Focal Passage: Genesis 12:1-3
Have you ever been blessed by someone? Blessings happen in
The church of which I was a member blessed me and my wife
with their prayers when I answered the call to vocational ministry.
The blessing continued as they sent a monthly check to
support and encourage us while I attended seminary. At my graduation from
seminary, my father gave me the gift of a gold pocket watch, something his
father had given to him.
This was his way of giving me his blessing.
In these contexts, blessing means approval.
But it means more than that. In Hebrew, the word is berakah,
and it has to do with the declaration or the public announcement of blessings.
It is this declared blessing that God bestows upon Abram as
He calls him at age 75 away from everything he knows into a new land.
However, the blessing of God on Abram doesn’t stop with him.
This blessing extends beyond the original declaration.
It has reach. This blessing has purpose. God says, “I will
bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing” (Gen. 12:2).
God’s purpose, then, in making a great nation out of Abram’s
lineage was for him to become a blessing to others. Abram’s nation was blessed,
and from that nation came a Savior; from that Savior, a Church; and from that
Church, people committed to continuing Abram’s call.
Have we not been blessed in order to be a blessing?
This week we celebrate July 4.
We will wear our red, white and blue, and there will be
signs that declare, “God Bless America!”
When you stop to think about it, it’s an odd statement.
The phrase seems to overlook the inescapable truth that God
has blessed America
in so many ways: prosperity greater than any nation in history, natural beauty,
abundant resources, and a wonderful citizenry.
Why has God so richly blessed us?
From Abram we learn that we have been blessed so that we can
be a blessing. It is a call not to status and favor, or to amass blessings for
Instead, it is a call to be a part of a kingdom where God’s
master plan unfolds …
the blessing of all his children. Let us be a blessing to
one another, to our community, and to our world!