27.7.07

Bless me!

[Reflections from Life to the Nations '07]

Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!" And God granted what he asked. (1Ch 4:10)

But Jacob said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."... And there he blessed him. (Ge 32:26,29)

You do not have, because you do not ask. (Jas 4:2)


Why is it that we often have a problem asking God to bless us? Is it because it seems selfish and self-centred (...and of course we are much to spiritual to pray in a self-centred way!)

Yet, Jesus instructed us to ask God for what we need. He told us that those who ask will receive. The problem is that often we think of our needs in a self-centred way, and so limit what we ask to just our own meagre requirements.

Yes, ironically it can that very self-centred attitude that keeps us from asking for the abundance of God's blessing on our lives. For if we only ask God for just what we need to get by, in what way does that benefit anyone else? God wants us blessed so that we can be a blessing; he wants us to have an abundance so that as well as our own requirements we have enough to bless others.

And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed (Ge 26:4)

God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him. (Ps 67:7 NASB)


It is only a blessed people that can be a blessing. Once we have understood that, we too will cry out to God that he would bless us abundantly...

...and God will grant us our request.

9 comments:

flyawaynet said...

AMEN!

Matthew said...

Chris

Allow me to comment on your post rather than posting myself!

What I have discovered this past week is that more of God's blessing basically means more of God: that is a blessing that comes with a challenge: true spiritual blessing cannot be selfish as it is for the glory of God, but as God will not share his glory with another, being blessed also means less of me.

An to quote a verse (that I have quoted several times this week) "God our God blesses us that all the ends of the earth may fear him." (Psalm 67:7)

Richard Bentall said...

Chris

We as Christains can be nothing more than "blessed". When you look at the Psalms it starts off with the word blessed [Ps 1:1] and then the book finishes with Praise [Ps 150:6]. In the blessing let us be grateful and praise God for all that he has done [Ps 103 - The message version is pretty good].

Richard B

Chris HH said...

Thanks, all.

Matthew, that was the verse I was looking for! Didn't find it with quite the right wording... probably because that quote is from the NASB(?)

I shall add that to the main post.

Have a great holiday in France!

KevC said...

Chris,

'The blessings of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it'. (Prov 10:22)

The prayer of Jabez has long since been a favorite piece of scripture for me since reading Bruce Wilkinson's little book of the same name shortly after becoming a Christian. Reviewing this again as a result of the past weeks teaching and reading your post reminds me that that it is well worth a second read and I am further reminded of a couple of things from Mr Wilkinson that I'd like to share...

'What's in a Name? God had more in store for Jabez than pain (which was the definition of the name Jabez). Like Jabez He (God) will never define us by our names. Our Father's name for us isn't pain or any such word! It is:
"Chosen" (John 15:19 NIV)
"Mine" (Psalm 50: 10-12)
"Beloved" (Deut 33:12)
"Sought After" (Isa 62:12 NIV)
"Friend" (James 2:23)

'And you will be given a new name by the Lord's own mouth.' (Isa 62:2)

Just a final thought... 'God never made a promise that was too good to be true' (Dwight L. Moody).

Every blessing to you and yours.

KevC

Akinola Akinyede said...

I agree with that Chris. What a blessed people we are. This is one of the fundamental truth God communicated across to us at Bible Week.

All we have to do is to fervently ask God to bless us that we may bless our world.

...Nice seeing you at Bible Week.

SLW said...

Pride insidiously undermines our willingness to be needy and ask, and then masks it as humility.

Chris HH said...

SLW, Great comment! Very quotable.

Chris HH said...

Here's another scripture passage that illustrates the principle wonderfully. This is from the prophet Jeremiah in the context of God's purpose of restoration:

Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them. They shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it. (Jer 33:6-9)