Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

  • Sunday - 10:30 am
  • 520 8th Ave, 16th floor
    New York, NY
  • phone: +1 (973) 837-1041


BAC Sermons

Being Blessable is just the Beginning

2002-02-01 Psalm 1

I. God wants to bless us, and we want to be blessed, so what’s the problem?

Blessing is not about quid pro quo, but about being in the place where God can bless you. The heroes of Hebrew 11 did not receive what was promised, nor did Jesus, yet.

Gen 1:2:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over...

Gen 12:2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3  I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

Psalms 68:19  Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation! Selah

Ps 1:1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

2  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3  He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

4  The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.5  Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

II. Blessing Bringers

We cannot influence when we will be blessed, but we can determine whether or not we are blessable.

A. We WORSHIP a God who’s desire to justly bless or curse is rooted in His character and covenant, not caprice.

Obedient Sacrifice Ex 20:23  `You shall not make anything to be with Me--gods of silver or gods of gold...24 An altar of earth you shall make for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it...In every place where I record My name I will come to you, and I will bless you.

Exclusive Service Ex 23:24 You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their works; but you shall utterly overthrow them and completely break down their sacred pillars. 25  "So you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless

Costly Consecration Ex 32:26 "Whoever is on the LORD'S side--come to me." sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. 29  "Consecrate yourselves today to the LORD, that He may bestow on you a blessing this day, for every man has opposed his son and his brother."

Covenanted Blessings  Dt 7:9 Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; 12 Then it shall come to pass, because you listen to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers. 13 And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; 21  You shall not be terrified of them; for the LORD your God, the great and awesome God, is among you.

Right Worship Dt 12:4 You shall not worship the LORD God with such things. 5 But you shall seek the place where the LORD God chooses, 7...shall rejoice in all to which you have put your hand, in which the LORD your God has blessed you. 8 You shall not at all do as we are doing here today--every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes--9 for as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which the LORD your God is giving you.

Blessing of Sufficiency Dt 2:7  For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.

B. We must FEAR, TRUST and OBEY, which results in lives that are: word-based, sanctified, giving, enduring and faithful

OBEY Dt 28:2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:

1. Fear leads to Obedience, Blessing Lev 25:17  you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the LORD your God. 18 So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety. 19 Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety. 21  `Then I will command My blessing on you...

Fear leads to Delight Ps 112:1Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who delights greatly in His commandments.

Fear leads to Blessing Ps 115:13  He will bless those who fear the LORD, Both small and great.

Fear leads to Trust and Obedience Ps 34:8  Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! 9  Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. 11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12  Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good? 13  Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. 14  Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. 15  The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.

Fear Ps 128:1 Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways. 4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the LORD

Confessing for Blessing Ps 32:1  Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. 2  Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit. 5  I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden.

2. The Righteous Trust that the Lord’s word and way are right Ps 2:12  Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

Ps 5: 11  But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. 12  For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Trust and focus Ps 40:4  Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Depend on God Psalms 84:5  Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.

Wait Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.

Daniel 12:12  "Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.

Trust when not as expected Mt 11: 6  "And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me."

Believe the Promises Lk 1:45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord."

Believe the promises Jn 20:29 you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Believe in Jesus Rm 4:7 Blessed...forgiven, whose sins are covered; 8  Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin."

Have Faith Galatians 3:9  So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

Sanctification Ac 3:26 God, raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities

3. Obedience: Learning and Living the Law of the Lord Psalms 119:1  Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the LORD! 2  Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart!

Law Learner Ps 94:12 Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O LORD, And teach out of Your law,

Diligent Learner Proverbs 8:34  Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors.

Obey Proverbs 8:32 "Now therefore, listen to me, my children, For blessed are those who keep my ways.

Faithful and Wise Obedience Mt 24:46  "Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.

Learn and Obey Luke 11:28  But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"

Faithful doing Luke 12:37  "Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching.

