Essential Faith Volume 2: For many years I believed that a person was most “blessed” when they were surrounded by the good things in life—possessions, family, friends, etc. However, I’ve seen so many people (including myself), who are “blessed” with an abundance of all these things, but who don’t experience consistent joy! “Blessing” may be defined as: “Something that helps you or gives you happiness.” (Merriam-Webster) In Matthew chapter five, Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount and spoke blessings upon those whom we would never consider “blessed.” His list included the poor in spirit, the mourners, the hungry, the meek, the persecuted—not the type of people we would look at and say: “Ahhhh they are blessed!” The blessings Jesus said they would receive had little to do with material things or great possessions. The blessings include–being satisfied, receiving mercy, seeing God and being called the Sons of God. Perhaps we poo-poo these as things only a Jesus freak would want. However, we should strongly consider it–if we’ve had material blessings, family and friendship, and ever found ourselves devoid of joy. I’ve spent years working and struggling to receive what I believed were the greatest blessings—when, in fact, I missed the greatest blessing. Jesus said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) I used to hear people say this and nod in tacit agreement and go on my own “blessing seeking” way because I knew better than God about what constitutes a “blessing.” I’m discovering that the best blessings in my life do not come from my possessions or even my beloved children, family and friends. The best blessings come when I am guided by God’s will to give of my time, talent and resources to help others find the joy of living in God’s will. When we give of ourselves for the glory of God, then we are satisfied and we receive peace. We no longer need to build a kingdom on earth because our treasure is safe in heaven. We get to experience the blessing on earth that will be for forever in heaven. Check your frantic pace of existence today—is it guided by obtaining the blessings of God or striving for the “blessings” of man? Start new today–enjoy the blessing of being a blessing!