Don't Steal My Blessing

. .

We have some wonderful people in our lives who love to give us meals. They have blessed us so much that at one point I wanted to give them some money for all the great meals that we’ve received at their hand.

To which the wife replied, “Don’t steal our blessings.”

Here are seven things that blessing thieves need to know.

1.         Learn to receive.

John 1:12 in the Amplified Bible says:

“But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name.”

According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word for receive is H2943 and it means:

“to take with the hand, lay hold of, any person or thing in order to use it; to take what is one's own, to take to one's self, to make one's own; to receive (what is given), to gain, get, obtain, to get back”

Salvation is a gift. . .but we must receive it.

Healing is a gift. . .but we must receive it.

God’s promises are a gift. . .but we must receive them.

Holy Ghost power is a gift. . .but we must receive it.

There are times when people won’t receive a gift, a blessing or a compliment because of some false sense of humility.

Stop saying you don’t deserve compliments for a job well done.

Learn to receive praise and compliments with humility and graciousness. Accepting someone’s compliments doesn’t mean that you’re automatically taking credit from God.

I frequently receive very complimentary words for the things I write whether in a book, blog, Facebook or Tweeter. My response is to say “thank you. I was so blessed by your kind and encouraging words. . .to God be the glory.”

Never say you don’t deserve it. . .because by speaking those words. . .you’re giving life to them.

Receiving a compliment is not being prideful but thankful.

Learning how to receive and what we do with the gifts of God or from anyone else is a reflection of our character or the lack thereof. . .due to a bondage adopted at some point along the way.

Our understanding of and obedience to the Word of God will determine our ability to receive.

What we perceive by the wisdom we receive . . .will determine our reality.

One other thing. . .how we receive instruction and correction. . .will determine. . .in large part. . .our destiny in life.

If we think we’re smart enough on our own. . .if we think we’ve already arrived. . .chances are we’ve never left the station on our journey to success.

At the same time, if we are wounded by correction and feel incapable of receiving instruction, we, too, are stuck before we got started.

When we learn to become an effective receiver. . .we will no longer be stealing someone’s blessing.

2.         Learn how to receive your harvest.

Genesis 26:12 says:

“Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him.”

The beauty and divine progression of seedtime and harvest is detailed in this verse.

What you sow. . .you receive, reap or get a harvest from.

Genesis 1:11 in the Amplified Bible says:

“And God said, Let the earth put forth [tender] vegetation: plants yielding seed and fruit trees yielding fruit whose seed is in itself, each according to its kind, upon the earth. And it was so.”

I have heard that the biggest fool is the one who fools himself. God warns us not to make fools of ourselves in sowing and reaping.

Galatians 6:7 says:

“Be not deceived [fooled]; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Everyone knows apple seeds bring forth an apple harvest and peach seeds bring forth a harvest of peaches. Seeds produce a harvest after their own kind.

Cats don’t reproduce dogs. Elephants don’t reproduce monkeys.

Everything reproduces after its own kind or as it says in the New Living Translation of Genesis 1:11:

“. . . these seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.”

As a further example consider Job 4:8 which says:

“Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.”

Everything reproduces after its own kind. . .including evil.

It has always been this way, and it will never change.

The seed you plant always determines the kind of harvest you receive.

One more thing, your peace and success is often determined by how others receive your gift.

Genesis 33:10 says:

“And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.”

3.         A failure to tip.

Are you stealing someone’s blessing? Do you steal from people while eating at restaurants?

I’m not taking about taking silverware, napkins or anything that belongs to the restaurant. . .but whether or not you’re stealing a blessing from your server and ultimately yourself.

Malachi 3:5 in the Message Bible says:

“Yes, I’m on my way to visit you with Judgment. I’ll present compelling evidence against sorcerers, adulterers, liars, those who exploit workers, those who take advantage of widows and orphans, those who are inhospitable to the homeless—anyone and everyone who doesn’t honor me.”

If you do not tip the proper amount (20%) then you are exploiting the worker (server) who’s serving you.

In most states, restaurant servers are exempted from minimum wage pay. They generally receive a third to half of the minimum wage amount. . .so they really support their families on your tips.

If you do not tip someone for their service. . .then you are exploiting the worker. . .and that, my friend, puts you in the same category as sorcerers, adulterers, liars and the people who take advantage of widows and orphans.

