11/20/F – A Blessed People

1 Kings 8:22-66; Acts 8:14-24; Psalms 129:1-4; Proverbs 28:3-5

OT: “When Solomon finished praying this entire prayer and petition to the Lord, he got up from kneeling before the altar of the Lord, with his hands spread out toward heaven, and he stood and blessed the whole congregation of Israel with a loud voice: “Blessed be the Lord! He has given rest to his people Israel according to all he has said. Not one of all the good promises he made through his servant Moses has failed. May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors. May he not abandon us or leave us so that he causes us to be devoted to him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commands, statutes, and ordinances, which he commanded our ancestors… May all the peoples of the earth know that the Lord is God. There is no other! Be wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord our God to walk in his statutes and to keep his commands, as it is today.”” (‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭8:54-58, 60-61‬ ‭CSB)

Once the Ark of the Covenant was placed in its new home and the glory of the Lord filled the temple, Solomon prayed a prayer of dedication over the temple – asking God to honor His word and to keep His eye and ear on His earthly dwelling place. After his prayer of dedication, Solomon then turned to the people and asked that, through God’s habitation of the Temple, that the people of Israel would be blessed. He asked that God would continue to bless His people with peace and rest, and he asked that God would bless His people with the grace to be devoted to Him, walk in all His ways, and obey His commands. Why did Solomon ask for that blessing? That all the people of the world would know that the Lord is God and that there is no other. Solomon desired for God to bless His people so that the people of God could then become a blessing to the entire world. Now that faithful followers of Jesus Christ are the temple of the Holy Spirit, as the Holy Spirit fully inhabits their lives, He blesses them in the same way. The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The Lord works in His people through the Holy Spirit to both will to do and do His purposes (Philippians 2:13). As we, by abiding in Christ and allowing His Spirit to abide fully in us… as we are transformed more and more into the likeness of Christ, God’s glory becomes more evident in us… that all the peoples of the world would see God’s glory in us and be convinced that the Lord is God and there is no other. God, through His indwelling Holy Spirit, blesses us to be a blessing to the entire world… if we will be wholeheartedly devoted in faith and obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ.

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