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What is a blessing? and how can we count on it.

May 26, 2013

Holy Trinity SundayBlessing

“The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:

“‘“The Lord bless you

    and keep you;

the Lord make his face shine on you

    and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you

    and give you peace.”’

“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

Numbers 6:22-27

 

Today is the Sunday of the Holy Trinity. We write this in capitals because it is something very important. We are talking about the full presence and blessing of God. Trinity, while it may not be a very well understood concept and is often wearily intellectualized and discussed, for us it should be very simple and yet very paramount. The Holy Trinity means that God is manifested throughout the history of mankind in three ways: as Father, the Creator, as Son, the mediator and savior and as the Holy Spirit, the living presence and spirit of God. This trinity is truly holy; it is sublime, marvelous and mysterious because we can never fully understand it with our human minds.

On this day I would like to share with you what God has to say to each of us in relation to God in three persons, as evidenced through Aaron’s blessing that we hear repeated at the end of our services every Sunday.

We are used to hearing these words. Sometimes, hearing words repeated many times makes them become almost dull and without meaning for us. We therefore try to change and renew our services so that this does not happen, although sometimes it is unavoidable.

Here in this blessing, we hear God’s name three times (The Lord). And we believe that even in the Old Testament, God manifests himself through this blessing in the form of three people.

What happens when you say a blessing? It opens the floodgates for the favor and power of God. We have talked in previous sermons what the word blessing meant: It is support, protection, shelter and help from God at all times, not only in good times, but also in times of trial. That is to have the safety that gives us be protected by God.

Sometimes I am amazed at the many varying kinds of insurance that exist and can be purchased. All of this is a good thing if you have the money to afford them. At the same time, you must know very well, that insurance is a good business for those involved. Insurance itself, however, is nothing more and nothing less than a bet on fear. If you’re afraid, procure an insurance policy. As a result, your fear will disappear and you will live peaceful, protected and sure that nothing will happen.

Some types of insurance are very good and important and others are less so.

The blessing of God is something like being insured. In that sense, I feel personally reassured with the safety that God gives me; it’s free, but it is not cheap. When you want to begin enjoying insurance, you need to purchase it. With the ‘insurance’ of God’s blessing, you must also make a kind of contract, a contract for life. First, you must accept Jesus Christ as your savior and ruler of your life. That means accepting Him by faith and beginning to obey His word above all things.

At the time that this happens in your life, this ‘insurance’ begins to take effect, as with any human insurance.

When the pastor pronounces the words of blessing at the end of the service, they are not magic words. It’s just a communication the minister uses on behalf of God. His words though, invoke a real, truly effective and powerful blessing. But for that, you need to have purchased that insurance. It is only if you meet the requirements as stated in the Bible and as I mentioned that this blessing will begin to become reality in your life. God’s blessing goes to those who believe in Him and want to honor Him by obeying His Word.

Do you know the difference between merely religious churches and churches that are alive? When I say religious, I mean churches where people come together only by a tradition and where you do not see the miracles of God. A living church is one where each of the members lives daily in a full relationship with God and God is present in those people and his church with His power.

The difference for a living church is that it receives God’s blessing, the favor of God, and that they believe in it and want to honor Him by obeying His word. When you begin to truly believe in God’s Word, you allow God to work in your life and in your church. Our words of blessing may just be part of a religious liturgy that is simply repeated every Sunday or they can be a real eruption of God in our lives which occurs when we begin to trust that God is here, especially in the church, and wants to string along with us during the week to the places where we go. The blessing of God is present and effective when now and during the week and every day, at all times, we stop speaking negative words and phrases without faith and replace them with words of faith and confidence and victory. Then God begins to work and show His true and living presence in our lives. If we believe that God blesses us, that God shows his favor, then we also need to start changing ourselves, our words and our everyday speech. The Bible says, “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.” (Matthew 15:18) This means that we have to clean out our inner words so that we are not contaminated with non- God wanting words. Our words should be in harmony with the word of God; thus we are supporting what we say we believing. It is so for those who truly believe in God.  Also, we have to talk with others in the same way and watch that we do not contaminate our inner words by frequenting with people that always have the same negative talk and mindset.

The Lord bless you and keep you: This means that God wants to take care of you, to take you away from the dangers of life. To keep you from going away from him and His blessing and that others want to get us away from Him. He wants to give us His best. Sometimes this does not match our requests, but He will always give His best to us.

The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you: This means that when God looks at us, he is taking care of us; he is watching over us. His sight is set permanently on us. Martin Luther compared the gaze of God with the very presence of the sun. There are many people, however, that want to hide from the sun (or God).  They do not want to accept His existence and power and thus live a life of hiding from him. But that is impossible because God, following the comparison, is as the sun. You cannot deny His existence. If you do not want to receive His warmth and light it is because you do not want it or do not believe in it but it is not because He does not want to share it with you. God will shine on those who are obedient. Those who do not obey God, or do not believe to him, even though they may be very religious, do not receive God’s favor. It’s like it is with insurance. If your insurance policy expires, your insurance coverage expires. If you stop believing in God and fail to confess to him daily, God cannot bless you.

 

The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace: Having God’s favor is ultimately what we receive when we ask for His blessing. God may approach us and provide us with His care and support. May we live in peace; the kind of peace that comes from living so blessed.

Remember that God’s blessing is and becomes effective only for those who give their lives to Christ and begin to truly trust him. God invites you to believe in His blessings. Many seek the favor of God, and God gives this blessing. But for this, our attitude should not be to focus solely on what we see in our human realm. No matter what the medical report says, no matter what your finances look like, no matter how bad that relationship may seem, have faith, be confident in God that you will see His goodness. He is Almighty, as we repeat every Sunday, he is omniscient, Creator of the universe (heaven and earth) and He holds you in the palm of His hand. Nothing is difficult for him. Take hold of this truth through faith and focus on His goodness. Take hold of this truth through faith and focus on His goodness so that you can enjoy the blessing of God every day of your life.

Let us pray: Father, we thank you for your infinite goodness in our lives. Today, we choose to set our hearts and minds on You and your blessing, no matter what the circumstances may be. We hope that we will see the power of your blessing. Give us your peace, while we keep our minds on you. Let us bless others and tell others about you so that they can enjoy this blessing as well. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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