Summary: -The Father looks at us and says: “I will never leave you; I created you and I love you!” -The Son looks at us and says: “I will never leave you; I died for you!” -The Holy Spirit looks at us and says: “I will never leave you; I dwell within you!”
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
Sometimes blessings are risky. A California public school student was suspended for saying “God bless you,” when another student sneezed; and a Kentucky bank teller was fired from her job for telling customers to “Have a blessed day.” On a positive note, I was asked to lead an audience at Saugus High School last week in singing “America, God Shed His grace on Thee.”
Blessings are pronouncements of God's favor; they come from God. But we can give blessings as well. We need to be a people who bless others and who are a blessing to others. Personal blessings communicate high value to someone, picturing a special future and a personal commitment to see the blessing come to pass.
The Apostle Paul's blessing to the church at Corinth exalts the three Persons of the Trinity. This Bible doctrine teaches that there is one God in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These are not three gods or three different names for the one God. The three persons work together in a coordinated effort as One: co-equal, co-existent, and co-eternal. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Spirit is God, and there is one God: 1 + 1 + 1 = 1. This is a mathematical mystery, a marvel that surpasses comprehension. C.S. Lewis noted: “If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we would make it easier. But it isn't.” One God meets us in three persons; one consciousness, one nature, in a threefold way. It's a mystery beyond us, among us, and within us. We proclaim it, yet we don't fully grasp it.
1) In Paul's blessing to the church at Corinth we see the grace of the Son. As our redeemer, Jesus both died for us and grants us grace. Jesus became a man without ceasing to be God. “The salvation He purchased is not a reward for the righteous but a gift for the guilty” (Steven Lawson). God is not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offenses. We are more sinful than we can possibly fathom...but we're also more loved and forgiven than we could ever imagine. “Grace is for the desperate, the needy, the broken, those who cannot make it on their own. Grace is for all of us” (Philip Yancey). “Christ died for us precisely because we are not worth dying for; He died to make us worth it.” (C.S. Lewis).
2) We are blessed with the love of the Father. In love He created us, chose us, and keeps us secure. Self-giving love is God's signature. God is love and He shares His love with us. He loves us not because of what we are, but because of what He is: He is love; it is His nature to love. “Think of a moment in your life when you felt most loved by someone…that is a glimpse of the love God the Father has for you” (Adam Hamilton). Let's not trust in our love for God, but only in His love for us. Tonight look up into the sky. Look at the stars. They are glorious, but we are more precious to God than any star. God didn't send His Son into the world for stars, but for us. The loving unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit instruct us that all people—male and female, black and white, introvert and extrovert—should be united in love.
3) And we are given the fellowship of the Spirit. God is within Himself a fellowship. “The doctrine of the Trinity shows us that in the very heart of God, there is community” (Byars). By the Spirit we are drawn to Him and are transformed into members of God's family, where we find friendship, communion. God is not remote or distant; He's nearby, and wants us to sense His closeness. He wants us to express it to others. The Spirit sets us apart and enables us to live with new life, new direction, and a new destiny. When He opens our eyes, we realize we're connected to fellow believers. We experience community as members of the church. God's fellowship, His harmony, impacts ours. By Him we're connected, and this causes us to care about others. Henri Nouwen noted, “Claiming your own blessedness always leads to a desire to bless others.” By walking in the Spirit's light, we're never alone; we have friendship with God and with one another (I John 1:7).
We are secure in our Triune God: “He will never leave or forsake us” (Hebrews 13:5).
-The Father looks at us and says: “I will never leave you; I created you!”
-The Son looks at us and says: “I will never leave you; I died for you!”