The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 24 : Sermons for Those Who Have Become Our COWORKERS

[24-61] (Genesis 27:1-29) All the Blessings Given to Us Have Also Come from Our Lord

(Genesis 27:1-29)
“Now it came to pass, when Isaac was old and his eyes were so dim that he could not see, that he called Esau his older son and said to him, ‘My son.’ And he answered him, ‘Here I am.’ Then he said, ‘Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. And make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.’ Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and to bring it. So Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, ‘Indeed I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying, ‘Bring me game and make savory food for me, that I may eat it and bless you in the presence of the LORD before my death.’ Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you. Go now to the flock and bring me from there two choice kids of the goats, and I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves. Then you shall take it to your father, that he may eat it, and that he may bless you before his death.’ And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, ‘Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.’ But his mother said to him, ‘Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.’ And he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made savory food, such as his father loved. Then Rebekah took the choice clothes of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. Then she gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. So he went to his father and said, ‘My father.’ And he said, ‘Here I am. Who are you, my son?’ Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau your firstborn; I have done just as you told me; please arise, sit and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.’ But Isaac said to his son, ‘How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?’ And he said, ‘Because the LORD your God brought it to me.’ Isaac said to Jacob, ‘Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.’ So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, ‘The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.’ And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him. Then he said, ‘Are you really my son Esau?’ He said, ‘I am.’ He said, ‘Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s game, so that my soul may bless you.’ So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, ‘Come near now and kiss me, my son.’ And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him and said:
‘Surely, the smell of my son
Is like the smell of a field
Which the LORD has blessed.
Therefore may God give you
Of the dew of heaven,
Of the fatness of the earth,
And plenty of grain and wine.
Let peoples serve you,
And nations bow down to you.
Be master over your brethren,
And let your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
And blessed be those who bless you!’”
 
 
Today’s passage of Scripture we have just read together describes how Jacob listened to his mother’s advice, disguised himself with goat skin, and then approached his father and was blessed in his brother’s name. When some people read this passage they consider it strange that Isaac blessed Jacob and cursed Esau, saying that Jacob was an unscrupulous liar. In their eyes, people like Jacob are liars, while people like Esau are honest people.
However, God’s intention in this passage is to reveal His profound and hidden providence. In other words, God is speaking to us with His profound Truth hidden in this passage. Today’s Scripture passage teaches that both earthly and heavenly blessings come only from our Lord.
While blessing Jacob, Isaac smelled the smell of his clothing and said, “The smell of my son is like the smell of a field that Jehovah God has blessed.” From whom do we the saints receive the Word of the water and the Spirit? And from whom has the blessed fertility of the earth and of Heaven come? It is received through none other than Jesus Christ, who has saved us from all our sins once and for all and through His righteousness.
It’s written in the Word of God:
“Surely, the smell of my son
Is like the smell of a field
Which the LORD has blessed.
Therefore may God give you
Of the dew of heaven,
Of the fatness of the earth,
And plenty of grain and wine.
Let peoples serve you,
And nations bow down to you.
Be master over your brethren,
And let your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
And blessed be those who bless you!” (Genesis 27:27-29)
This means that by making the righteousness of God known to you and me, our Lord is bestowing all the blessings of salvation and the earth upon us. The blessing of salvation was brought to this world by Jesus Christ, and God has made us spread it all over the world.
Then, through whom have our blessings come? They’ve come through the righteousness of Jesus Christ our Lord as they were given to Jacob on the basis of the scent of “the clothing of Isaac’s first son,” which implies the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the First born Son of God the Father.
However, most Christians are mistakenly trying to receive blessings from God by doing something fleshly on their own. This is akin to Esau trying to be blessed by going out to the field to hunt proper game, cooking that game, and offering this to his father. Esau was the firstborn son to Isaac his father. This means that as the firstborn, he was privileged to receive all blessings, far more than any other siblings. Much as it was customary in ancient Korea, in ancient Israel also, the firstborn traditionally inherited most of the property by the right of primogeniture while the other siblings were mostly excluded from inheritance. This is because the firstborn was to succeed his father’s house. So according to Israeli custom, Esau the firstborn son had the right to inherit Isaac’s wealth and blessings.
But in contradiction to such a worldly convention, what is actually written in today’s Scripture passage? Did the exact opposite not occur? It’s written that Isaac’s blessings did not go to Esau the firstborn, but instead they were given to Jacob, the second son.
 
