“Bless your heart.”
“God bless you.”
“May the Lord bless you.”
“I am blessed.”
Have you ever thought about the word “bless”? It really isn’t a common, everyday sort of word. It is a churchy/Bible word. Even though we may use it a lot (primarily among allergy-afflicted sneezers), I’m not sure we could easily define the word we are using.
In the very beginning of the Bible, in the first chapter of Genesis, when God created the creatures of the earth as well as Adam and Eve, He both blesses and commands His creation. At the very end of the Bible, in the last chapter of Revelation, when Jesus returns to earth for the fulfillment of His kingdom, He blesses those who treasure Him, lovingly obey Him, and who are being welcomed into eternal life in Heaven. Between the first and last chapters of the Bible, the word “bless” is used over 500 times… so it must be pretty important for us to understand!
PRAISE THE LORD! BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO FEARS THE LORD, WHO GREATLY DELIGHTS IN HIS COMMANDMENTS! PSALM 112:1
There are two sides to understanding the word “blessed,” as seen in Psalm 112:1. First, blessed means to hold in honor, or in respect to God, to fear Him. Fearing the Lord means to be captivated and overwhelmed by God’s greatness and authority. When we respect and value God above anything else, we are blessed because our priorities and values are in line with the most valuable thing in the universe: a personal relationship with Jesus.
“This is a very serious act of treason: when you love other things more than you love God.” John Piper
The second angle to understanding “blessed” comes to light in Psalm 112:1 as well. God’s commands are designed to show us our desperate need for forgiveness and to lovingly guide us in how to glorify and enjoy God. When we trust God, we will listen to and obey His voice above any other. Such loving obedience evidences a saving relationship in which all things work together for good through a future eternity of being with Jesus (Romans 8:28-30).
Don’t misunderstand the word “blessed.” Being “blessed” isn’t ultimately about receiving material or earthly “blessings.” Being “blessed” is primarily about receiving and sharing the eternal blessing of Jesus.