Several years ago, I volunteered to help out at my church’s Christmas Eve service. Even this many years ago, NewSpring was still averaging around 4,000 or 5,000 on a weekend, and Christmas Eve was still nuts. So in thanks the church gave us long-sleeved NewSpring shirts and asked us to wear them during the time we volunteered.
Fast forward a few weeks. I was wearing my awesome blue NewSpring shirt while I was eating with some friends at Chili’s (I think one or two of them also had the same shirt on). And when we went to pay our bill, the waiter told us that someone had already paid for us! Just as we were trying to figure out what had happened, a couple came over and introduced themselves. They had paid for our meal because they’d seen our shirts and knew that meant we had been volunteers, and they had wanted to do something to say thanks.
I think I cried.
If you think about it, things like that happen in life more often than we realize. God uses His children to bless each other more than we know, but if we want to receive blessings from God, we’ve got to put ourselves in a position where we have access to them.
Today’s verse is Deuteronomy 30:16.
For I command you this day to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.
God has rules. If anyone tells you He doesn’t, they’re lying. But God’s rules make sense, and they exist to keep us safe and to help us live a life God can bless. We can’t live a life that God says is wrong and expect Him to pat us on the back and congratulate us for our rebellion.
Maybe this story isn’t the best example ever, but it’s an easy illustration. I gave up my time to help at a church service, and as a result people recognized me as a volunteer and did something nice for me. It works the same way with God’s rules.
If you do what God says is right, you put yourself in a position where God can bless you. You’ll obey God. You’ll put Him first. And that’s a life that God can reward. But if you don’t? If you do your own thing and waste your life following your own desires without caring what God wants, God won’t reward you for that.
God has shown us the way to live, and if we obey, He’ll bless us beyond our wildest imaginations. But the opposite is also true.
God wants to bless us, and He’s given us everything we need to receive His blessings. But if we want His blessings, we have to choose His way instead of our own.