 
On Whom Does God Bestow His Spiritual Blessings Then?
 
My fellow believers, you must remember that in the Christian faith, God’s blessings which comes from above is not bestowed upon those who try to attain them on their own, but they are instead given to those who believe in the righteousness of God. We can attain most of the things of the world through our own fleshly efforts. However, you must realize here that all these spiritual blessings from Heaven can only be attained once you are properly saved, and you must also realize that there are also other blessings that are received only if you believe in the righteousness of the Lord and live by faith. In today’s Scripture passage, Jacob approached his father by disguising himself as his brother Esau with goat skins, and he was blessed in the name of his elder brother. This implies that we also can be blessed when we have received the remission of sins by believing in the righteousness of the First born Son Jesus Christ and by relying on His Name.
Every blessing that we have received has come from our Lord. Upon you and me alike, the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Lord has bestowed both the dew-like blessings of Heaven and the blessings of earthly fertility. “The smell of a field which the Lord has blessed” refers to the fragrance of us the born again who possess the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Bible testifies that we the saints of Christ also have and exude His fragrance (2 Corinthians 2:14-15).
Our Lord is the One who has made the righteousness of God known to us by giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit so that we may be blessed. Because Jesus is the Son of God and at the same time the Almighty God Himself; He is the One who makes us exalted over the other creatures with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, who blesses all our endeavors, and who gives the blessings of the earth to us as well. The Lord is the One who has turned our lives into blessed lives with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Truly, our Lord has permitted you and me to have all these blessings in the righteousness of God. The righteousness of God is in itself the instrument that has blotted out all our sins. Having become our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ is now leading us to the right path. Indeed, it is thanks to our Lord that every good and spiritual blessing has come to us. There is nothing heavenly that we’ve attained through our own efforts.
Take a look at today’s Scripture passage. Even though Esau, the firstborn son of Isaac, tried to receive his father’s blessings through his own fleshly efforts and devotion, he failed miserably and ended up being excluded from all his father’s blessings. In contrast, Jacob received all these blessings not through his own fleshly efforts, but by obeying his mother.
If this be so, then through whom can we human beings approach God and receive these blessings? It is through the righteousness of Jesus Christ who has saved us from sin that we can receive all the spiritual blessings of Heaven. How can we receive all these blessings given by God? We can receive them only through the righteousness of our Lord and by faith and enjoy all the heavenly blessings offered by God. In other words, it is on account of the righteousness of the Lord and by faith that we are able to receive from God the Father all these spiritual blessings of Heaven and the blessings of the fatness of the earth as well.
 
 
Blessings Are Not Attained through Our Own Efforts, but Given by the Lord
 
We must realize clearly here that all the God-given blessings are received only through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Most people of this world are trying to attain blessings through their own efforts, by doing something on their own, even as they have drifted away from the righteousness of the Lord. This is the epitome of confusion. The reality is that this is what many people are trying to do today.
But think deeply about this for a moment. When we examine ourselves carefully, we will see it is only through the righteousness of the Lord that we have received our everything. If we examine whether or not there is even a single blessing in our lives that we have received through our own efforts, we will easily find out there is no such a blessing at all. You and I have received the blessing of the remission of sins from God by believing in His righteousness, but is this something that we attained through our own efforts? No, that is not the case. Nor is it through our own efforts that we have become sinless. Nor for that matter was the washing away of sins attained through our own efforts. That we have become God’s children on this earth, that we have been blessed and protected by God, and that we are living on this earth in good health and prosperity—none of these came about through our own efforts. Isn’t this true?
No matter how much wealth you might have built up through your hard labour, all this wealth can be rendered useless at a moment’s notice if you have a series of misfortunes like Job had. No matter how much money you might have saved up so far, if you fall ill, you will have no choice but to spend all your money on healthcare. In other words, no matter how much money you might have made through your hard work, you can still go completely broke over night if something goes horribly wrong.
My fellow believers, it is all because of the righteousness of our Lord that we have been able to live a good life like this, enjoy wealth, serve the Lord’s righteousness, and prosper in both body and spirit. It is also by the grace of our Lord that we have been blessed with the fatness of the earth. Everything that is achieved while living on this earth, as well as the reason why we are able to go through with our ministries despite facing so much danger and hardships is all because our Lord is helping us and blessing us in our everyday lives. Do you believe this?
God has blessed us His saints. These blessings are the smell of the blessed field of Jehovah God. Our Lord has blessed everything we do. He has blessed all things, the heavenly things and the earthly things alike. Therefore, it is absolutely not by our own strength that we are now living. We are carrying on with our lives like this because God has blessed us, because He has given us both the rich blessings of Heaven and the blessings of the fatness of the earth. All of us must grasp this truth correctly.
What does it mean when I say that God has blessed us? It means that God has made you and me prosperous. The Bible says when a grain of wheat falls onto the ground and dies, it will bear much fruit. This is the God-given blessing of earthly fertility. Let’s assume here that we just planted a seed. How impatient would we feel if only one fruit is harvested from this plant? The Bible however says that if we plant a seed, it will bear not just one but countless fruits. Even if we keep harvesting and eating these fruits, we will still be able to continue to harvest abundant fruits, for flowers will blossom again and again and new fruits will be born ceaselessly. None other than this is the Lord’s blessings given to you and me. In other words, even though our labor may not seem like much, God will continue to make His blessings increase and abound in us.
 
