Words are powerful. They have the power of life and of death, of blessing and cursing. And taking the route of not talking is a communication of no blessing and no commitment. It is essential and vital to speak words of blessing, and to back those words up with an active commitment.
God spoke to Abraham. He said he would bless him, and God backed up his words (Genesis 12:1-9; 15:1-21). The real question for Abraham, which is also the question for us, is not how we will respond to God’s commands, but how will we respond to his promise of blessing, and to be a blessing? Abraham left the city of Ur because he believed in the promise that God was holding out to him of blessing. It is the promises of God, not the commands, which change our lives. It is the promise, not the command, which requires a decision and a change. The world revolves around promise. And promise is powered by blessing.
The term “blessing” in Scripture is a powerful communication of God’s presence and approval. God said that he would show Abraham the Promised Land; in other words, he would be with Abraham. Abraham was not alone; he was not on his own. God provided for Abraham a picture of a special future; he would make Abraham into a great nation. And even more than that, he would bless everyone else through Abraham. God’s approval was with Abraham – “I will bless you.” God’s active commitment to Abraham was this: he would bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him.
This blessing was passed from generation to generation, from Abraham to Isaac, Isaac to Jacob, Jacob to his twelve sons; a blessing of God’s presence and approval; a blessing of a special future, and an active commitment. The promise of the blessing found its ultimate fulfillment in the person of Jesus, who extended the original promise to the nations. We, as Gentiles, have come to faith because of the blessing.
When we come to the New Testament, the Father blessed the Son (Matthew 3:16-17): As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” God communicated his constant presence and an active commitment through the Spirit; God spoke words of approval and affirmation; God the Father had a special future for Jesus the Son, which helped Jesus to reject the words of Satan. If Jesus needed a blessing from his Father, how much more do we? Earthly fathers stand in a very special position as those who have the power of bestowing a blessing on their children – a blessing of being with them, approving of them, affirming their gifts and abilities, picturing for them a special future of how God can use them. Those words of blessing have the power to help children navigate the tons of decisions that they must make. With a blessing they can filter-out the choices in front of them, and walk in the way of God.
Jesus, in turn, blessed his disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). We typically view these verses through the lenses of command. But we need to see Christ’s Great Commission through the eyes of promise and blessing: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus let his disciples know that his presence would be with them; he communicated an active commitment to give them the authority that he possessed to do the job of disciple-making; he pictured for them a special future of reaching the nations; he affirmed them and approved them. This Great Commission is really a re-statement of God’s original blessing to Abraham.
God is with you. He has given us his very great and precious promises in Christ. He has demonstrated his active commitment to us by giving us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has gifted each believer for service so that every individual may be a blessing to the Body of Christ, and make disciples of all nations of the world.
You have God’s blessing. There is no need to try and earn it; you already have it. Let that blessing help you to reject the organization of wicked spirits who seek to have you for their own. And you have been blessed so that you can be a blessing in the world. You have the privilege and ability to reverse the Fall of humanity by turning the world’s curse into a blessing. If you have been blessed with money, be a blessing by giving it away. If you have been blessed by growing up in a loving family, give that love to others who are unloved and need that special blessing. If you have been given wisdom, give it away to those who need wisdom. If you have been blessed with the mercy of God, be merciful to others. If you have been blessed with a wonderful relationship with God, make it your ministry to pray people into the kingdom of God.
It is never too late to receive blessing, and never too late to bless others. The church ought to be the one place on planet earth that is full of a culture of blessing. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and give you peace.