By Raymond Chang
My parents came to the United States from Korea with almost no material possessions. The Korean War ravaged the land and those who resided in it. Opportunities were scarce. At the same time, the needs were abundant as one people were torn into two nations through war. It wasn’t hard to adopt a vision of the “good life” often touted in the US, one of material wealth and social status. In fact, the idea of blessing in the US seemed to be about material prosperity—a spacious house in the suburbs, a secure nest egg, and a little extra to give to charity—from Christians and non-Christians alike.
Rarely did blessing seem to have its eyes set on eternity. Christians know that we are “like a vapor” (James 4:14), and the treasures on earth do not last, as “moth and rust destroy and…thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19–20). However, it seems almost impossible to escape the pattern of possessing fleeting things in a manner that ends up possessing us. The way to break the pattern of being possessed by our possessions is to understand what blessedness actually is and where it actually comes from.
We must understand that a truly good life is only found in God. All other things will ultimately fail. And where the good things of this world are to be enjoyed, we are not to be mastered by them. In Galatians 3:9, we are reminded that “those who have faith are blessed with Abraham, who had faith.” This means that the people of faith are the children of Abraham and share in his blessings. To be blessed is to share in the blessings that were promised to and poured upon Abraham—through and with whom the nations would be blessed by a blessing that would endure into eternity and not be destroyed by moth and rust.
This blessing fortifies our anticipation for an eternal future by grounding us in a long legacy of grace-filled faithfulness by God throughout history. This is what we enter into when we celebrate Advent. We anticipate a glorious eternal future grounded in the activities of God throughout historical events in the past. As we recalibrate our understanding of blessedness and see that true blessedness comes from God Himself, we can live unto an eternity we long for, knowing that it has already come in Christ.
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3 thoughts on "Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus Day 3"
I always enjoy reading the story of Abraham and Sarah. It is a reminder that God is always in control, even when we might feel like we are out of control.
It’s so easy to only see things through our worldy eyes and not his..
Raymond’s story today about a nation being split reminds me very much of our own, although we are one nation, internally we are divided. America offers many great things such as the author cites a home, a nest egg, and extra to give. But ultimately this is meaningless, like chasing the wind as King Solomon wrote.
True joy and peace comes from within and only one can provide that, a relationship with Jesus. I would encourage anyone who struggles with this to listen to a classic sermon by the great Billy Graham, titled “Choices.”
Some of the most profound moments in my life happened when I was at my weakest, and had the least amount of possessions. Moments when I wasn’t sure the direction God had for my life, but I was present in the moment.
I’m always impressed with Abraham’s ability to be fully in the moment and trust God with his life. He seeks that which I, and most of us are after, a legacy…to leave a mark, to build something that will have impact. We “Do” all these things initially with good intentions, but often our works become our identities. God doesn’t want us to create our own legacy, he wants us to “Be” a part of HIS legacy. This is where God, through Abraham reminds us of this fact…in the end, Abraham is present enough to offer up that legacy on the sacrifice. Am I “in-the-moment” enough to hear God? Am I embracing HIS legacy through me, or trying to create my own legacy?
Lord, help me to remain weak so that I may be strong in you. Guard my heart from things of this world, and help me to flaunt my greatest possession, a relationship with you.
Great point Stephen, that reminds me of what king Solomon said In Ecclesiasties 12:13, after chasing after every kind of pleasure he realized it was all meaningless and the conclusion was Fear God and keep his commandments, this is mans all.
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