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When God graciously made his salvific promise to Abraham to bless him and his seed, the blessing was to be an expansive one. That is, Abraham was blessed to be a blessing. Hear the word of the Lord:

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. And 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.  I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonours you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

(Genesis 12:1–3)

The promise of worldwide blessing pointed to God’s redemptive promise of salvation from our sin through the Lord Jesus Christ. He was the ultimate promised seed/Son given through Abraham. From Abraham arose the nation of Israel, and through that nation came Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed, to be a blessing, indeed!

We were reminded of this truth recently from the Aaronic blessing (Numbers 6:22–27). Israel was blessed with God’s redemption and his presence. As his kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6), the nation was to bless the nations with the knowledge of the true God. Through Israel, the knowledge of the glory of the Lord was to spread. Blessed, to be a blessing.

When the Lord Jesus reiterated God’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:18–20), he was, in essence, telling his disciples, “You have been blessed with my gospel, now, pass that blessing on to the nations. Being blessed to be my followers, bless the peoples of the world with the same blessing.” Blessed, to be a blessing. So it has always been with God’s people. (See, for example, Psalm 67.) In common parlance, Christians, blessed by God in so many ways, are called to “pay it forward.” Having received from the Lord, we are to give to others. As Jesus taught, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). And since giving is a blessing, we keep on passing that on.

This principle does not only apply to money; rather, it also applies to every blessing we receive from the Lord. Because Christians are blessed with God’s forgiveness, we bless others by forgiving them (Ephesians 4:32). Being freed from guilt by the gracious blessing of God, we seek to free others from the guilt they carry for the wrong they have done to us. An unforgiving Christian is an oxymoron. In fact, it is moronic.

Because Christians are blessed with truth, we seek to bless others by discipling others with and into truth. But there are other ways in which Christians are blessed, and therefore there are other ways we can be a blessing to others.

Has God blessed you with a healthy, holy, harmonious marriage? Then be available to bless other marriages with counsel and guidance and encouragement. Has he blessed you with children who love the Lord? Then make yourself available to be a blessing by helping others to raise a godly seed. Has he blessed you with physical health? Then be a blessing to those who are not. Offer physical help. Go to the shops for them. Offer to assist them with physical needs in their home. Use your healthy body to get on your knees and pray for them. Have you been blessed with a deeper knowledge of God through the “classroom of trials”? The strengthen the faith of others (2 Corinthians 1:3–7).

Have you been blessed with retirement? Then use the time to serve others. Are you blessed with the ability to make friendships? Then befriend others and teach the less friendly how to be friendly! Are you blessed with the desire and ability to cook? Then make meals for those in need. For that matter, have you been blessed with a full cupboard of food? Then bless the hungry. This list is far from exhaustive, but I hope it serves to motivate us to give what we have received. After all, we’ve been blessed to be a blessing.

Blessed with, and by you,