Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blessed to be a Blessing

Subtitle: Covenant People; Peculiar People

In 2000, a popular movie promoted the idea of "paying forward" good deeds. If one was done to you, do a good deed for three others. The young, main character in the movie thinks up this idea that, the best "payback" to a person who blessed you is for you to show similar kindness to others.

Divine Paying Forward

Recently I was reading in Genesis 12 about a similar thing, but on a universal, redemptive way. It's when the one, true, Creator God speaks with a regular guy, Abram, and tells him...

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
(Genesis 12)

I can only imagine that Abe was pretty blown away the he was receiving divine communication and it may have taken him sometime to replay the whole thing in his head to get the message that, in essence, he and the nation that will emerge from him are going to be divinely blessed and, it wouldn't end there- there was a purpose. He was only to be a channel of that blessing to ALL PEOPLE ON EARTH.

So, this is amazing. God has made a promise that this WILL happen. Sometimes we wonder how will the children of Abraham (believers in the bloodline of Jesus) make it to each people group to express the love of God? As we make plans and brainstorm about ways we can do this, we can be sure of this- if the God of the universe has said it will happen, then it will. That's amazing. And how do we know it will happen? Here's a little "flash-forward" to the scene around the throne some time in the not-to-distant future (today maybe?)...

"After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude,
that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language,
standing before the throne and before the Lamb."

(Revelation 7)

So, all this divine "paying forward" in the name of Jesus is our mandate. We are blessed to be a blessing to the glory of our God.

I'm a Covenant People-Person

A new friend of mine, Richard, and I were dialoguing about this recently. He said, "I have always seen the Genesis 12 Covenant as more of a personal covenant between Abraham, the nation of Israel, and God. Now, reading Galations 3:29, I see that we (as believers) are heirs of Abraham and this blessing (and responsibility) is something that I carry."

The Daily "B's-ness"

I'm not sure when it was on my pilgrimage that I first caught on to "we're blessed to bless others" thing but, as my children became older and needed a little daily, parental guidance, we started teaching the "B's" of the morning routine. So, they'd wake up and we'd tell them to Brush their hair and teeth. Then it was make your Bed and then eat a good Breakfast, etc. The last on the list, and by far the hardest for them was "Bless" someone else. When we instituted this, we spoke to them about the covenant that we have joined with Abraham's line- we're blessed to bless others. We spoke about how Jesus embodied this in his earthly life as our example and hope.

Of course, all the while that I said this to my kids, the challenge was being laid out to me as well- be a blessing. Easier said than done! It's a blessing to be blessed... but as they say, "it's better to give than receive". I pray that you, in your pilgrimage, learn the way of blessing in Jesus' name, all the while looking forward to that day around the throne as we join the nations in worship.

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