PERSONAL GROWTH

Be A Blessing

Sat, Jun 20, 2015 by Pastor Dominic Yeo

Let’s look at the time the Bible talks about the covenant God made with Abraham in Genesis 11-12. He was still known as Abram at this point. In Genesis 12:1-3, God made His covenant with Abram: The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless youI will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”


Not much is known about Abram at this juncture in the Bible, save that he was 75 years old, married to Sarai but childless, and that he had gone with his father Terah and two brothers from ur of Chaldeans towards the land of Canaan.


In Abram’s culture, it wasn’t good to be childless. If you didn’t have children, it was generally believed that you and your families had been cursed by God, even if you were prosperous or successful in other areas of life.


From Genesis 11-12, we learn that Abram’s family was from ur of the Chaldeans, a prosperous maritime port very much like Singapore. It was a place with great economic prosperity, where trade and commerce took place and those who lived there enjoyed its economic boom. Abram was no exception – he was pretty successful and accumulated many possessions and servants.


Despite this economic success, Abram remained childless. However, God decided in His sovereignty that he was going to carry out His plans through Abram and so made a covenant with him. He called Abram to leave the safety and prosperity of ur of the Chaldeans, to go into His promised land – a land he didn’t know anything about. This is akin to God calling us today to leave our comfortable lives in Singapore to move to Iraq or Syria. Would you go if you had received such a calling?

 

Abram did so with an attitude of faith and obedience.

 

God had promised Abram that He would bless him, and that he would be a blessing to all the people on earth. This was sufficient for Abram. He heard and obeyed the Word of the Lord
to uproot his life and go to an unknown land.

 

We can learn three truths from this short passage outlining the Abrahamic covenant.

 

The Abrahamic Covenant is one of the most important covenants God has made with man. Its importance lies not only in what it promised, but also in the fact that it was given unconditionally. God made a promise to Abraham that required nothing of him. The ceremony recorded in Genesis 15 indicates the unconditional nature of the covenant. God bound Himself to His promise made to Abraham. It is important to note that the responsibility to fulfill  the covenant was God’s alone. And when God says He will – you bet He will.



1. When God calls, He will bless.

 

In Genesis 12:1, God called Abraham to leave his home and promised that “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you.”

 

We may have a mistaken concept of God’s call, thinking that a calling refers only to full-time ministry. But 1 Peter 2:9 tells us that we are His chosen generation, a royal priesthood, His own special people whom God has called out of the darkness into His everlasting light! He calls, and  each one of us is called. When God calls, He blesses. He calls us to know him and blesses us with abundant life. The covenant of God from Abraham’s time right through to today and the future has always been a calling of blessing. He has called each of us into our destinies. Believers are called into the present for our future.

 

Put your past behind! Every step we take toward the future is the call of God, and every step we take has the blessing of God. Why does God bless us when He calls us?


Every blessing is His authentication over our lives. The people of God are to be blessed. This is why the Psalmists repeatedly sang, “Blessed are His people”. In the Old Testament, we see how Daniel was blessed when he was called. When Daniel was taken captive into the foreign land of Babylon. He was part of the group that was shortlisted to go to the palace to serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

 

This chosen group was given the king’s choice food and wine, but Daniel and his friends declined these in order not to defile themselves as God’s people. They chose to take only vegetables and water, but their appearance, knowledge and understanding were better
than those who ate the king’s choice food. God blessed Daniel so that when people looked at  him, they would know there was a God in his life. That was God’s way of authenticating Daniel’s  Life.

 

In the same way, others can see that despite the sometimes bleak circumstances in our lives, there is something different about us. Because of this blessing, they come to know that there is a God in our lives who blesses us through the ups and downs. They’re able to witness God’s model of grace in our lives.

 

In the Book of Acts in the New Testament, the early church was facing immense persecution for being Christians. In that age and even in some countries today, being Christian can deny you opportunities and cause you to lose your job. Nonetheless, even though these early Christians weren’t doing well financially and everything seemed to be going downhill, they were still joyful.


The early church shared what they had with each other, yet no one had an unmet need. Even the persecutors could see that something was different about them. The people around the early church could see that, and wanted to join this community. Because of God’s blessing, the church experienced explosive growth. Every member of the church became God’s instrument of  blessing. As they allowed themselves to be a blessing, the reality of God’s love and providence came through the community of faith.


Therefore, God’s blessings are also God’s way of empowering us to become models and instruments of His grace. We are enabled with our enough so that we can multiply into abundance.


Why does God bless? I believe it is so that we can be empowered to bless others around us. Some of us think we don’t have enough to offer anything. However, God has already provided everything that we need to be a blessing. In fact, He takes what we have and multiplies it into abundance.

 

When we first started the #Jubilee50K challenge, someone told me that everyone is buying someone else something to bless them, but he didn’t have the money to do so and therefore could not participate in the movement. I asked him: What do you have? Do you have strength? You could bless someone by helping with his luggage or groceries. In fact if you were to look at various acts of blessings that have already been carried out, you will see how many have stepped out to bless someone with a prayer, enabling many others to encounter the power of God.


We can certainly pray for people, regardless of how much we have. What God has given us is already His empowerment – we just have to do something about it!