Let give a powerful reason why you should be a generous tipper.

Even if your service was not the best. . .you should tip your server for what they’ve done. If you fail to tip your server. . .you not only stealing a blessing from them. . .you’re preventing God from blessing you.

Ephesians 6:8 says:

“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”

When you do something for anyone else. . .you will be rewarded ... probably not by the person you blessed but by the Lord Himself.

Now I can get excited about the Lord doing for me. . .what I’ve done for others.

Conversely, if you’re stingy with your server. . .God is going to be stingy with you.

It’s the law of sowing and reaping.       

One more scripture:

Deuteronomy 15:10 in the Message Bible says:

Give freely and spontaneously. Don't have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God's, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.”

“Yes, but Brother Harold, if my server does a bad job. . .I don’t tip him/her to teach them a lesson.”

First, teaching your server a lesson is not your responsibility. Your job is to love people. Let God be the judge. He’s the only one who knows what’s going on in their heart and life.

Second, even bad employers are still paid. So, if you withhold wages from them. . . you are stealing from them as we discussed earlier. Let God deal with them.

Third, not tipping or being a cheapskate makes you a poor witness for God. And unfortunately, servers notoriously hate working on Sundays because of the church crowd. Our son is a server and he’s often embarrassed by them.

Fourth, what if you weren't paid every time you were lax on your job? Think about it.

The amount you tip. . .is more a reflection of who you are in Him and how you think than the service shown to you by the wait staff at any restaurant.

Deciding to tip someone based solely on their performance is a mentality based on works without grace.

4.         A failure to encourage others means your stealing others’ blessings.

If we don’t do what the Bible tells us to do when it comes to others. . .then we are stealing other’s blessings.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 in the New International Version which says:

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

My spirit was stirred as I read the Message Bible translation of 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

“Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it.”

As I was reading this verse. . .God immediately and specifically drew my attention to “ . . .no one left out, no one left behind. . .”

It’s clear that many who want to prosper or have their promises FULFILLED have the wrong focus. Instead of keeping their eyes on Him and those He wants to bless and prosper. . .they focus on themselves and their own needs.

Remember, Ephesians 6:8 says…whatever good thing you cause to happen to someone else. . .God will do for you.

Hallelujah!! That’s why I get fired up. . .when I read verses like. . .

Hebrews 3:13 in the New International Version which says:

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.”

Let me say that again. . .actually let me read you what the Word of God is saying: “encourage one another daily.”

In encouraging others. . .we should encourage them to maximize their potential.

Deuteronomy 1:38 in the New International Version says:

“But your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will enter it. Encourage him, because he will lead Israel to inherit it.”

Even great leaders have to be reminded to encourage and build up the people who work with them.

Deuteronomy 3:28 in the New International Version says:

“But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see."

5.         A failure to love unconditionally means you’re stealing someone’s blessings.

We’re to love other people as God first loved us.

Mark 12:31 says:

“And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

John 13:34

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

God loves you whether you have bad breath or not.

God loves you whether you’re rich or poor.

God loves you whether you’re skinny or fat, ugly or beautiful, a college graduate or a grammar school drop-out.

God loves you whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat. . .a liberal or a conservative.

God loves you whether you’re single, divorced, married or remarried three times.

God loves you even when you mess up. . .but He does want you to get up, repent and move on.

God’s love is unconditional.

Not only does God love you. . .but His desire is that you love others just as He loves you.

God does not pick and choose whom He loves. . .by any criteria or list of faults that He is overlooking.

God loves everybody. . .and He expects the same of us.

Romans 13:8 says:

“Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”

One thing we need to know. God loves everyone . . . regardless! However, He does reward people based on their faith in His principles. If someone else knows how to put God’s principles to work more than youthey will undoubtedly reap more benefits than you but you can change that when you better understand the Word.

God loves you even when nobody else is around you.

John 16:27 in the New Century Version says:

“The Father himself loves you. He loves you because you loved me and believed that I came from God.”

God loves you. . .no matter where you are. . .because you love Him and gave your life to Him. It’s just that simple.

Psalm 59:10 in the New Century Version says:

“My God loves me, and he goes in front of me. He will help me defeat my enemies.”

God’s love for you also assures a way to defeat your enemies. . .

