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Summary: At the End of the book of Hebrews, the writer leaves them with a beautiful benediction and blessing.

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Benedictions and Blessings

Hebrews 13: 20-21

Intro: How many of us like long blessings? Most of us, by the time the blessing comes around, are ready to eat aren’t we. Last Thursday, Thanksgiving, My little niece said the blessing before the Thanksgiving meal at Pam’s parent’s house. Being in the third grade, she did the usual “God is great, God is good, lets us thank him for this food. By his hands we are fed, give us Lord our daily bread, Amen”. My brother in law looks at me and says “ man I like them short ones”. When I was a teenager, my favorite was “bless the food, bless the meat, it’s getting late, lets eat.” Kind of direct and not very spiritual was it.

. If you look at the old blessing that we teach our children, even though it is short, it is powerful. The blessing speaks of God’s goodness and greatness and mercy and our dependence upon him. Sometimes it doesn’t take a lot of words to convey a powerful message.

. There are many famous blessings or benedictions in scripture.

. I use parts of many of them when we dismiss each Sunday morning with a blessing.

. God gave Moses what we call the Priestly blessing in Numbers 6: 22-26

. 22Then the LORD said to Moses,23“Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing:

24‘May the LORD bless you and protect you.

25May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you.

26May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.’

. 2 Corinthians ends with this Benediction and Blessing.

. In 2 Corinthians 13:14, Paul writes.

. 14May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

. What a beautiful way to end a letter.

. Our scripture this morning is the Benediction and Blessing that the writer of Hebrews ends his letter with.

. In the blessing that we teach our children, we learn much about God.

. This Benediction or Blessing tells us much about God also.

. In this Benediction the writer in reminding the Hebrew people just who it is that they worship.

. The writer lays out four characteristics of God for them and for us this morning.

. Lets read our scripture. Hebrews 13: 20-21

. 20Now may the God of peace—who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—

21may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.

. The first thing we see here is that God is a God of peace.

. “May the God of peace …”

. Our God is a God of peace.

. We hear about our political leaders striving for peace in the middle east and all over the world. It seems that they believe that no wars will ultimately bring world peace.

. Have you ever watched the beauty pageants on TV. They interview the contestants and they say that if they win, they want to work for world peace. I have news for then, the Bible says that when we accomplish that, then destruction will come.

. 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul is writing about the coming day of the Lord or end times and he writes in verse 3.

. When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.

. Folks man is searching for the wrong peace. Mankind must search for peace with God.

. The God we serve is the God of peace.

. To say that God is the God of peace, means that God alone is the source of peace. If a person will turn to God in faith, he can experience peace no matter how much trouble he may have in this life.

.Peace comes through a right relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. In Romans 5:1, Paul writes:

. 1Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us

. To experience God’s peace, we must turn our lives over completely to the Lord Jesus Christ.

The more we develop and nourish our relationship with God, the more God’s peace will take over our life. God is a God of peace. Therefore, man’s only hope for peace comes from God. God and God alone can give perfect peace within one’s heart.

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