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BLESSINGS 1Ti 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 1Ti 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 1Ti 4:9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. 1Ti 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. 1Ti 4:11 These things command and teach. 1Ti 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1Ti 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 1Ti 4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 1Ti 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. -To understand this expression it is necessary to know that the apostle alludes here to the gymnastic exercises among the Greeks, which were intended as a preparation for, their contests at the public games. They did this in order to obtain a corruptible or fading crown, i. e, a chaplet of leaves, which was the reward of those who conquered in those games; Timothy was to exercise himself unto godliness, that he might be prepared for the kingdom of heaven, and there receive a crown that fadeth not away Exercise train Godliness reverent devout holy Profitable- helpful or serviceable, that is, advantageous ophello (to heap up, that is, accumulate or benefit); gain: The way some people talk, living for God doesn't pay off in this life. But notice that it said, "...godliness is profitable... having promise of the life that NOW IS..." (v.8). That's present tense. You see, too many times Christians think only about being blessed in the life that is to come. They'll say things like, "Well, when we all get to Heaven...... and thank God, that will be a great day. But these folks seem to imply that the promises of God are all for over there in the next life.

I CORINTHIANS 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. That's a little bit blind to us because that word "husbandry" doesn't mean so much to us today. But one modern translation reads, "ye are God's garden." Another translation said, "ye are God's farm." Well, you expect a farm to produce, don't you! You expect a garden to produce! You expect it to be profitable. There wouldn't be an profit in planting a garden or tilling and working a farm if it didn't produce anything. Friends, godliness is not a hindrance to success. Godliness is exactly the opposite. It's profitable unto all things! First, godliness can ensure protection in your life. If you are God's - if you belong to Him - then you ought to expect Him to take care of you. That doesn't mean you're to act foolish and still expect God to protect you. But if you are His and you're living for Him, you can rely on His keeping power, knowing godliness always pays off. It will ensure divine protection. Thank God, if you're a Christian, you are His; you belong to Him. The Apostle Paul said to the Church at Corinth, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" (I Cor. 6:19). So, you see, you don't belong to yourself; you're not your own. You've been bought with a price, and you belong to God (I Cor. 6:20). Since you're not your own, you ought to endeavor to please the One who owns you - the One to whom you belong! And as you live for Him, you ought to expect Him to take care of you. The Lord didn't say the going was always going to be smooth. In fact, He said, "MANY are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all' (Ps. 34:19). When you serve God, He delivers you "out of them all"! Now that word "afflictions" is translated from the Hebrew, and it also means troubles and trials. In other words, we could read Psalm 34:19, "Many are the troubles and trials of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all."

In Psalm 91 God said, "He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him IN TROUBLE; I will deliver him, and honour him" (Ps. 91:15). Godliness is profitable! God protects His people who call upon Him in trouble. Religion says that you cannot be holy and prosperous but that kind of thinking is ridiculous. No one has more gold than God, and yet He is holy. He is separated from the world and very spiritual. According to Haggai 2:8 all the gold and silver belong to Him. Gold cannot make you holy or unholy The Bible tells us that when Christ ascended to heaven, He took up the ministry of high Priest to all who come to Him by faith....... this man [Jesus], because he continueth ever,-hath an unchangeable priesthood" (Hebrews 7:24). Two Priesthood's Are Mentioned in the old Testamentthe Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood. We know that Aaron, the high priest, was from the tribe of Levi. But Melchizedek - introduced to us in Genesis 14:18-19 was a most mysterious figure. Biblical scholars know very little about him, and there has been a lot of conjecture about who he was. Here is the setting into which the high priest Melchizedek is introduced: Genesis tells us that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, where Abram's nephew Lot lived, were attacked by a confederated army made up of several kingdoms. This army had plundered the cities' food and other supplies and taken captive many of the inhabitants, including Lot and his family. Abram took a small army of 318 men and defeated this plundering confederation: "And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people" Here is the picture: Abram had just won an incredible victory, bringing down this whole confederated army. Now he was returning home from battle. On the way he met the high priest, Melchizedek, King of Salem, who came out to meet Abram "...and brought forth bread and wine ..." Hebrews tells us this about the high priest: "For this Melchizedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abraham

gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually" (Hebrews 7:1-3). He has no beginning or end - and that means he would have had to be God! As the writer of Hebrews tells us, Melchizedek's name means "King of Righteousness," and his title, "King of Salem," means "King of Peace." The phrase "without father or mother" means simply that Melchizedek had no lineage of priesthood, as did the Levitical priesthood. "Without descent" means "without a priestly genealogy." He was not of a "generations of priests," as Aaron was. Rather, he was divinely appointed a priest by God. The writer of Hebrews also tells us that Melchizedek was "made like unto the Son of God" - meaning, he was like Jesus in that he had no priestly genealogy: "...our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood" (verse 14). Jesus' father, Joseph, was not a priest; he had no genealogical line out of Judah, from which the Levitical priests descended. So we see here that Melchizedek was a foreshadowing of Jesus' priesthood. This earthly high priest was meant as a type of our High Priest in glory Jesus, King of righteousness and King of peace! Abram paid tithes to Melchizedek from all the bounty he had taken from the defeated armies. Scripture tells us that, in turn, the high priest blessed him: "And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God..." (Genesis 14:19). Here is a beautiful picture of the very ministry of Jesus our High Priest. You see, it was the duty and privilege of the high priest to come forth from the Holy of Holies and bless the people. The Lord instructed Moses: "Speak unto Aaron and his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace" (Numbers 6:23-26). In other words: After the high priest takes the blood into the Holy of Holies, sprinkles it on the mercy seat and waves the incense, then he is to come out, face the people and bless them.

This was the final act in the sequence of the high priest's ministry. He was to emerge from the Holy of Holies, raise his hands and bless the people with the blessing God gave him! It is important to understand that these blessings Jesus bestows on us are not temporal but spiritual: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). In the Old Testament, the high priest's blessings were temporal. God promised to bless crops, livestock, cities and all the people's activities. It was all physical, with no spiritual dimension, such as we have today - because the veil had not yet been rent in two. Yet because we walk in a spiritual realm today, the blessings we receive are spiritual in nature. You may ask, "Doesn't God bless us with outward, physical blessings?" Yes, at times God does bless us with material things - but only as they produce a spiritual outcome! Any material blessings that draw our heart away from Jesus can quickly be withdrawn. Sadly, many believers think of God's blessings only in terms of material things. They pray, "Lord, lay Your blessings on me. Load me down with Your benefits!" Yet, inwardly they think, "I want a newer car, a nicer apartment, better furniture, more money in the bank." The Lord does take good care of His children. He told us to seek Him first, and that all our necessities for living would be provided. When the Old Testament priest spoke this blessing to the people, it was not just a wish for them. He didn't say, "I wish you peace. I wish the Lord to shine His face upon you..." No - the blessing was backed by the full power of God! You Must Understand ThatOur Lord Jesus Delights in Blessing His People! Many Christians think God delights only in chastising and correcting us. No! The Bible tells us He takes no pleasure in disciplining us. On the contrary, Jesus says, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). No preacher, apostle, prophet or shepherd in history ever blessed people more than Jesus did. He pronounced blessings everywhere He turned!

Consider the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are you who mourn. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are you if you hunger and thirst after righteousness. Blessed are the merciful, the peacemakers, the persecuted, the reviled." Everywhere Jesus turned He pronounced, "Blessed . blessed ...blessed..." He took children in His arms and blessed them. He blessed those who held feasts for the poor, crippled, lame and blind: ".thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just" (14:14). he lifted up his hands, and blessed them" Jesus' last words before He left His disciples were words of blessing. Luke says Christ "...opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures" (Luke 24:45) - and then "...he blessed them..." (verse 5 1). You earthly fathers know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more does your heavenly Father want to bless you?" (see Matthew 7:11).Paul writes: "So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham" (Galatians 3:9). What is this blessing of Abraham? James tells us, "... Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness..." (James 2:23). Abraham believed that he was in right standing with God, even though he was still being sanctified. Beloved, this is the blessing of Abraham - the knowledge that we are justified by faith! "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith" (Galatians 3:14). (Genesis 15:1). This verse means, "After Abram looked around fearfully at the enemies surrounding him ... after he felt dejected, that he hadn't made any progress ... the Word of the Lord came to him...... The first thing God told Abram was, "Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward" (same verse). In this single verse, God has given us the secret to the greatest blessing any believer could ever have! You see, the first thing our High Priest Jesus says to us when He comes out to us from the Holy of Holies is, "Don't be afraid!" He sees our fearful condition and assures us, "No devil or demon in hell can touch you. You are under My blood - and you are not to fear!"