BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING
As we continue in our series - God’s Wonderful World - we look this week at God’s Job Description for us. Now as you heard the passage you may have thought I was going to major on the notion of stewardship - looking after the planet - which is quite right and proper - but I am taking a different angle on what I see as God’s plan for us …………
You know Adam and Eve never struggled to have anything they needed while in the Garden of Eden. They enjoyed God’s blessing. What is the secret? Hopefully as study God’s word we shall come to understand this morning ………
One thing people pray for and seek in life - is blessing. Every man, woman, boy and girl wants blessing.
I remember when I first came to know the Lord Jesus and went forward to receive a blessing from our pastor at the rail whilst everyone else took Communion ………
I loved that prayer of blessing being spoken over me - and not just a quick ‘bless you’ and move on - but a prayerful, powerful and prophetic utterance was spoken over me from God through the man of God.
In fact when I was confirmed and then began taking bread and wine - there was a part of me that wished I could still receive that same kind of blessing, that heavenly utterance spoken over my life.
I do not think there is anyone in life that does not have the desire to be blessed. Yet despite the desire and the drive for blessings, not many people really enjoy such blessings. Why?
Well, there are secrets or perhaps mysteries to all good things in life and hopefully we can discover today the secret about having blessings in our life.
The secret to enjoying ceaseless flow of blessings in life is to have ‘the blessing’. There is ‘the blessing’ and there are ‘blessings’.
Blessings are the visible things we feel or see; money, houses, cars, good health, children - they’re all blessings. But on the other hand, ‘the blessing’ is not visible, not touchable even sometimes not feel-able.
Proverbs 10:22 - The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. (NLT).
Note from the passage that what God gives is ‘the blessing’ but it, in turn, draws riches or blessings. True prosperity flows from God’s presence. ‘The blessing’ is a spirit, a word that is delivered and has life and power in it. Not just empty or hollow words - but prophetic utterances.
The blessing dwells or follows the Blessed and attracts blessings. Success lives with the one upon whom the blessing resides. Those who have received ‘the blessing’ don’t struggle to breakthrough or succeed.
Look at Isaac; Gen. 26:1-6, 12-13. Where there was famine, he became exceptionally successful just because he had ‘the blessing’.
Please understand - not all possessions are blessings. It’s only those achievements, possessions that add no tears or pains that are a true blessing.
Some will scheme their way to the top, that is not a blessing. There are people who make covenants with the devil, demons, witches and other dark spiritual powers to get their breakthrough; that is never a blessing.
The only true blessing is that which God Himself gives a man and it comes through ‘the blessing’. There are a lot of people that are rich but are not blessed.
So who can give the blessing? Let’s return to our passage and go back just one verse reading from Genesis 1:27-28 cf 5:2.
Blessing means to release favour and benefit to be fruitful to bear fruit to be abundant to multiply to enlarge excel increase.
As we study our Bible you should be aware of the principle of first mention – God blessed man and spoke good over them.
The first time man heard the voice of God was in God blessing him. This sums up the heart of God to us all. He wants to bless us all.
Adam, Noah, the patriarchs, Moses - are all blessed by God.
Moses, in turn pronounces a parting blessing on the Twelve Tribes (Deut. 33:1 ff).
The idea of "blessing" was also closely related to the question of inheritance, passing blessing from father to son. Jacob blessed Joseph in Gen. 48:15, and Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Jacob put his right hand on Ephraim’s head, although he was the younger.
The Hebrew word (baw-rahk) connotes with Blessing, meaning "to kneel", was used one way or another hundreds of times to convey the meaning of respect or adoration. You would kneel before a king in respect, or to offer thanks for something. Of course, you would kneel to God in adoration, praise, thanksgiving, supplication.
Why? - so we can receive and be a blessing - and that’s God’s Job Description for us - to be a blessing.
If God wants to bless us it leads to a couple of questions. - Firstly - Who can give such blessings? Secondly - What does it take to release that blessing in our lives and become more fruitful? (NT eulogy - 400 in OT baw-rahk)
WHO CAN GIVE BLESSINGS?
Firstly - Your Parents Exodus 20:12 - The First representatives of God in your life are your parents, especially your father. When your parents genuinely speak anything into your life, whether negative or positive, God stamps it. In the Bible Abraham blessed Isaac; Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau (Gen. 27:1-36); Jacob blessed his children and grandchildren (Gen. 48.15ff; 49:1-15).
Another good example is Jabez; his life was sorrowful because of the pronouncement of the mother on him at birth - calling him essentially ‘A pain’. 1 Chronicles 4.9-10. But Jabez cried out to God for His blessing and surely enough his life was turned around.
How you treat your parents is very significant to your breakthrough in life. Take care of your parents and provoke the blessing out of them that your life may attract blessings.
Secondly - Your Pastors (Prophet) I stand to be misunderstood at this point but stick with me.
There is a prophet in the life of every believer. The pastors under whose spiritual care you sit is God’s prophet in your life. The declarations your pastor genuinely makes concerning your life - will have effect.
God expects you take good care of your pastors, not because he’s in need but because God has ordained it so. 1 Timothy 5:17-18 (MSG) Give a bonus to leaders who do a good job, especially the ones who work hard at preaching and teaching. Scripture tells us, "Don’t muzzle a working ox," and, "A worker deserves his pay."
