Sun, 2019-12-01 11:47
- The Power of Blessing
Last week we talking about the power we have to affect other people’s lives by speaking words of blessing over them.
Numbers 6:22–27 (NKJV) And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: 24 “The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’ 27 “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”
To bless someone means to pronounce a wish or a prayer for good things to come to pass in their life.
- The Lord bless you - God’s goodwill towards you
- The Lord keep you - God’s protection over you
- The Lord make His face shine upon you - God’s favour towards you
- The Lord be gracious to you - God’s grace extended to you
- The Lord lift up His countenance upon you – God’s smile over you
- The Lord give you peace - God’s peace (Shalom)
God said: When you bless people by saying these words to them, you are putting My name on them, and I will bless them.
Jesus teaches on blessing others:
Matthew 5:43–48 (NKJV) You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught mainly about character development. He re-emphasised some of the OT teaching about love, and then ratcheted up it’s application in our everyday living.
He said:… You have heard that it was said … but I say to you …
In other words, you have heard some of this before, but you haven’t understood it and you are not living it!
- Instead of hating your enemies – love them
- Those who curse you – bless them
- Those who hate you – do good to them
- Those who spitefully use you & persecute you – pray for them
Verse 45 … that you may be sons of your Father in heaven …
You will be recognized as God’s children:
- By the words of blessing that you speak towards your enemies
- By the actions of love that you demonstrate towards them
- (Go the second mile if someone compels you to go one [Matt. 5:41])
Jesus says: If you claim to be one of God’s children, you need to speak differently and you need to act differently compared to people in the world.
Verse 48 … you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Perfect – Gr. teleios - mature
Christian maturity is not measured in what we know, but in what we apply. We prove our pedigree as God’s children by the way we imitate our Father.
Ephesians 5:1–2 (NKJV) Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate Model of a Son of God. He loved us and died for us while we were still His enemies. He even prayed for His executors who cursed Him and spitefully abused Him.
1 Corinthians 4:12-13 (NET) We do hard work, toiling with our own hands. When we are verbally abused, we respond with a blessing, when persecuted, we endure, 13 when people lie about us, we answer in a friendly manner …
This is real maturity, when we can respond with a blessing to those who verbally abuse us, and answer in a friendly manner when people lie about us.
Interestingly, Paul spoke these words to the Corinthian believers about himself and his travelling companions. The Corinthian Christians had demonstrated their immaturity by listening to people who criticized Paul, and even repeated some of the things they were saying.
When we become mature as Christians:
- We no longer actively engage in fault-finding, gossip or criticism
- Nor will we passively listen to others who speak such words
James 3:5–12 (NET) So too the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it has great pretensions. Think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze. 6 And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence—and is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is subdued and has been subdued by humankind.8 But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse people made in God’s image. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters.11 A spring does not pour out fresh water and bitter water from the same opening, does it? 12 Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, or a vine produce figs? Neither can a salt water spring produce fresh water.
Mature Christians have trained themselves to only speak words of blessing.
Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV) Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
By blessing other people with kind and gracious words, we become God’s agents & instruments to bring His blessing into their lives.