 
The Blessings Our Lord Has Given Us Are Exceedingly Greater than Our Labor
 
There are too many people in the world who do not know how many blessings God has given them. Even though we humans are living in this world thanks to the Lord’s blessings, and we will go to Heaven all because of His blessing, few people are actually aware of the fact that we are living by the blessed righteousness of God offered by the Lord. Truly, our God has blessed you and me with the richness of Heaven and the fatness of the earth. And we are living in these blessings. Is it by our own fleshly strength that we are carrying on with our lives? No, certainly not! Although it is true that we are trying hard to live a worthwhile life, it is fundamentally because God has blessed us especially apart from our own efforts.
Man’s achievements are too few. There isn’t much that you can accomplish in a day even if you were to work all day long. If God told us, “Take as much as you have worked for,” there actually won’t be much for us to take. Indeed, the facts that we are carrying on with our everyday lives in prosperity like this, that our souls have received the remission of sins and we have become God’s children, and that we are living with a joyful heart enjoying peace—are all blessings from God. Our Lord has indeed bestowed these blessings upon us the believers in the righteousness of God. Yet despite this, there are countless people living in this world who don’t even realize that these blessings are actually the blessings of God.
In today’s Scripture passage, Isaac blessed Jacob, and these blessings were no ordinary blessings. He said, “The smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed.” What does this passage mean? It means the Lord God will answer all the sincere desires of His sons and daughters—that is, everything that you and I want. This is indeed true. Once we the saints set our minds properly on the Lord, He will protect our hearts, lead us, and bless us to achieve our hearts’ desires. In other words, it is the Lord who blesses our souls as well as our everyday lives on this earth. These amazing blessings are not received by just anyone. These blessings are received and enjoyed only by those of us who have received the remission of sins into our hearts from the Lord. Put differently, only those of us who have received the remission of sins by believing in the righteousness of our Lord can actually receive His blessings. Therefore, if we look toward Jehovah God quietly, count the blessings He has given us, make our requests known to the Lord, and pray to Him earnestly, He will definitely answer our hearts’ desires.
 
 
The Big Difference between Those Who Have Been Saved from Their Sins and Those Who Have Not
 
