This past week I preached on The Call of God’s Missional People in Genesis 12. Genesis 12, God calls out Abram and invites him to participate in his redemptive mission in the world. In the invitation God promises to bless Abram to make him into a great nation and name, as well as a blessing to others, which would extend to all the families of the earth (Gen 12:1-3).
I made the connection of the theme of “blessing” in Genesis 12 with the blessing God extended to the animal kingdom (Gen 1:22) as well as Adam and Eve (Gen 1:28). In Genesis 1 God blesses his creation for them to flourish (multiply and fill) and function (subdue and have dominion) in the created order for his glory. God’s creation led to his blessing. Thus, when God blesses Abram, he does something that he has only done one other time since Genesis 1, which was blessing Noah (Gen 9:1). In addition, God’s blessing Abram occurs on the eve of Genesis 11 (City of Babel) where God judges the city rather than blesses them. In essence, God in/through Abram creates a new people for himself.
This “new” people (creation) will be one where God extends his blessing of salvation. Furthermore God will extend to them his presence, power, provision, protection, and provision for them to flourish, function, and be fulfilled in this world. However, God quickly points out that this blessing that he extends to his “new” people is not for them to go off in a distant land and live forever isolated and alienated from the greater world. In fact, God’s purpose in his people is for them to extend this blessings to all peoples, nations, tongues, and groups of the world! Here is a statement I made Sunday, “God is a God who desires to take his blessing, not to one particular people, but to create one particular people to reach/bless all peoples with the blessing of the (saving) knowledge and understanding of God as well as with his presence, power, provision, and purpose for the flourishing, functionality, and fulfillment (PEACE) of the human race. (It is taking the blessing of God that one has received and gifting it to others)
God’s people truly are missional people, on mission to “bless” the world. I ended with one of the questions being, “Who are you blessing?” What I want to simple do now is provide some more practical ways we can bless others.
- Sharing the good news of the saving knowledge that Jesus is Lord and has died to reconcile sinners to a holy God is the greatest blessing we could impart to anyone at anytime!
- Ask yourself the question, “Who has God placed around me in order for me to aid in or enhance their flourishing, functionality, and fulfillment in their life.”
- This may mean you take someone out for a cup of coffee.
- This may mean you simply have an encouraging and kind demeanor.
- This may mean you refrain from wanting to react in an unkind way to someone who is or has mistreated you.
- This may mean you ask the waiter/waitress how you could pray for them.
- This may mean you involve yourself in places of service such as: your local church, Rachael House (a crisis pregnancy center in KC), Habitat for Humanity, a local food-bank, or homeless shelter. You may want to serve a local school by mentoring or reading to students. You may also want to volunteer at a local hospital or assisted living center. If you are successful in managing money and getting out of debt you may want to volunteer you time in teaching others how to manage their finances. In addition, if you are a good coupon(er), you may want to teach others how they can coupon and save money in the everyday items they buy.
- This may mean for some to be available and willing to adopt or provide foster care for children and orphans.
- This may mean you sponsor a family or child financially each month, providing for them the necessities of life like shelter and food. This can be done through organizations like Compassion International.
- This may mean you take a family out to eat (or invite them over you house) that you have become friends with at your child’s gymnastic, dance, or ball teams.
- This may mean you help a wayward or struggling family member (even if you think they do not deserve the help) with food, rent, or a gift card to somewhere.
- This may mean you take some extra time with a struggling student.
- This may mean, if you are a boss, manager, or in a position of influence and status, you gift to your people an afternoon off, a gift card, or a nice encouraging note.
- This may mean you tell you spouse how madly, head-over-heals, crazy in love you are with them, and then make it a point to somehow demonstrate that.
- If you have an unbelieving spouse, how can you seek ways to bless him or her to the point they see the mercy and grace of God in your life?
The underlying foundation for our blessing takes the focus off ourselves and places it on others. Just as God gifted to us himself through Jesus Christ, which accompanies his presence, power, provision, and purpose to our flourishing, functionality, and fulfillment in our life; we in return seek to do that to others in not only a verbal informative way, but in a merciful demonstrable way. In other words, blessing others truly seeks to be the hands, feet, and mouthpiece of Jesus. Now the only question remains, “Who will we bless today, this week”?