May God be gracious to us and bless us . . . so that your ways may be known on earth. (Psalm 67:1-2)
What a great reminder we have before us today! We are to seek the blessing of God — not for ourselves, but for others. The grace of God that comes to us should flow through us to others. The mercy of God that comes to us should flow through us to others. The love of God that comes to us should flow through us to others. In short, we are blessed to be a blessing to others.
I recognize that we are living in a cultural moment that is marked by excessive individualism; Robert Bellah and a team of sociologists emphasized that point in their book, Habits of the Heart. Many of us are primarily concerned with “Me, myself, and I.” Here are some of the popular slogans that characterize this way of living:
- Be true to yourself.
- Follow your heart.
- Find yourself.
- You be you. no matter what.
This is not for you! The child of God has been saved to walk in the newness of a life that is marked by the blessings of God, in order to be a blessing to others.
Here is a question which, when I first heard it, changed my life: “How attractive do you make God?” Of course, God is attractive all by Himself, and there is nothing we can do to make Him more glorious, but you get the point. Do we live lives that cause others to be attracted to our Savior? Or do they turn away from Him because of what they see in us? I have said here before that you are the only Bible that some people will ever read. What sort of God are they reading about in the way you live your life?
The psalmist tells us to desire the blessings of God, so that those who we come in contact with us will see how awesome and gracious our God truly is. It has been well said that the good news of the Gospel either attracts or repels, but we who who have been saved by that Gospel message are to live lives that cause others to take notice of the One who has saved us. The life we live should point to the One who gave us life. When the blessings we have received from God flow through us, others are drawn toward the light that shines within us . . . and that Light is Jesus Christ.
Every encounter we have with others offers us one more opportunity to reflect the reality of the beauty, majesty, and glory of our God. There is no better way to accomplish this than to let the blessings that have come to us from the hand of God flow through us into the lives of others – all others – regardless of cost or circumstance.
Jesus lived a life characterized by blessing others. Peter summarized the life of Christ by saying that He “went around doing good” (Acts 10:38). Do we do the same?
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!