Deuteronomy 31:6 in the New Living Translation says:

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

Not only are we never alone. . .but God protects those He loves and who love Him. . .and those who love others unconditionally.

When you love others as Christ first loved you. . .then you will never be a blessing thief

6.         A failure to receive correction makes you a blessing thief.

A failure to properly receive and correctly act on Godly correction. . .from the Word or an anointed man or woman of God speaking good into your life . . .will rob you of future blessings.

How do we know if someone is speaking good into our lives? By whether is lines up with God’s Word and by the inner witness of the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 13:18 says:

Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

The Message Bible translation of Proverbs 13:8 says:

“Refuse discipline and end up homeless; embrace correction and live an honored life.”

If a person is serious about success and following God’s divine direction for their lives.... they will heed the words found in Proverbs 23:12 in the Amplified Bible which says:

“Apply your mind to instruction and correction and your ears to words of knowledge.”

It’s not enough for each of us receive and act on instruction. . .we must also apply our minds to correction. . .which will allow us to hear words of knowledge.

2 Timothy 3:16 in the Amplified Bible says:

Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action).”

According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek root word for profitable used in 1 Timothy 3:16 is (G3786) and it means:

“advantage, profit, increase”

This particular Greek word for profitable (G3786) is also used in 1Timothy 4:8 in the New King James Version which says:

“For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”

Spiritual training helps us now in this life and it actually prepares us for receiving blessings for our eternity in heaven.

Proverbs 12:1 in the New Living Translation says:

“To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.”

Proverbs 26:4 in the Message Bible says:

“Don't respond to the stupidity of a fool; you'll only look foolish yourself.”

How do you go from being stupid to intelligent? The answer is found in Proverbs 18:15 in The Living Bible which says:

“. . .The intelligent man is always open to new ideas. In fact, he looks for them.”

The question for us tonight is. . .are we looking for new ideas on how to advance the Kingdom. . .if so, you’re intelligent according to the Word of God. . .which means you’ll be able to keep blessing thieves from your front door.

A true friend is with you during the good times and the bad.

7.         A failure to sow means your stealing others’ blessings.

The word tithe is in the King James Version of the Bible 21 times (not including the references to the tenth or first fruits.) The word offering is in the Bible a total of 210 times.

If you take the time to carefully read, examine and study each of these scriptures . . . then look at the bottom of each page which contains one of these scriptures you will notice there is NOT an asterisk to the verse that excludes you from giving just because you think you’re broke.

Truthfully, that should settle once and for all the excuses of those who say they can’t afford to give. But alas, I feel led to share a little teaching.

I’ve heard people say they’ll begin to sow when they get a job. No, they won’t.

I’ve heard people say they’ll give big when they get a bonus or a raise. No, they won’t.

I’ve heard people say they’ll begin to sow when their ship comes in. . .no, they won’t.

I’ve got news for you. . .if you don’t send a ship out. . .. . .then your ship is never going to come in.

You’ll spend your life like Otis Redding “sitting on the dock of the bay, wasting time.”

You have to plant seed before you can ever expect to see a harvest … of anything other than weeds that is.

Ecclesiastes 11:4 in the Amplified Bible says:

“He who observes the wind [and waits for all conditions to be favorable] will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.”

The Living Bible Translation of this verse says:

“If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.”

I’ve heard the comments. . .well meaning. . .good intentioned. . .words of those who say they’re going to do great things for the Kingdom of God when they receive their financial windfall.

It’s not going to happen. How can I be so sure these good folks will never pay off the church mortgage or give a million dollars to their favorite ministry?

It’s simple. . .the Word of God.

Luke 16:10 says:

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”

The New Living Translation of Luke 16:10 says:

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”

Let me say that another way. . .if you don’t sow. . .you’re stealing your own blessing and that, my friend makes you a blessing thief.

If you say you have nothing to sow. . .you never will.

If you say you’re on a fixed income. . .you are.

If you say. . .you’ve sown and sown but have never received a harvest. . .you never will.

The Bible is a book of absolutes. The promises and principles of God are not conditional. . .based on your circumstances and situations. They are conditional based on your faithfulness to believe.

Here is an absolute. . .

If you sow. . .you will reap.

Conversely, if you don’t sow. . .you won’t reap.

And what you sow. . .is what you reap.