Friday, March 10, 2017

Logos: Genesis 12:1-2

12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you.
12:2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

Years ago - no, more than you're thinking - many years ago, I was a Bethel Bible teacher. Preparing to do that meant taking a two year class that met 2.5 hours a week, homework, and a whole lot of reading and thinking.  I loved it. Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher, and this was a cool way to prepare to do it - plus I love Bible study.

After I completed that training, I led a class. We met weekly, 1 hour a week, for six 6-week sessions. A big commitment for those who took part. But a blessing - I know for me, I hope for the students, too.

One of the basic themes in the Bethel curriculum is from this verse - you are blessed to be a blessing. It stuck with me from that time, even now. 

What does it mean to the way you approach discipleship and stewardship if you believe that you have been blessed for the purpose of being a blessing? 

Last week I preached in Wheeling. Before worship, I received an email from a former student in the Bethel class that I taught. It said, "You have been blessed to be a blessing." It was meant to be encouragement as I prepared to teach, and it was.

If you believe you have been blessed for the purpose of blessing others, then first of all, you recognize the blessings that you have been given - the gifts you have, the time you have, the opportunities you have.  For me, it provided a reminder that I was in that place in that time because God (and others) believed I had the gifts to do what I was about to do. Realizing that you are blessed creates confidence. Secondly, knowing that their is a purpose in what I am doing - to be a blessing - creates trust. It's not me who will bless others - it's God, through me. I can trust that God will act in ways I don't anticipate or understand because I say that I will step out and serve. The blessing that will happen isn't based on my abilities - but on the gifts I have been given and on the action of God through me. Thirdly, knowing that there is a "so that" in what is happening pushes me to say "yes" to God. I have an obligation (which becomes a joy) to serve.

You have been blessed (yes, you have), to be a blessing. You have been given the gifts to do what you are called to do, you can trust God to work through you, and you have a responsibility to act on what you have been given. Seize the opportunities before you, and experience joy. 

As God told Abram, "Go."

As God told Abram, "Go."

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