Another Word…by Gus Keiser

March 12, 2018

“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 the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.                                                                                                                        Genesis 12: 2-3

 What an astounding proclamation God makes to Abraham in this passage. God lays upon Abraham a most astounding blessing.  Yet with this blessing also comes a tremendous responsibility.

I wonder how many of us have been trained to see the word “blessing” and automatically think of it as being directed toward our personal being. God “blesses” and we receive the “blessing”.

However, if we take a closer look at what God is saying to Abraham here, it should quickly become apparent that blessings are always something to be given away. We haven’t been blessed in order to enjoy them for ourselves, as if we’re hoarding the last piece of birthday cake long after the party is over.  No, in fact we’ve been blessed in order to be a blessing for others.

Take a quick look once again at the passage above. Notice that only once does God tell Abraham that he’s going to bless him, while three times God tells him that others will be blessed through him.  God doesn’t bless us in order for us to feel good about ourselves or merely because he wants us to enjoy his blessings for ourselves.  This misses the point completely.  God bless us so that in turn we can bless others.

In other words, to live generously is to fully live in tune with the heart of God. We receive so that we can then give.  God wants us to live generously because that’s the way God lives.

But apparently, living generously has a far greater impact than we may ever know. When we make the choice to live generously…giving, loving, blessing, encouraging, lending, and mending that which is broken…we leave this lasting legacy for the next generation.  When we model generosity, we instill in the next generation that generosity is a value to be embraced.  As we allow ourselves to be a blessing to others, our children will see this value and will more readily embrace it as their own.  Thus by expressing this life of generosity we will ensure that the cycle of blessing will be perpetuated.

In a society that far too often is absorbed in self-advancement, self-promotion, and even self-blessing…what kind of legacy will we be leaving for the next generation? Will it be one that is saturated in self, or one that sees the blessing of others as central to the message of God?

Lord, as we have been so richly blessed by you, so may we, by the power of your Holy Spirit, be a blessing to others. Amen.

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