 

In 1 Kings 17 and 2 Kings 4, we read about two suffering widows with great unmet needs. One was picking sticks to make her last meal before waiting to die, while the other had creditors coming for her sons following her husband’s death. The prophets Elijah and Elisha came to them and asked: What do you have? They had just a handful of flour and a little oil, but that was enough for God to make a miracle and multiply that into abundance.


It’s not about us – it’s about God!


Look at the Abrahamic covenant – God says “I will” – it’s not up to us. God is at work. Abram was well advanced in age at 75 years old, but he was so blessed. As Abram began the journey in obedience and faith, he took his wife Sarai, his brother’s son Lot and all their possessions as well as the people they had acquired in Haran (Genesis 12:5). He was already so blessed, and God desired to bless him even more greatly. The question is – do we see ourselves called and blessed?


When God calls, He will certainly bless.

 

2. When God blesses, we are His blessing.

 

In Genesis 12:2, God promised Abraham, “I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” It’s important for us to understand that God’s blessing doesn’t stop with us. As humans, we are naturally self-centered and egoistic – we think that the entire world revolves around us! We think only about ourselves, and tend to prioritize ourselves above everything else.


But God wants us to understand that we are HIS blessing. God’s heart is always to bless more people, not just us! He wants us to bless others around us. unfortunately, if the blessing stops at us, it will start to decay. But when we use our blessing to touch someone else, it continues to grow. I have discovered the same principle from my bird-fish planters tank. I learned that you may invest in an expensive fish tank, cleansers and expensive fish, but if you leave the tank as it is, the fish will probably be dead in two days.


Why? This is because the water would be still. The fish need moving water. Where there is movement, there is life. Anything that is still becomes dead. That is why when the blessing stops with you, it dies. When we fail to bless, our faith will become stale. The blessings of God get ‘choked up’ in our lives. Conversely, when you pour out the blessings in your life into someone else’s, you see them overflow into abundance.

 

Again, why is this so? Because God’s heart is a generous one. Selfishness is not of God. #Jubilee50K is God’s heart pulsating out of us to touch others in a meaningful manner. God didn’t give me the vision of the #Jubilee50K challenge for the fun of it. It’s meant to help us to become conscious of becoming His blessing.


The movement also isn’t about us being blessed by others – that is still just “all about you”! We are quick to talk about how we have been blessed, but that is missing the point. The #Jubilee50K challenge is to re-orientate all our hearts, mindsets and hands to become the blessings of God and touch others. I had a personal experience when I went to Malaysia with friends one weekend on a golfing trip.  Our wives were with us and we had stopped by Johor Bahru (JB) to do some grocery shopping. This was around the time of the Chinese Lunar New Year and the shopping mall was extremely  crowded. It seemed that Singaporeans were buying up all of JB!

 

Each of my friends and I had trolleys full of groceries, and we had been waiting a long time in queue at the cashier. We then noticed a lady with just two items behind us. Imagine how long she would have to wait for us to be done! Usually, I would not have thought to let her cut in front of us. Singaporeans are well-trained to prevent others from jumping the queue in our crowded nation and besides, it was my right since I was ahead of her! But we remembered the #Jubilee50K movement, and asked her to go ahead of us. She was really surprised that we’d allow her to go first.


When we walk with the consciousness that we are to be His blessings, we no longer look out just for ourselves, but for others, especially those who may be underprivileged, and find ways to bless them. The act of posting our #Jubilee50K acts of blessings on social media is a blessing in itself.


As it was written in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine so that man may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Our posts are a proclamation of God’s miracles in our lives flowing in abundance to be a blessing. God wants to use us to be His instruments of grace.

 

Are you ready to be His blessing?

 

3. When we bless, many will be blessed.

 

In Genesis 12:3, God promises that “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you”. I was excited that at our recent Missions Convention, Trinitarians came forth and blessed many through our missions giving and programs. I think of the many children in our orphanages in Chiangmai, Thailand, and I’m glad that instead of becoming drug mules or sex workers, they can grow up to become a blessing themselves.


On one of our visits, I met a young girl who was sick. She refused to see the doctor but requested for prayer. Soon after she received her healing and guess what happened? She started sharing with everyone in her children’s home how God had healed her and constantly sang the song “How Great is Our God”.


She continues to testify of God’s goodness in her school and has even taught her peers to sing the song. There is great power in our testimonies! When we start blessing, many people will be blessed. And as we continue to walk with that confidence that we are blessed to be a blessing, an abundance of blessing will begin to flow forth from our lives.


God started this movement of blessing us, so that we may in turn bless our world. The world will see the tsunami of God’s love outpouring into the world and desire to know Him better. We hold a very important key – we can either unlock the momentum of God’s grace and blessings, or we can throw away the key and decide to take care of only ourselves and put a stop to this movement.


Another church in Singapore enquired with me about the #Jubilee50K blessings movement and asked whether they too could continue this movement in their church. I said, “Sure!” Even the church in the UK has started doing this. People are beginning to recognize this movement. Here at Trinity, we too should capture and understand this truth so people around us can experience us as God’s blessing, and in turn see others on earth being blessed through God’s people. God has blessed us so that many will be blessed. Let us unlock the channels of blessings that are already within us! Be a blessing today! 

Pastor Dominic Yeo is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Christian Centre. Listen to his sermons at www.trinity.sg/media/sermons.


 

This story first appeared in The Trinitarian Magazine Issue 2/2015.

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