How is your B.Q.? (Blessing Quotient)
All of us have a desire for God to bless us. Blessing is defined by Strongs Concordance as "to prosper and make happy." The opposite of blessing is to curse. Look at Deuteronomy chapter 28 and compare the blessings with the curses.
Blessing also infers that the one who blesses says something good over the one who is being blessed. If God says something good over you, that Word from God is powerful enough to create prosperity and happiness. [Prosperity is defined as having enough for the work God has called you to, plus plenty left over for giving.]
The two goals of this lesson are:
1. To encourage those who have been or are going through a tough time.
2. To give us all an opportunity for an attitude adjustment so that we may get our lives in line for God to bless us.
First I want to go through each of the items in Matthew Chapter 5 and the rest of this lesson. Second, I want you to take the short quiz at the end. The quiz will give you your B.Q. (Blessing Quotient). Your B.Q., or lack thereof, will either encourage you or give you an incentive to change your attitudes in some area, or perhaps both.
It is interesting to note that in Scripture God is always wanting to bless His people. It is also interesting to note however that there is always a pathway or process to blessings. Blessings do not always just fall out of Heaven instantly.
Jeremiah 1:10 says, "See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant." Notice that prior to the building and planting, there is a tearing down and destroying. Before a farmer sows his seed he must plow his ground. Before a builder constructs a tall building, he must dig down to bedrock for the foundation.
Psalm 84:4-7 (Amplified Bible in brackets). says, " Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them [in whose heart are the highways to Zion] Who passing through the valley of Baca [weeping] make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools [with blessings]. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God." I get excited when I picture a roadway system in my heart kind of like the Interstate Highway system we see in America. This highway to Zion is the process that leads right to the presence of God, right to Zion and all the blessings of God. Notice that this highway leads right through the valley of weeping before it gets to blessing.
Psalms 23:3-4 says, "He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Here it says that the paths of righteousness leads right through the valley of the shadow of death. God leads us through them!
One more picture of this is in Exodus 15:23-27. Israel came through the Red Sea and encountered Marah, the bitter waters [of life]. After they dealt with that, their next stop was Elim, the place of blessing with wells of water and palm trees.
Scripture in general tells us that blessings come through a process, and most often that process involves some sort of trial, suffering or at least very uncomfortable times in our lives.
Let us see what Jesus had to say about God's blessings. Jesus in Matthew Chapter 4 is seen blessing the multitudes with healings and deliverance from demons. However in Chapter 5 He goes into a mountain and only His disciples follow Him. There, in that intimate setting He tells them about true blessings, permanent and eternal blessings. He told them things that the multitudes probably did not want to hear.
I believe that Jesus was giving them and us a portrait of the type of person who would be able to receive blessings from God. I believe that is kind of a personality profile for us to compare ourselves to.
Now let us go through each of these nine attributes and see how they may apply to our lives.
1. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The definition of "poor in spirit" is "those who are helpless, destitute and know that they are not self-sufficient". When we learn for sure that this world, our performance, our education, our intellect or whatever other resources we may trust in, will not get us through life, then we are able to repent (turn) to the Kingdom of Heaven. Until such time, we will not even wonder about the Kingdom of Heaven except as a place to go after we die. Jesus said "repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2). Jesus said in Mark 4:11 that the mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven was in the parable of the sower sowing the Word of God to produce fruit in one's life.
It was a happy day in my life when I saw that the Word would provide for all my needs and that God did not need my own insufficient performance. The Gospel is for the poor. You will be blessed when you realize this!
2. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Mourning is usually connected with death. Death of a loved one is not the only time we mourn. We mourn when our hope dies. Death is so final. When our hope dies everything seems so final. Jesus says that when this happens that we are blessed. Why? Because as in Isaiah 61, God replaces mourning with supernatural joy. In my life I have learned to hope ONLY in God and since then I have never mourned for loss of hope. You need to go through (or need to have experienced) this "valley" to be truly blessed.
3. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Meekness is so often misunderstood. I think that the opposite of meekness is pride and rebellion. Meekness is power, which yields itself to authority. Meekness is being teachable. It is knowing that obedience to Jesus and the Word of God is what matters. Do you strive to find out who your earthly authority is? Do you run to Jesus daily to discover what would please Him today? Do you listen to others who may have something to teach you?
4. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Notice it does not say that they shall be made righteous. It says that they shall be filled. Filled with what? Filled with the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Righteousness. He will make you holy, He will cause you to walk righteously. If you do not have this hunger and thirst, then there may be something wrong with your spiritual health. All you can do is be honest and ask Jesus to make you hungry and thirsty.
5. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. I believe this has more to do with having gone through hard times. We can only really give mercy when we have received mercy. We can only receive mercy (and grace) when we know that we have not measured up to God's standards, but in spite of us He gives mercy when it is not deserved. Until one is broken in this area they can be very judgmental.
6. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Pure means "not mixed." It means living a real life in the light of God. It means being gut level honest with yourself, God and other with who you really are! Only then can God change you. Daniel made it through his lion's den because, as the Scripture says, "I was innocent before God." The word innocent means transparent in Hebrew. We need to be clear as glass!
7. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Jesus said that He did not come to bring peace but a sword. I do not think He was talking here of making peace between two people who may have been foes (nothing wrong with that). Colossians 1:20 says, "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." Peace here means to reconcile, or to make friends out of former enemies. We are to reconcile people to God. In addition, we are to make peace with the bad circumstances that come into our lives and make friends out of them. The Cross of Jesus Christ has taken the sting out of every bad thing that comes to you. You are to take the thorns in your life and make pearls for the New Jerusalem.
8. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Some believers are called to live persecuted lives. Some are not. However I believe that it is healthy for all of us to have experienced persecution. It separates us from the world and draws us closer to Jesus
9. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. I believe this is different than number 8 above. When people have lied about you it does something special in your life. It gets rid of pride, it teaches you to keep your mouth shut and it shows you how God works if you do not defend yourself. It also gives you more discernment regarding various types of people.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you" (Matthew 5:3-12)
What kind of blessings should we expect? I am sure that all of us can think of some issue in our lives that could use a blessing. However the greatest blessing is what is mentioned in Psalm 84 above, "They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God." To come into the presence of God and to be able to commune with Him, to have "real time" fellowship with Him, to hear Him speaking your name to you, is the greatest blessing of all! All the other blessings flow from this one. "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19). All of our needs are supplied "in glory" which is His presence.
"Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah" (Psalms 24:3-6).
Instructions: Grade yourself from 0-5 for each of the nine attributes in Matthew 5. Do not use your old understanding of these Scriptures, but use the definitions given above in this lesson.
To obtain your B.Q. multiply the sum of your answers by 2.223. The result is between 0-100%. This will give you some idea how you are lined up for receiving a blessing from God. Example: If you scored 4 on each of the nine items your score is 36. Now multiply 36 X 2.223 = 80%. Of course the closer you get to 100% the better.
Larry Chkoreff - September, 1999