In the Old Testament, Fathers pronounced blessings over their children & prophets pronounced blessings over people & armies. They weren’t dealing with the way things are currently, but how they WILL BE WITH GOD’S FAVOR. Blessings served to lift people, lift expectations & potential for what could be with God’s power. Jesus gave us a great example of this when he told wishy washy Simon, that from now on he would be called Peter – a Rock. He was saying, now that you’re with me, the trajectory of your life will be transformed. Giving a blessing is not limited to just our words. Acts of kindness & sacrifice can also serve to BLESS & lift others up. Jesus’ death, burial, & resurrection serves as a blessing to all who put their faith in Him, as promised in Genesis 12. Some Ideas for Blessing Others:
-> Bless Your Family – Holidays are great times to BLESS those close to us. I like to spend some time writing how each of our children have grown this year, the good things I see in their character, & how that will effect the trajectory of their lives going forward.
-> Bless Your Community – Churches should have a vision of what WILL BE for people in the community. What prayers, acts of kindness & sacrifice are you engaging in that will have a lifting affect on people in the community? Our church will be giving out Stockings to every home in the largest mobile home park in our community on Christmas Eve this year. Praying that the smiles, offer of prayer, & the gifts which include Gospel resources, will lift & bless families in this community.
-> Bless People that Need Change – Look around & you’ll see people struggling with employment issues, family issues, addiction issues, financial issues. Put yourself in their shoes. When you’ve been discouraged, wouldn’t you have loved for someone, even a stranger to offer a word of encouragement or a smile or an act of kindness? Who needs a blessing, a lift right now among your sphere of influence.
As followers of Jesus, we should live with not just the reality of how things are in the lives of people, communities, situations. We believe God is working & transforming people, communities, situations. Giving a blessing means we’re talking & acting like we believe that.
Now the other side of blessing is cursing. Just like we can lift people, community, situations, we can also curse & bring down people, community, situations. That’s another story for another day…