When we examine the lives of Esau and Jacob as it appears in today’s Scripture passage, we may say that Esau is the representative of the unsaved while Jacob is the representative of those who have been saved from sin. Jacob was blessed by God wherever he went. In contrast, Esau led his life always trusting in the power of his own sword. Esau’s circumstances were such that unless he defeated his enemies on his own, he was certain to die, and so all his life Esau tried to fend for himself, only to perish in the end. Even now, people like Esau are still relying in the strength of their own flesh to live though.
Hence, we must grasp the righteousness of God first of all. And we must believe in it. The righteousness of God is found in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We can easily see just how great the difference is between those who know God and have been saved from sin and those who have not been saved. Spiritually speaking, anyone who does not know God’s righteousness, and therefore has not been saved from sin, is like chaff blown away by the wind no mater how meritorious and gifted that person may be. Although human beings boast of their fleshly merits, they are actually nothing. How can anyone live just by relying on his own carnal strength when the Lord has not given him the blessing of the remission of sins? Take a look at the people in this world who we consider to be rich. Far from being rich, we see that in reality they are struggling every day.
But, what about those who have received the remission of sins into their hearts by believing in the righteousness of God? Although they may seem to have very little in their outside appearances, they are living in this world in joy as though every day is a feast. That is how much difference there is between a field of heart which has been blessed by Jehovah and a field that the Lord God has not blessed. You and I, the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, are God’s blessed fields.
We see the learned in this world, despite possessing several advanced degrees, have no joy in their hearts, and so they try to find joy by doing good deeds on their own. They try to find some joy by helping others, but this is akin to a man facing a drought trying to find cold water that will quench his thirst just for a while. What happens to such people in the end? Even though they wander around to countless springs, they are unable to find any good spring, and when they come across some puddle, they have to drink from this to quench their thirst even for a short while. Indeed, for those who have not found the righteousness of God, no peace can be found in their hearts. Even though they do good deeds and try very hard to do good in order to find peace of mind, they suffer in thirst every day, for they have no true joy.
What about us, the born-again then? When we think about the righteousness of God that the Lord has given to us, joy and praise spring forth automatically. When we think about these blessings of the righteousness of God—that is, when we think about how God has blotted out all our sins and saved us—we are filled with joy even if we have nothing else. Joy fills us even more when we think about entering the Kingdom of the Lord. When we are reminded of the fact that we have no sin and that we will go to the Kingdom of the Lord, we are once more filled with overflowing joy. Therefore, we ought to realize just how many blessings our Lord has given us, and we ought to enjoy them fully in our lives.
I know very well that I am a tremendously blessed man. I thank God for this. The blessings that Isaac bestowed on Jacob have now come to me today, and they have also come to all our saints. That God has blotted out all our sins is enough for us to be infinitely grateful, but He has also blessed us with the fatness of the earth. How wonderful is this then? How wonderful is it that God has not only delivered us from sin when we were destined to hell, but He has also blessed us in body so that we may be well off in this world. Do you realize just how great our blessings are? Through our own efforts we can achieve nothing, but thanks to the righteousness of the Lord, we have been saved. When we think about this blessing of salvation, we are compelled to praise the Lord. And we are compelled to live with thanksgiving.
 
 
You Must Realize That We the Believers in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit Are the Blessed People
 
Remember this fact. Even the born-again can go astray when they do not realize that they have been blessed so abundantly by God. Spiritually speaking, we are all Jacobs. The Almighty God deliberately lost to Jacob in a wrestling match and blessed him. Jacob wrestled with God and won. When Jacob prayed, “Protect me on this earth, watch over me, and bless me,” an angel appeared and wrestled with Jacob. However, while wrestling, the daylight broke and the angel sought to leave. But Jacob refused to let the angel go, saying, “I cannot let you go unless you bless me.” So God said to Jacob, “I’ve lost and you’ve won. From now on your name shall be Israel. And I will give you everything you want.”
My fellow believers, do you suppose God Almighty lost His wrestling match with Jacob because He was not strong enough? No, of course not! This account is teaching us that God wants to permit all the blessings to us the born-again in His righteousness. Indeed, it is not because we have some special qualification that we have been blessed by God. Jacob received both the blessings of Heaven and the blessings of earthly fertility because he had listened to his mother’s counsel. Likewise, it is also by our faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we receive all the blessings that enable us to approach God. As those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you and I must therefore live with the realization that we are the ones who have received the blessings of salvation from God. There is no one more pitiful than those who are living without realizing this fact.
When you realize that you are someone blessed by God, you will be able to pray to Him by placing your faith in His righteousness, and on account of this faith, you will surely live a truly blessed life. If in contrast you do not realize that you are a blessed person, then ultimately, you will have no choice but to live a wretched life. So my fellow believers, all of us must live in courage, realizing that we have already received the blessings of salvation from God. God will then fulfill everything that we want and meet every desire of our hearts. It’s absolutely imperative for us to realize who we really are in God’s sight. We must live by faith, believing that our Lord has given us all His blessings along with His righteousness. This does not mean that we should just give up all our efforts. Rather, it means that God’s blessings will be infallibility bestowed on top of our efforts. Unless the blessings of the Lord are also found in addition to our efforts, how could we ever be blessed in our lives? Our existence is such that we can live in prosperity only if we receive the blessings as given by our God.
God Himself has blessed all those who believe in the righteousness of Jesus Christ and have devoted their lives to the spreading of the gospel of righteousness. He has raised them to be the head in their respective households. It is God who has given them such blessings. When one believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and receives the remission of sins before everyone else in his family, they will become the most influential person in that household. This will actually be fulfilled just like Jacob became the head of his household.
In my household, my relatives used to say that I was the black sheep. However, our Lord has raised me to the top of my household. Now no one can say anything to me. All my acquaintances also say that I am a man blessed by God. Like this, the Lord has exalted you and me among all the people. He has fully blessed us. All the blessings that we have received are from the Lord.
How tragic would it be if there still are some souls that are wandering off and struggling rather than holding onto these blessings? My fellow believers believe in the righteousness of God and His blessings. Walk by faith, trusting that God has given us every blessing. Even though we are lacking and weak, God has given us all His blessings through the Lord. So I ask you to live by your faith in the righteousness of God and not by relying in your own fleshly works. I admonish you to live by faith in every aspect of your life. Then the Lord will fill you with all His blessings. However, unless you have faith in the righteousness of God and His Church, you will not be able to enjoy these blessings. Our Lord has already blessed you and me, and these blessings continue to be bestowed on us even at this very moment. Hence, we should wait for the Lord’s blessings quietly, trusting in Him and following Him by faith. I mean that we should have hope in our hearts, walk by faith trusting in the righteousness of God, and follow the guidance of the Lord.
We must live by faith. Faith is indispensable to every aspect of life; whether we are working, studying, running a business, or serving the Lord, in all things we must have faith. In other words, we must live by the faith that the Lord has given us all His blessings.
Jacob in today’s Scripture passage is none other than you and I. Esau, on the other hand, refers to someone who tries to be blessed through his own efforts rather than accepting the salvation from God. Even though Jacob had no qualification at all, he still received his father’s blessings, all because he listened to his mother. This Jacob is none other than you and I who received the remission of sins into our hearts by believing in the gospel Truth of the Lord. We must believe in all these things in our lives. We must live by faith alone.
 
