The Christian Church began with two powerful sermons delivered by the Apostle Peter after the Jewish feast of Pentecost. The result of the first sermon in Acts 2:41 was that 3,000 men became instant believers and followers of the Christian way. The second sermon in the next chapter where 5,000 more men were converted closes with these words of His message in verse 26, "God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities."
Most of us will gladly take all the blessing we can get. Life is sometimes harsh and grim. The kind expressions we often say to each other such as "Have a nice day," "Happy Birthday," or "Merry Christmas," are good wishes and nice thoughts. They qualify as blessings because words are powerful. Kind words go far to cheer and promote a positive change in our attitude.
But the point is, God sent the Lord Jesus to bless us not only with words of encouragement, but priceless and tangible gifts as well. By many miracles, Jesus proved He has the power and the willingness to make God's good thoughts toward humanity a reality in our lives.
Consider three of the many blessings Jesus brought the world. First, He confirmed God's great love for us. He said in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
The Apostle Paul reminds his readers in Romans 5:8 that, "God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
A second blessing Jesus brought is wonderful evidence of God's power to forgive our sins. The fact that the Christian Church is vital and growing centuries after Christ's death and resurrection is evidence that God is still transforming lives by forgiving sins and bringing wholeness and wellness to the mind, the soul, and the body. God accepts the death of Jesus as a substitute penalty for the worst of sinners. This truth means that every human conscience can be free from guilt and condemnation of sin as well as guarantee the hope for immortality and a blessed future God has promised.
The third blessing is that Jesus consistently and convincingly demonstrated God's goodness toward mankind. In spite of the fact that God has made it clear throughout the Bible that He would much rather exercise mercy than judgment, the devil invades our thoughts with slanderous accusations that God is more inclined to punish us than to bless us. Notice the positive words of comfort and hope Jesus spoke in John 3:17, "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."
Pastor Gene Holman of Living Word Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers' Association.