I do include some steps for dealing with a tantrum, but it may not be what you expect.

At one point, near the climax of the episode, the phrase “tantruming child” comes up. We’ve all seen it. A child doesn’t get their way and various displays of irrational behavior ensue, mostly of the anger variety. Which means, of course, that we’ve all seen plenty of ways and theories on how to deal with tantrums. I’m not going to lie: I’m still figuring out the whole tantruming child thing. And I don’t mean Miss E.

The Tantruming Child

At one point, the Doctor asks the “tantruming child” for what they want. Immediately, after getting an answer, he all but spits it back in their face and rather pointed states that “like every other tantruming child, you don’t know what you want.”

Is that true?

At first glance, that seems not entirely correct. Of course a tantruming child knows what they want. However, there might be a nugget of wisdom here. One of the first things we learned in Economics is that people don’t want a good or service for the sake of possessing it. We want what we want because of the benefits we think it will bring to us. Except, we don’t always know what those “benefits” will be.

In this respect, children aren’t any different. They see something they want. They think it will bring about a certain result, and then they pitch a fit when they don’t get it. Now replace the word “children” with “humans.” Read it again.

The Bible repeatedly refers to Christians as “children of God.” Not “adults of God” or “trustees of God” or “knights of God” or some other name. Children.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Jesus told us that we must have faith like a child. He told us that the Father cares for us as children. Paul and John referred to people they had discipled as children. There’s nothing wrong with child-likeness.

But even as adults, we still struggle with that inner tantruming child. Think about it. What do we do when we don’t get our way? Complain about God. Complain about each other. We get jealous. We pout (which is just a quiet tantrum, really). We sabotage. We try to get what we want some other way — with all of its unintended consequences and heartache. We’re just a bit more subtle than throwing ourselves on the floor.

Watching the Doctor talk down a “tantruming child” made me think about my own trigger points. What causes me to sulk? What causes me to act bitter? What is my reaction to God withholding something from me? Ultimately, they all come down to a lack of faith. The whole “waiting on God” thing grates against my desire for instant gratification. And the anger? Well, it just clouds my vision and generally prevents me from making any semblance of a good choice.

So What Do I Do When I Feel It Coming On?

  1. Breathe.
  2. Allow myself to feel the anger, disappointment, etc.
  3. Pinpoint what exactly angered/disappointed me.
  4. Don’t allow myself to feel the anger, disappointment, etc. indefinitely.
  5. Pray (With an attitude of “Not my will, but Yours be done” and a view of God’s sovereignty).
    1. Repent often and as needed (My anger is most often my fault).
  6. Forgive (Even if they didn’t do anything wrong or don’t need to be forgiven).

And I think to myself quite often: If I can keep doing this myself, maybe I can teach Miss E and her (hopefully someday) future siblings the same.

Man, this self-control thing is hard.


What Does Blessed Mean?

What Does Blessed Mean?We all want to be blessed, right? What normal person says to God, “That’s enough blessing for now, thank you.” Of course we want to be blessed, but the popular understanding of being blessed and the Scriptural understanding have drifted apart.

Conventional wisdom assumes God specially favors people who have good health, extravagant wealth, and a position of power. I do not deny that God places His children into positions of wealth or authority, but the presence or absence of wealth and authority do not necessarily correlate with a state of blessedness. Scripture often cautions us against pursuing them.

And, yet, not a day goes by where I do not see some pithy statement or empty prayer on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter that promises wealth and blessings “in Jesus’ name.” I do not deny that Scripture promises abundant life, nor do I deny that we have a fabulous inheritance in Christ. I believe that God will do miraculous things in the lives of the faithful… but for His name’s sake and glory alone.

Blessedness and Kingdom Priorities

From a human point of view, it seems that comfort and provision would indicate God’s favor. However, pious saints live in abject poverty and vile sinners control the welfare of nations. Suffering does not necessarily indicate God’s displeasure anymore than comfort indicate of His favor.

Moreover, we must remember an important detail about the kingdom of God: God’s ways are not like our ways. He doesn’t look on the outside, but searches the heart. To put it another way, kingdom priorities are often paradoxical and what we expect least.* For example:

  1. The first shall be last.
  2. The greatest in the kingdom will be the least.
  3. Christ came to serve, not be served.
  4. He who would lose his life for Christ’s sake will gain it.
  5. Take up your cross daily.
  6. Though we are crucified with Christ, yet we live (not us, but Christ who lives in us).
  7. The kingdom was revealed to “babes” instead of the wise.

These are paradoxical because they turn our conventional, human wisdom on its head. Blessing and blessedness, too, aren’t what we expect.

So, What Does Blessed Mean Anyways?

In the Scriptures listed below, blessed means the happiness that comes from being in an enviable position. This is a good starting point. We all want that enviable state of happiness. Where we become confused is understanding what is truly enviable. As you read through these, take note of what God says about riches, poverty, and happiness.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
-Matthew 5:3-12

Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
-Matthew 11:4-6

Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.
-Luke 1:45

So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
-Acts 20:32-35

Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered;
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.
-Romans 4:7-8

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
-James 1:12

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
-1 Peter 4:12-16

Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
– Revelation 14:13

Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
-Revelation 19:9

Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
-Revelation 20:6

Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.
-Revelation 22:7

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.
-Revelation 22:14

What Blessed Doesn’t Mean

In all of the passages above, blessed come from the same word in Greek (makarios). This form of blessed occurs 50 times in the New Testament (I have included a link below if you want to see the rest of them). All of these passages speak of those in enviable positions. Interestingly, none of those passages implicitly or explicitly state that earthly wealth or good health is the measure of our “blessedness.” In fact, several passages throughout the Bible speak to the deceitfulness of riches and a comfortable life (to name a few: Ecclesiastes 4:4-85:8-20Luke 12:13-211 Timothy 6James 25:1-6Revelation 3:14-22). So, while God sees fit to enlarge our provisions or to allow us to enlarge our provisions, they are not the measure of kingdom success. How we use them to serve God and love our neighbor as ourselves — that is the measure of kingdom success.

Would We Rather Have Riches or Jesus?

Look again to that passage from 1 Peter 4. Peter drops a massive spoiler on what it really means to be blessed: to have the Spirit of God rest upon you. To put it another way:

Happy is the man who is persecuted for the sake of the Gospel,
Whose provision is literally the LORD resting upon him and sustaining his life.

You can’t buy that.

So, does God want you to be rich. Yes, He does. But not for the trinkets of this world. He has something much better in mind than the heaven’s asphalt.**



50 Times makarios occurs in the New Testament – from 

* from Google:

  1. a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory.
    “a potentially serious conflict between quantum mechanics and the general theory of relativity known as the information paradox”
  2. a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.
    “in a paradox, he has discovered that stepping back from his job has increased the rewards he gleans from it”
  3. a situation, person, or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.
    “the mingling of deciduous trees with elements of desert flora forms a fascinating ecological paradox”

** Gold. The streets are paved with pure gold.

15 Verses About Money

15 Verses About Money

What does the Bible say about money? Quite a bit, actually. Here are 15 of my favorite verses about money:

The Lord Establishes Wealth and Poverty for His Glory

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