BLESSINGS BY ASSOCIATION
October 7, 2018
BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God The Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God The Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).
Blessings by Association are given to those people who surround themselves and associate with mature believers. As we have learned, our goal as Christians is to strive for Spiritual Maturity. But what is it? Spiritual Maturity is attained by the believer who has advanced in the Spiritual Life by executing the Pre-Designed Plan of God in his or her own dispensation. For you and me, our dispensation is the Church-Age which began when Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ ascended into heaven.
Spiritual Maturity is reached once you have passed the four categories of momentum testing: people testing; thought testing; system testing and disaster testing (along with the many tests of undeserved suffering). Don’t start to worry or be afraid of these tests! Just focus on “the things above!” Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (COL 2)]. Spiritual maturity has nothing to do with sinless perfection. Sinless perfection CAN’T EVER be attained in our lives in time (on earth). Spiritual Maturity is characterized by an attitude of perseverance in the face of failure!! REBOUND and RECOVER!!
So, God, out of His Divine Grace, blesses mature believers and these blessings overflow to those around them. This idea is taught in HEB 6:7: For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God…
It is also taught in PROV 8:17-18: “I [God] love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me. “Riches and honor are with me, Enduring wealth and righteousness.”
PSA 23:5 6 say it all: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup [of blessings] overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness [grace] will follow me all the days of my life [Escrow Blessings for time], and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever (escrow blessing for eternity).” Escrow Blessings are infinitely superior to all other categories of Divine Blessings for our lives on earth and in eternity. You’ll receive your Escrow Blessings as a mature believer, even if the rest of the nation is falling apart around you. This is so important to remember in these turbulent times of ours.
Those who receive Blessings by Association do not earn or deserve them. They get them by simply being around mature believers! Just as all believers receive Salvation and Eternal Life because of our identification with The Lord Jesus Christ and His Saving Work on The Cross.
Blessings by Association is also one of the reasons why the wicked seem to prosper, especially when God is blessing the nation in which they live. Here’s what we need to remember: Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. (ROM 12:13 The Message Bible)
Now, let’s look at those who benefit from Blessings by Association. A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. (PROV 13:22) In this passage, we learn that children and grandchildren can benefit from God’s Blessings. In fact, the entire family can benefit!
Our local assembly can benefit by the Blessings God bestows on us; but only if we serve our church and our Royal Family who are part of it. But how can we serve our local assembly? We have to start with being filled with The Holy Spirit as often as we can; because, as we have learned, anything we do without rebounding first, is worthless in God’s Eyes. This is because even an unbeliever can serve a church. It’s the difference between doing something under Divine Power or human power. Whose power do you want – God’s or Satan’s? ANYTHING we do as Christians can only mean something to God if we are in fellowship with Him.
As a new believer, your goal should be to become used to rebounding and keep moving!! As you grow spiritually, you will serve the church with your Spiritual Gift. All spiritual gifts are a Grace Gift from God – given to us, not for who we are but who we are NOT!! In other words, God does all the work and we get all the benefits! The Greek word for spiritual gift is charisma. It is primarily a Pauline expression and it occurs only once in the Bible. Pauline means of Paul, the apostle who wrote: “As each one has received a special [spiritual] gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1PE 4:10)
The Holy Spirit sovereignly gives a Spiritual Gift to each believer at the point of Salvation. This is taught in 1CO 12:11: But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes. A spiritual gift is never earned, deserved, or developed through any form of emotional experience. The believer’s recognition of his spiritual gift comes only through positive volition towards Bible doctrine. Spiritual gifts include the talents God has blessed you with. Time, treasure and talent can be used to serve your local assembly.
This is a very cool explanation of The Holy Spirit and the Spiritual Gifts He Blesses us with (1COR12: 1-11 The Message Bible): What I want to talk about now is the various ways God’s Spirit gets worked into our lives. This is complex and often misunderstood, but I want you to be informed and knowledgeable. Remember how you were when you didn’t know God, led from one phony god to another, never knowing what you were doing, just doing it because everybody else did it? It’s different in this [spiritual] life. God wants us to use our intelligence, to seek to understand as well as we can. For instance, by using your heads, you know perfectly well that the Spirit of God would never prompt anyone to say “Jesus be damned!” Nor would anyone be inclined to say “Jesus is Master!” without the insight of the Holy Spirit. God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! It’s yours for the taking!
Those you have contact with can also benefit from Blessings by Association. This includes your friends, schoolmates, coaches, and teachers. It also includes any organization of which you are a part, like The Boys Club or Scouts. But always remember: Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces. (PROV 13:20 The Message Bible) Do not hang out with the wrong crowd!
Look at PSA 119:63: I am a companion of all those who fear You, And of those who keep Your precepts.
And now read this transliteration by George Swinnock – a British pastor (1627–1673): I am a companion of all them that fear thee. Birds of a feather will flock together. Servants of the same Lord, if faithful, will join with their fellows, and not with the servants of his enemy. When a man comes to an inn you may give a notable guess for what place he is bound by the company he enquires after. His question, — “Do you know of any travelling towards London? I should be heartily glad of their company,” will speak his mind and his course. If he hears of any bound for another coast he regards them not; but if he know of any honest passengers that are to ride in the same road, and set out for the same city with himself he sends to them, and begs the favor of their good company. This world is an inn, all men are in some sense pilgrims and strangers, they have no abiding place here. Now the company they enquire after, and delight in, whether those that walk in the “broad way” of the flesh, or those who walk in the “narrow way” of the Spirit, will declare whether they are going towards heaven or towards hell. A wicked man will not desire the company of them who walk in a contrary way, nor a saint delight in their society who go cross to his journey. “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” The young partridges hatched under a hen go for a time along with her chickens, and keep them company, scraping in the earth together; but when they are grown up, and their wings fit for the purpose, they mount up into the air, and seek for birds of their own nature. A Christian, before his conversion, is brought up under the prince of darkness, and walks in company with his cursed crew, according to the course of this world; but when the Spirit changes his disposition, he quickly changes his companions, and delights only in the saints that are on earth.