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Blessing

Blessing is not what we see from TV evangelists or self-help gurus disguised as pastors.  Blessing is much deeper than what we make it today.  We limit blessing to physical benefit, but it wasn’t always this way.

John Ortberg makes a great statement about blessing:

“Blessing in the ancient world was the highest form of well-being possible for human beings. The Greeks referred to the blissful existence of the gods as “blessed.” For Israel, blessing included not just gifts from God but especially life with God. Blessing would include all areas of Abram’s life: his family, his finances, his work, and his heart. That meant he wasn’t just to receive a blessing; he was to be a blessing. In fact, it is impossible to be blessed in the highest sense apart from becoming a blessing.” ~ John Ortberg

It’s only a modern idea that blessing is tied around our agenda and our benefit.  Blessing is much deeper than this.  This is greater than positivity or momentary circumstance.  Living life basing your blessing will only leave you with a schizophrenic mentality of blessing where sometimes you are blessed but others you are not.  With “blessing schizophrenia,” people believe God goes back and forth on how He thinks of them.  Sometimes they are blessed, but other times they are not.  It’s just not true.

The true foundation of being blessed is found in the presence of God and the favor of God over your life.  If blessing was considered by generations past as the highest form of living, maybe we lost the perspective of real blessing, where it came from, and what it implied as culture became more secular.

Blessing comes from a real relationship with God marked by obedience.  But please understand something:  God is not obligated to bless you because of your obedience.  He blesses you when He chooses to and blessing is a natural byproduct of His presence.  Your obedience merely draws you there.

At the end, how we see our life matters.  We live much more secular lives than we know.  I shared this with my congregation a few weeks ago as to how we have been secularized.  The word “goodbye” has changed over the centuries, but here is how it was originally spelled:

“godbwye”

It is a contracted word written in old English meaning, “God be with you.”  Over the years, “God” became “good” and “bwye” became bye.  We have lost the piety even in our farewells.

Maybe it’s time to recognize what we have lost.  Maybe rather than saying “hi” or “bye,” maybe we return to the idea of blessing each other and not just wishing them well, but rather wishing those we love God’s best… God’s blessing. 

In the New Testament, the Bible declares that we are a Kingdom of priests and maybe as priests, we should wish God’s best to all we love.  Maybe if blessing is the highest form of living, maybe we should live like we desire blessing from God over anything else.  With this, I end with a blessing for you, hoping you would bless me as well:

Numbers 6:24 The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

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