What does it mean to be blessed and how can a Christian attain blessing? Kong Hee’s latest sermon was a mind-opener.
Over the weekend of Jan 15 and 16, saw City Harvest Church’s senior pastor, Kong Hee, begin preaching a two-part series on “A Blessed Person”.
He opened with the story of Jabez, an honorable and upright man in the Bible. The name “Jabez” literally means “pain, sorrow or trouble” in the original Hebrew text. Looking at 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, Kong described that the name was like a curse from his mother due to a grievous pain inflicted upon her through him. “Imagine, growing up, he was called ‘Trouble’ wherever he went,” Kong described.
But Jabez boldly asked God to bless him and God granted his request. Kong spoke the question the congregation had on its mind: “Can we really ask God for blessings?”
Referencing 1 Peter 3:10-12, Kong told the congregation that the key to loving life and seeing good days lies in a believer’s mouths, tongues and lips. The daily manifestation of blessings happens when the believer restrains himself from saying anything that is contrary to the Word of God. The pastor advised that one should avoid negative conversations and confessions, even in private. “Ultimately, those words that we speak will boomerang back to hurt and damage our soul, spirit and our lives,” Kong warned.
He went on to read Jeremiah 17:5-6, which talks about the “cursed”. To be cursed is to be empowered to fail. The Bible says a man is cursed when he put his “trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.” In other words, they put their trust in other man or their own education and accomplishments. A cursed man is likened in the Bible to a shrub without roots, blown in the direction of the winds that come its way. He is unable to see that good things are happening and thus cannot take advantage of it or enjoy it.
On the other hand, to be blessed is to be empowered to succeed. Jeremiah 17:7-8 reveals that a man is blessed when they “trust in the Lord”. The Bible also reveals that a blessed person is not kicked around by life like a shrub, but he or she is a tree that is evergreen and never affected by the heat the season brings. No matter how difficult the circumstances are, the blessed person will live as if there is no drought or shortage, always bearing fruit.
Kong moved on to talk about the qualities of a blessed person. Psalms 1:1-3 reveals that the blessed person meditates on the Word of God day and night. The verse also says he “delights in it”, meaning that reading the Bible is not a chore to him. Kong then directed the congregation to understand that worry and anxiety are the wrong kind of meditation. Worrying is the failure to trust God, a sign that the Christian is struggling with his faith, and it ultimately leads to double-mindedness. 1 Peter 5:7-8 shows that where there is doubt, unbelief will follow, allowing Satan to have a foothold in a person’s life. Meditating on God’s Word is one way to cast all the cares and burdens unto God.
Contrary to the world’s new-agey idea of “meditating”, the Bible is very specific about what this word means. To meditate is to imagine and mutter—by seeing oneself living out Scriptural promises and speaking under one’s breath in a low voice. Kong likened the concept of meditation to a cow grazing in a field. A cow swallows only to regurgitate and chew its food again. This process can go on up to three days.
“The longer you chew your food, the sweeter it is as you’re squeezing out all the nutrients,” says Kong. Similarly, when a Christian mediates on the Word of God, he is squeezing out all the good stuff in the verse.
Kong continued to encourage the congregation to meditate until they can see themselves living out the specific Scriptural promise, being victorious over their enemies’ attacks. “As long as you know how to worry, you can meditate,” says Kong. He described worrying as looking at a situation from a wrong angle, a negative form of meditation.
The senior pastor also likened meditation to the digestive system–after reading the Word of God, the spiritual food, there is a need to regurgitate it throughout the day in order to process it. Kong reminds the congregation that the information available may not always be accurate; there is therefore a need to walk in revelation. Revelation cannot be derived from reading of the Bible casually or by simply attending church.
“We must keep squeezing and processing the Word until revelation flows,” says Kong. “The nutrients must be completely absorbed into our bodies until all the anointing becomes integrated, then we will be able to see the change in our lives and our ministries.”
The Bible is the written Word and Jesus is the living Word. “When we meditate and utter the promises in the Scriptural, it is as if Jesus is personally visiting us and speaking to us every single day. Every word He speaks brings Spirit and life. Regardless of the negativity that a season may carry, you will be able to find zoe life that will give you energy and strength.
Kong ended his message by encouraging the congregation to meditate upon Scripture. “As we meditate on the Word of God and pray without ceasing, our faith will be strengthened,” he said. “Faith obtains what grace has provided through Jesus Christ on the cross. Everything we need is already provided, but it is our meditation the draws the provision.”