 
What We Need in Our Lives Is God’s Church and the Faith That Believes in the Righteousness of God
 
Faith is all that we need in our lives. Do not just stare at yourself. Instead, you have to believe and confess in your everyday life that the Lord has already blessed you. And in doing so, you ought to enjoy these blessings, give glory to God, and praise Him in your life.
It is precisely for this reason that God’s Church is absolutely indispensable to us. If any born-again person does not have God’s Church, this person cannot receive all the God-given blessings nor can he enjoy them. Indeed, God’s Church is absolutely essential to all those who believe in the righteousness of God. It is because each saint can receive and enjoy every blessing from God only through God’s Church.
Take one more look at today’s Scripture passage. Jacob could not have received such blessings if his mother had not led him. Spiritually speaking, Jacob’s mother Rebekah mentioned here refers to God’s Church. This shows us just how important God’s Church is to the saints, and how indispensable the guidance of the Church is to them. Even though you have been saved from all your sins, on your own you cannot receive all the God-given blessings. It’s only through God’s Church that you can receive and enjoy every God-given blessing.
You and I have clearly been saved from sin through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Let’s suppose for a moment that after being born again, we are no longer living out our faith. Under such circumstances, could we really carry on with our lives believing that God has blessed us, or would we instead end up trusting in our own fleshly strength and carnal wisdom? If a saint does not abide in God’s Church, then it is all but guaranteed that he would try to live on his own by trusting in the strength of his own flesh. This saint will then inevitably lead a corrupt life, trying to survive in this tough world.
Therefore, every born-again saint must abide in God’s Church. It is only when you realize this God-spoken wisdom through the Church and when you live in this world with this wisdom that you are finally able to lead a righteous, upright, and prosperous life.
You and I have fully received God’s blessings. I ask you to believe in this as you carry on with your life. Do not worry even if your flesh is insufficient. Have faith instead, believing that God has blessed you and come to God’s Church, listen to His Word, and let your Church leaders guide you. If there is anything that you want in your heart, pray to God. He will then answer all your requests. Whatever your present circumstances may be, these are also granted with the Lord’s protection. If the Lord had not protected and blessed you, you would be facing rather different circumstances right now. Everything is fulfilled only if the Lord blesses you.
Our God has blessed us forever. He has fulfilled everything for us in the Lord. God has given all His blessings to each and every one of us.
I give all thanks to Him!