When we enrol in the university for the first and second degree, we all studied several subjects/modules which added together formed the degree we came out with at the end of the course. The degrees we studied are a combination of certain core and elective modules we did.
The Core subjects are compulsory. They must be offered and must be passed. Otherwise, the degree will not be awarded. The electives can vary, such that students offering the same degree can choose different electives and still graduate with the same degree. If one fails an elective, it is still possible to change to another elective and still graduate, provided one passed that other one.
So that one’s degree is not really about the elective modules one has done, but rather by the core modules, one has studied.
The blessings of God are numerous. They all make us better without adding any sorrow. But for every life; just like a degree, there are combinations of core and subsidiary blessings of God that are necessary for the success of each life.
While the subsidiary blessings of God upon individuals may differ; I have come to understand that there are certain blessings of God that one should or must have in order to stand out in this life, and even in the life to come.
The encounter of Solomon with God in Gibeon makes us understand that there are several blessings of God. Some can be core, and some can be subsidiary, depending on the life in question.
I Kings 3: 4-14
God told Solomon to ask Him anything and that the request will be granted. Solomon at this time was 20 years old and the king of Israel; there are many things he could ask for, which God would have done, but could have amounted to subsidiary blessings for him; so he asked God for what was crucial to his destiny – a special grace of wisdom to govern the people, and the discernment between good and evil.
Solomon had figured out that if he had this; other blessings he needed will follow. And so, it happened that God gave him that core blessing and guess what, God still added the subsidiaries to it, because he asked aright.
He could have asked for long life, riches, the life of enemies, honours, etc. these are all good; only they could have been elective/subsidiary blessings for him.
If a student either made a mistake or was stubborn and registered for an elective instead of a core subject; such a student will have an extra semester/year. So, it’s possible for a believer to have an extra session(s), if he/she is chasing after subsidiary blessings instead of the core blessings of God for their life.
James 4:3 – Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
I John 5:14 – And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
The bible tells us about the encounter that Bartimaeus the son of Timaeus had with Jesus. Bartimaeus was born blind; he had been a beggar for years. He would sit by the highway to Jericho where people would him alms. But on this day, he heard the noise of much crowd; and gathered that Jesus Christ was passing. He shouted to Jesus for help, when he finally got the attention of Jesus; he was asked what blessing he wanted. Bartimaeus knew that Jesus had the power to do all things; but he had figured out that the core blessing of God upon his life was to receive his sight, if that could happen, the rest blessings will be subsidiaries and they would follow. Jesus granted him this core blessing and his life was supernaturally transformed.
My assignment today is to highlight these 5 must-have blessings of God to you, so you can concentrate on them whenever you petition heaven. What are these 5 must-have blessings?
God’s love: The bible makes us know that God is love (I John 4:8). That God also loves the world to the extent that He gave His only begotten Son to die for the sins of the world (John 3:16). However, it is not everyone that enjoys the love of God; or the same level of His affection.
In Rom. 9:10-13, God says He loved Jacob and hated Esau (loveless). May God not love you less.
Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
In 2 Samuel chapter 12, the bible tells us what happened to the first two sons that Bathsheba had for King David.
Verses 14-18 – Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the LORD, the son born to you will die.” 15After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. 17The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them. 18On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate (NIV).
Verses 24-25 – Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him; 25and because the LORD loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.
My thought was, what did the first child do that the second child did not do? Or what did the first child should have done, that the second child did? Nothing!
They were both born through the adulterous and murderous act of David. One died, the other lived. One was struck by God, the other was loved by God. One had no name; the other was even named by God.
- May God love you. May God love you indeed! The love of God will preserve you from death. May God pardon your mistakes and overlook your errors through His love in Jesus name.
God’s mercy: God is merciful. The bible says His mercies endure forever. God has always been showing His mercies to Mankind from creation.
When Adam and Eve fell; it was the mercy of God that drove them away from the Garden of Eden; otherwise, they would have eaten of the Tree of Life in their fallen state and be alienated from God forever. What pain that must have been to God!
It was God’s mercy that clothed them with durable and warm clothing, as the glory of God that covered them has left.
It was God’s mercy that must have offered a temporary sacrifice for the atonement of their sin, by sacrificing animal of which the skin was used as coats for them.
It was the mercy of God that put together a deliverance package in the foreseeable future when the ‘Seed of the Woman’ will later crush the head of the ‘Serpent’.
However, not everyone enjoys the mercies of God; at least not at the same level.
The life of King Saul and King David is a vivid example to us.
Saul made 2 errors of judgement on the throne: in 1 Sam. 13: 5-15 – made a sacrificed ought to be done by Samuel. In 1 Sam. 15: 1-29 – he partially obeyed the orders of God. The result was that he was rejected by God as king; handed over to Satan to be troubled and the kingship removed from his lineage. (God has sought Him a man and commanded him to be captain; Strength of Israel shall not repent).
David also made 2 errors of judgement: in 2 Sam.11:1-27 – he slept with Uriah’s wife and killed Uriah; in I Chro. 21:1-30 – he also took it upon himself to conduct a census of the people of Israel. The result was that he was punished in the measure, but not rejected as king. He was restored and God preserved a throne for his descendants. He was even given the option of 3 punishments to choose from!
