Recently this has been on my mind quite a bit. I have started finishing my letters, emails, and sometimes even my texts with the phrase “Be Blessed.” I know that some people are thinking already that we are all, as believers, blessed and highly favored. And I agree with that, but though we are blessed by the Lord, it does not mean that we are living in that blessing. In fact, I think many believers don’t completely understand the concept of being blessed. Blessings are simply seen as something good that God does in our life. These are blessings for sure. Every good and perfect gift comes from above. But to be blessed is so much more.
To fully understand what it means to be blessed, we have to go back to the original covenant the Lord made with Abram in Genesis:
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
“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. (NIV)
We know that we are the spiritual children of Abram and this blessing continues for all who believe in Christ. But as we dig into this passage, we see that blessings are not simply good things that happen. There is a purpose for the blessing and there is a methodology by which the Lord releases blessings to a higher level.
First, the Lord’s blessing upon Abram was not just about Abram. It was for the entire world. We know that still today it was through Abram and the nation of Israel that we received Jesus Christ as the Messiah and all nations have been blessed through His coming and His sacrifice and resurrection. The blessing that God wants to pour into your life is not just about you. Blessings are intended by the Lord to flow like electricity and we are conduits of the blessings. God is a good father and loves to bless His children, but the nature of blessings is that they flow into our lives and by their very nature, they must flow out of our life into the lives of those around us. But blessings come at a higher level to those who are faithful to Christ so this is more than just sharing some of our raise with a neighbor who needs some groceries. These blessings are intended to flow through us into others that they might be brought into a saving faith in Jesus Christ that they might be blessed more fully. Blessings are for the pleasure of the father doing good things for His children, but more than this blessings are to manifest in influence with others to draw them to Christ where greater blessings abound.
We can’t ignore the context by which Abram was to be blessed. God said, “I will make you a great nation and I will bless you.” The blessings and the formation of a great nation are connected. A great nation is only great because of how other nations see it. In other words, the Lord was saying to Abram that His blessings would be so great that other nations would take notice so that when Abram claimed the Lord as His God, other nations would turn to the Lord. The same is true with us. God wants to bless you exceedingly, abundantly more than you could even imagine so that all who are around you will take notice. Then when you testify that it is the Lord who has been so good to you, they will turn their eyes to the Lord as well. God wants to bless you and make your name great.
The blessings would come through the formation of a nation. A nation is a people group who sometimes have their own borders and land, but not always. But they do share a culture, common values, common morality, and common law. When the Lord established Israel as a nation after delivering them from slavery in Egypt, He then gave them the law. The Mosaic law, Jesus said, could be summed up with two principles: Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, body, soul, and strength. And the second principle is to love your neighbor as yourself. The law of Moses was an instruction manual on how to love better. Through the law of the nation, the people learned how to love God better and how to love one another better.
As they learned to love better, blessings flowed freely through that love. The law taught them to live for others and not themselves. Everyone was to pay their blessings forward creating an ever-increasing state of blessings within the nation under the laws of the Lord. We are under the same laws. We now have grace and perfection is no longer the minimum requirement for entrance into Heaven, but the law to love God and love others remains. We are the nation of God. We are the spiritual Israel. Our law, the Scripture, teaches us how to love better. As we love the Lord better and more faithfully, we draw near to Him exposing ourselves more fully to His goodness and blessing. As we love others better, the blessings flow more freely and more people are blessed. And as a nation, we are blessed. This is what the church should be. As we love one another, blessings will increase, so that when we claim the name of Christ, others will want the Lord we claim.
The law teaches us to love and within the community of believers, we all learn to love better together. It is easier to try to learn how to love better with other people who are also trying to love better. The faithful in the church may fail us at times, but we know that they are at least trying which makes it easier to enhance our skill of loving others in the church first before we try to love those in the world who may not be trying to love better.
Blessings reach their fullest potential as we learn to love better. We learn to be more patient, more kind. We forgive better and more fully. We do not get offended as easily and we don’t lose our temper as often. We grow in our skill of loving. This learning process works best when we are part of the community of believers where we regularly remind one another what love is and where the source of this love comes from. This is what we do every Sunday. The greatest blessings of God can not manifest if we are living outside of the community of believers or if we are ignoring the law to love the Lord with all our heart and love our neighbor as ourselves. If blessings are like electricity and we are to be conduits of that electricity, the law and the church are like wet sponges that create super strong currents of good things in our life.
To be blessed, we must involve ourselves at a high level in the nation of God, the community of believers, the church. And we must put forth effort to increase our love to the Lord and to others. Then, we will not simply experience a few good things from time to time. Instead, the Lord’s blessings will be so abundant that our name will be great. Our reputation will be as one blessed by God. Our influence will abound as well and many will come to the Lord in faith through Jesus Christ. Now…go…and be blessed!
“Prepare For Greater Things”
Understanding God’s Plan for Your Life