Permit me to ask; when did you last encourage your pastors both in spiritual and material ways? Again I say - I stand to be misunderstood here but the truth must be said. When you touch the heart of your pastor and he blesses you, that blessing works fast because God will hastily honour it.
Hear what the Apostle Paul said, (Philippians 4:16,17) … for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. 17 Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.
The pastor, as God’s anointed representative in your midst deserves to live well. Aaron and Ur discovered that the comfort of Moses was to their advantage. So did everything they could to ensure Moses was comfortable.
God is looking for Aaron’s and Ur’s in today’s church to support the hand or work of their Moses, their Pastors.
It is not only when you give to the personal need of your pastor that you make God happy, but when you support the vision of the pastor concerning the work of God - committed to his hands. That makes God happy.
As you do these things and your pastor releases the blessing upon your life, blessings will flow in your life.
Equally you can slow down or perhaps prevent yourself ever receiving them! What is your language? Is it to speak well of your pastors; to praise and call down God’s gracious power. If it is, then you’re blessing and God is pleased. … Don’t stop the blessing’s flow - be one who releases the blessing. …
We have inherited every spiritual blessing in Christ. He wants us to discover the ‘spending power’ of our inheritance. The quickest way to lose something is to take a defensive posture where we maintain what we have instead of working for increase.
God has taught me not to be shaped by the opinions of man, but to be shaped by my value for His presence. Any price I pay in claiming more territory for God is well worth the exchange.
Thirdly - God We don’t have a problem understanding how God can be the source of the blessing. We all know blessings come from God. When God blesses you, no man can curse you. Whatever people say about you isn’t as important as what God says about you. God gives the blessing.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO RELEASE BLESSING IN OUR LIVES AND BE FRUITFUL?
FAITH - In order to receive ‘the blessing’ we need to believe: Hebrews 11:6 without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6, NIV).
Do we believe God has in His will our good? If God spoke into man blessing - He certainly wants to carry out His word.
OBEDIENCE - God doesn’t richly, or truly bless us until we respond to His word: Genesis 12:1-3 As soon as Abram acted in obedience to God’s word he was blessed by God. Too often we have bought into a lie that cursing is a spiritual phenomena that is directed against us through some other power than God. But the truth is cursing and blessing is no more than the spiritual law of reaping and sowing and both find their origin in God. Meditate on these scriptures.
Genesis 3:14 So the LORD God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, You are cursed ….”
Deut. 28:1-2 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands that I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: (Deuteronomy 28:1,2).
Alternatively read of the cursings in Deut. 28:15,20
Balaam could not curse Israel because God forbade him - Numbers 22;12.
PATIENCE - Hebrews 10:36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (NLT)
Hebrews 10:36 You need to keep on patiently doing God’s will if you want him to do for you all that he has promised. (Liv)
God tests our faith and our obedience through our patient endurance – consider Abraham:(Romans 4:16-22)
CONCLUSION Let’s believe and trust in God and His word. Let’s receive and respond in obedience and with patient endurance to inherit the promises of God for our lives now - in power, healing and walk in victory. Until we’re blessed we cannot be a blessing! What’s God’s Job Description? We’re to receive from Him so we can be a blessing. Will you receive?
Sermon Notes - Genesis 1:27-31
God’s Job Description for us - Be one who speaks Blessing
Read Proverbs 10:22 - The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. (NLT)
God gives ‘The Blessing’ but it, in turn, draws riches or blessings.
True prosperity flows from God’s presence. ‘The blessing’ is a spirit, a word that is delivered and has life and power in it for it is from God himself. Not just nice words, not empty or hollow words, but prophetic utterances.
Read Genesis 12:1-3.
What did Abram have to do?
Read Genesis 26:1-6, 12-13.
What was Isaac’s experience and why?
Adam, Noah, the Patriarchs and Moses - are all blessed by God.
Moses, in turn pronounces a parting blessing on the Twelve Tribes (Deuteronomy 33:1ff).
Note he receives and gives away!
What lessons can we learn from Abraham and the Patriarchs?
The idea of ‘The Blessing’ was closely related to the question of inheritance, passing blessing from father to son.
Abraham blessed Isaac; Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau (Gen. 27:1-36). Jacob blessed Joseph in, and Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Jacob put his right hand on Ephraim’s head, although he was the younger (Gen. 48:15ff; 49:1-15).
What blessings have we inherited as a church that we ought to pass on to the next generation in the fellowship?
What inheritance do we want to leave the next generation?
Are there any cursings that we must be cut off from and not pass on?
Read Exodus 20:12 - The First representatives of God in your life are your parents, especially your father - or whoever your father figure is. When parents genuinely speak anything into their children’s lives, whether negative or positive, God stamps it. Just think of the blessings given above.
What blessings have you as an individual inherited that ought to be passed on in your family?
Are there any cursings you are under that you need cutting off from so they are not passed on in your family?
Read Ephesians 1:3-14
Note the Trintarian references 1:3; 4-13a; 13b-14.
What has God done?
How do you respond to this passage?
Read 1 Pet. 3:9 see also Romans 8:28.
What is our calling?
Read Romans 12:17-21
How do you interpret this passage?
Read Ephesians 4:29-5:20
What should our conversations be like?
We are to be fountains of BLESSING sharing out of the abundance the Lord has given us - John 7:38 cf. Joshua 1:7ff.
30 September 2007