It was the mercy of God that reserved a place for Moses in heaven. It is written that the soul that sins shall die (Eze. 18:4). God told Moses and Aaron that because of their disobedience at the Waters of Meribah, they would not enter the Promised Land (Num. 20:7-13). Satan thought he could capitalise on that and sent Moses to Hell. God, however, arranged his physical burial (Dt. 34:5-6); and asked and Angel Michael to welcome Moses home (Jude 1: 9).
Is God unrighteous? God forbid! As He has said to Moses, He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy.
May God be merciful to you. May God show you special mercy in Jesus name. may God sign a covenant of mercy with you in Jesus name.
God’s favour: The bible makes us know that if a man is diligent in whatever he does, his work will soon speak for him (Prov. 22:29); which means that God blesses hard work. However, there is a higher level of blessing which is God’s favour. It supersedes the labour of our hands.
It was the favour of God that distinguished the life of Joseph. He was the eleventh of the twelve sons of Jacob, yet he was the most favoured. He was a foreign slave in the house of his master Potiphar; yet he was the favoured (Gen. 39:21). He was a foreign inmate in the prison where palace offenders were kept, yet he was favoured of the Chief Warder. He was a foreigner serving jail term in Egypt, yet Pharaoh asked that he should be brought to stand before him!
Gen. 39:21 – But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
May the favour of God distinguish your life.
There is someone here, God says you have worked hard; He said I should tell you that His favour will take over from here.
Samuel was not a descent of Prophet Eli; yet he became the next High Priest in Israel and none protested among the Levites who would have been next in line. Though, the sons of Eli were wayward; I believe that there must have been other Levites who could have stepped into that position when Ophni and Phineas died. It was God’s favour on Samuel (I Sam. 2:26).
And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men.
Mary was chosen by God to be the earthly mother of Jesus. It was not because she was more righteous than other virgins of her time. She may not have come from a wealthy background, though she was related to Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist – a Levite; it was just because she was highly favoured by God Lk. 1:30).
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
May God favour you. May you be favoured of God. May the favour of God distinguish you in Jesus name. may you find favour with God.
God’s grace: Our God prefers to bless rather than to curse. He always shows His compassion and benevolence even when we do not deserve it. God has always demonstrated His mercy and grace towards Mankind. His mercy withholds the punishment that we deserve; His grace gives us blessings that we do not deserve.
It was the grace of God that chose Abraham as the progenitor of the special race of God – the Jews. He was elected by God as the father of that great nation, having been called out of idolatry and ungodliness. He began to hear from the holy God; and though he made certain errors and blunders, which were pardoned by God; today he is known as the Friend of God and the Father of faith (Isaiah 41:8).
It was the grace of God that worked in the life of Saul of Tarsus, an ardent follower of God through Mosaic Law; a persecutor of the New Way out of ignorance. It would take Jesus who had already gone to heaven to prepare a place for the believers to personally witness to Saul, anything less than that would have end in his refusal of the gospel and the continuous murdering of the saints.
What a life transformed! How he was mightily used of God!
May God be gracious to you. May God’s grace be more than sufficient for you.
God’s goodness: God is good. He has no evil in Him. His mind is good; His acts are good; and His ways are good.
Ex. 34:6 – And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
Gen. 1:31 – And God saw ever thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Psalms 119:68 – Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes
It was the goodness of God that made Him to make Man in His own image and likeness. It was His goodness that made Him give us the free will of our own, rather than making us as robots. It is His goodness that makes Him to always advise Man on the options of life; even tell us in advance the significance of our likely choice of decision or action.
The bible makes us know that God is good to Israel and to those who have a clean heart (Psalms 73:1).
Truly, God is kind to the nation of Israel. They are one of the few nations that still exist in their region today (Jebusite; Moabite; Ammonite; Perrizite; Babylon; etc). Other nations have tried to wipe them out over time; but God had not allowed that to happen.
Many times, they have angered God; He only punishes and restores them.
God made sure that salvation to the whole world came through them. He also had a plan to redeem 144,000 of them because of His covenant with His friend Abraham. What goodness!
As small as they are, no nation can simply overcome them in warfare.
May God be good to you in Jesus name.
The bible also records how God showed His goodness to Cornelius and his household.
Acts 10: 1-48
Cornelius was a gentile; he, however, feared the God of Israel. He gave much alms to the people and prayed to God always. God was his heart that he was genuinely seeking him; though through the Judaism way; so, God Himself began the process of his salvation so that his faith and works will not be in vain.
Your faith shall not be in vain. Your work shall not get burnt in Jesus name.
God sent an angel to Cornelius to send for Apostle Peter to come and minister salvation to his household. At the same time, God compelled Peter to follow those that Cornelius would send to him. As Peter was telling the people about Jesus; God did not even wait for him to make an altar call; the Holy Spirit fell upon every one of them, Peter had no excuse but to baptise them.
May God be good to you. May God cherish who you are. May He cherish what you do in Jesus name.
If you ask for these 5 blessings and you receive them; I assure you that you don’t need to ask for any other subsidiary blessings, as those will automatically be attracted to you.
For example, do you want a long life? What you need if favour of God (Psalms 30:5).
For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Father, demonstrate Your great affection to me.
Father, please be merciful to me.
Father, make me grow in Your favour.
Father, be gracious upon my life.
Father, please be good to me.
The sermon was delivered on July 24, 2019.