Life At Its Best: Our blessings come from our connections, not our accomplishments

Names hold power. We often see this when observing the lives of successful people. There are privileges made available to them simply because of the name they carry.

Sometimes, it's an individual's own achievements that have produced benefits. But some people reap benefits not because of their own accomplishments but because of the family they belong to. Their blessings come from their connections rather than their accomplishments.

This is how our relationship with God works. On our own, we have no special authority or power. Our name doesn't carry much weight. However, once we've dedicated our lives to Him, we become a part of His family. We begin to walk in the power attached to the new name we carry. Our benefits aren't a result of anything we've done or accomplished. Rather, they're made available to us because of our connection to our heavenly Father.

David understood this well. In Psalm 103, he said, "Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits." He then went on to list benefits such as forgiveness, healing, redemption, love, compassion, satisfaction and strength. These gifts are available to each of us as God's children. They're part of the blessing that comes with bearing His name. Still, in order to fully experience them, there are some decisions we must make.

First, we must live aware of His benefits. Let's go back to the inheritance analogy. If we had a relative who left us a substantial amount of money, we'd want to know. Otherwise, we'd be majorly missing out. Our lack of knowledge would lead us to live less satisfied lives.

How do we live aware? Through regular Bible reading. Jesus promises in John 15:7, "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." Receiving God's blessing requires knowing what we're promised. We must consistently study His word so that we can identify and claim those promises.

Then, not only must we live aware of God's benefits, but we must also learn to accept them. This may sound strange. It seems that, if we knew there were privileges available to us, we'd undoubtedly accept them. However, the truth is sometimes, our human nature can cause us to reject them.

For some, it's because we feel unworthy. We view ourselves as too messed up to receive the forgiveness and grace God has promised. For others, our pride gets in the way. We reject the wisdom and strength God offers and rely on our own ability. Both will keep us from laying claim to God's promises.

Instead, we must recognize our position as His child. We must live confident in His willingness to bless us. We don't have to try to be self-dependent; we can let our heavenly Father show us His goodness. Let awareness and acceptance lead you to claim His promises today.

Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. Visit faithfamilyvictoria.com.