Summary: This series is loosely based on a series by the same name offered by Life.Church. You can find their materials at open.church. There you will find videos, transcripts, outlines, and graphics.
A pet store delivery truck was making its way through town when the other travelers couldn’t help but notice the peculiar behavior of the truck’s driver. Every time the truck came to a red light or stop sign, the driver would jump out of the truck with a baseball bat in his grasp, run to the back of the truck and beat viciously on the back panel. After witnessing this bizarre behavior through several intersections, the man who was stuck behind the truck finally got out of his car and asked the pet store delivery truck driver why he was beating the back panel of his truck with a baseball bat. The driver explained, “This is only a two-ton truck and I’m carrying four tons of parrots and other exotic birds, so I’ve got to keep two tons of them in the air at all times!”
This sounds like many of our families, doesn’t it? We seem to be burning the candle at both ends with so much going on. That’s why we are taking the next four weeks to talk about family. We are calling this series, “Bless This Home,” because I’m sure most of us here want our families to be blessed. Sadly, though, that’s not how many of us would describe our families. If I were to ask you, “How is your family doing?” Instead of saying, “Blessed!” you might respond, “We’re hanging in there.” Or, “We’re struggling.” Or, “It’s tougher than we thought. We are a blended family, and although we thought our kids would all mesh together like the Brady Bunch, our experience has been more like Big Brother.” Perhaps you are a single parent and you feel like you are unraveling due to the demands on you, raising children with no help.
We want to be blessed, but many families are STRESSED.
Whether your family is struggling, hanging in there, or unraveling, I have GOOD NEWS for you today. God’s desire is for your family to be BLESSED! Four times in the book of Deuteronomy alone, God tells his people that if they will simply obey him; that is, do life his way, that everything they touched and set out to do would be blessed.
Deuteronomy 28 is one of these sections. Just to get an idea of how God desires to bless his people, let’s read the first few verses:
Deuteronomy 28:1-6, “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. 5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.”
I want us to ask, and attempt to answer a few questions this morning to help us understand what God wants to do for us, as families, and how we can experience His blessing upon us
QUESTION 1: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BLESSED?
The simplest definition of the word used in the Bible for “blessed” would be “Happy.” That’s the literal, simple meaning of the Greek word used in the beatitudes in Matthew 5. However, Jesus didn’t speak Greek. Neither did he teach from a Greek perspective. He was a Jew and in order to understand what Jesus meant when he used the word “blessed” we’ve got to understand its Jewish roots.
To bless, according to the Old Testament, carried the idea of bestowing favor and goodness upon another person. It also included the idea of granting prosperity and well-being. It meant to enjoy God’s favor, approval and empowerment.
My favorite definition of “Blessed” comes from pastor Robert Morris. He states that it means, “Having supernatural power working for you.” That’s what God wants for your family. As our pastor, that’s what I want as well. I want to see your family BLESSED—God’s supernatural power working for you, in every area of your family’s life, propelling you farther and lifting you higher than you could ever attain on your own.
QUESTION 2: If God’s will is to bless, then WHY IS MY FAMILY SO STRESSED?
We are born into a fallen, cursed world. God created man in His own image. This means that among other qualities, God gave man a FREE WILL. Man was created with the ability to choose. Sadly, the first man and woman used their free will to choose against God. This opened the door for all manner of chaos.