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On Sunday, March 31st, I mentioned how quick we are as Americans to ask for God’s blessings.  I think every president of the United States (at least in my lifetime) has been fond of wrapping up a speech by saying, “May God bless America!”  We even have a song asking God to bless our country.

Is it wrong to ask God to bless us, individually, corporately, or as a nation? I don’t believe so. There are many Old Testament prayers seeking God’s blessing.  In the Lord’s Prayer (aka Disciple’s Prayer), Jesus has us seeking our daily bread from God which is, in some sense, seeking His blessing, His blessing of provision (Mt. 6:11).  It is also blessed to be forgiven of our sin and not be led into temptation but delivered from evil (12-13). 

However, I can’t help but wonder if we should be a little more concerned about blessing God?  In Sunday’s text we heard Peter’s words, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:3).” Peter is pronouncing a blessing on God because He deserves to be blessed. Why does He deserve this? In the subsequent verses, Peter continues with the facts of Him being the author of salvation and the believer’s future inheritance. In 2 Cor. 1:3, Paul blesses “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,” while Ephesians 1:3 has Paul again blessing God the Father who has given those He has chosen “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” Job, in the midst of much affliction and suffering, is known for worshiping God and declaring, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

There is a popular contemporary Christian song “Blessed Be Your Name” by Beth and Matt Redman, written shortly after 9/11.  The song is all about blessing God, not just in the good, plentiful and abundant times, but during times of trial, suffering and pain as well.  The bridge borrows from Job saying, “You give and take away, you give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be your name.”

So how is it we can bless God? Certainly, by praising Him for all things and being thankful for who He is and all that He does.  I once heard about a bumper sticker that read, “America, bless God by obeying Him.” Can our obedience bless God? Certainly so! Again, I think Christians and non-Christians alike are so desiring of God’s blessing but how often do we seek to bless God? Even more so, how often do we bless Him with our obedience? Friends, this is my challenge to you, to seek to bless God through your obedience to Him. In the Old Testament, the Lord spoke to Joshua, telling him that if the people were careful to do all of God’s commands, they could expect to prosper and have success (Josh. 1:7-8). In the New Testament we see our obedience flowing out of a heart that loves God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments (Jn. 14:15).” I encourage you in the days and weeks to come, look for ways to bless God through your obedience to Him. Maybe this means coming up with a list of ways that you typically don’t obey Him—which is to say how you sin against Him—and seek to do right as a way to bless Him. I can guarantee you’ll be blessed in the process!