Apply Jn 13:17  "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Do the work Js 1:25 he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

Rev 1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Our Choice Dt 11:26 I set before you today a blessing and a curse: 27  "the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; 28  and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way

4. Character and Actions of those intimate with God Ps 15:1 LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? 2  He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart; 3  He who does not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend; 4  In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the LORD; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change; 5  He who does not put out his money at usury, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.

Ps 24:3  Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? 4  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. 5  He shall receive blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Be Just and Right Isa 56:1 Thus says the LORD: "Keep justice, and do righteousness, For My salvation is about to come, And My righteousness to be revealed. 2  Blessed is the man who does this...keeps his hand from doing any evil."

Rebuke the wicked Proverbs 24:25  But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, And a good blessing will come upon them.

Continually righteous Psalms 106:3  Blessed are those who keep justice, And he who does righteousness at all times!

Just (good for good...)Pr 3:33  The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the home of the just.

Righteous Proverbs 10:6  Blessings are on the head of the righteous, But violence covers the mouth of the wicked.

Character & Trials  Mt 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. 9  Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

5. Generosity Dt 14:29 And the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates, may come and eat and be satisfied, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do. 15:10

Generous Proverbs 22:9  He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor.

Other centered Ps 41:1 Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. 2  The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.

Give Mal 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this, Says the LORD of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it

Serve the Least Mt 25:34 `Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Luke 14:14  "And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just."

Giving is better than Getting Acts 20:35  "I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, `It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

6. Faithful Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.

Endure Purifying Trials Js 1:12  Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

Endure Unjust Trials James 5:11  Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord----that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

1 Peter 3:14  even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. "And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled."

1 Peter 4:14  If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you

Fulfill your purpose Hebrews 6:7  For the earth which drinks in the rain...bears herbs useful...cultivated, receives blessing from God

Do Works Rev 14:13 Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on...that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them

Live in Unity 1Pt 3:8  Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9  not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10  For "He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. 11  Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. 12  For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil."

Watch Rev 16:15 I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.

Rev 19:9 Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!...These are the true sayings of God.

Faithfulness Rev 20:6  Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

Learn and Obey Rev 22:7  "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

Obey Rev 22:14  Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter...

III. Blessing Busters

We cut ourselves off from blessing by independently focusing on temporal power/pleasure/possessions

Choose Life over Death Dt 30:14  I make this covenant and this oath,...18 so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations, and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood; 19  and so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he blesses himself in his heart, saying, `I shall have peace, even though I follow the dictates of my heart' --as though the drunkard could be included with the sober. 20  "The LORD would not spare him; for then the anger of the LORD and His jealousy would burn against that man, and every curse that is written in this book would settle on him, and the LORD would blot out his name from under heaven.

 29  "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. 31:1  "Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God drives you, 2  "and you return to the LORD your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, 6  "And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. 10  "if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 11 "For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. 14  "But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. 15 "See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16  "in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.  19  "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20  "that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."

Reap the Reward of Trust Jer 17:5 Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD. 7  "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. 8  For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. 9  "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? 10  I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.

IV. Ps 116:12-19  What shall I render to the LORD For all His benefits toward me?

13  I will take up the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of the LORD. 14  I will pay my vows to the LORD Now in the presence of all His people.15  Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints. 16  O LORD, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have loosed my bonds. 17  I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the LORD. 18  I will pay my vows to the LORD Now in the presence of all His people, 19  In the courts of the LORD'S house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!

Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:

1. In what do people delight? Is that your attitude toward the Word of God? What can help us have the right attitude and actions?

2.Why would someone choose cursing over blessing? If you love someone how concerned will you be about them being blessed by God?

3. What’s the role of faith/grace in considering the blessing bringers or busters? Will every NT believer be blessed? Any cursed?

4. Which of your current actions are calculated to get God’s blessings? What uses of your time will result in a bonfire at the judgment?