Saturday, 8 August 2020 1 Peter 3:9-22
“…Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.” -1 Peter 3:9[NLT]
Apostle Peter, remembering Jesus’ teaching to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39), encourages all to pay back wrongs done to us with a blessing because that is what God wants you and me to do. In the fallen world we live, it is often considered acceptable by some to tear people down when hurt but the believer is called to bless others even when wronged.
We sing this song:
Blessed be Your name, in the land is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow,
Every blessing You pour out, I will turn back to praise...
Turning blessing to praise can be followed, heeding the command in Matthew 10:8 “…Freely you have received, freely give.”
Since the beginning, people have misunderstood why God blesses. Genesis 1 & 2 describe how the Creator blessed a few people with a beautiful land full of food and other things to enjoy. But selfishness made them want to grab more blessings from God. Genesis 6 says people did not love each other. They did not work hard to provide for their families or care for each one’s need. Their hearts turned inward. They attacked, stole and killed to get more. So God punished them with a great flood. Next we see people building great monuments and towers to make a name for themselves instead of thanking God for their success and sharing the blessings. They wanted to create a wonderful world without God, only great people. So they were punished and their power and tower were destroyed. Then the Bible introduces Abram, living in the land where people thought gods lived above the sky. Their most powerful god was moon at night and sun during the day. Nobody knew who the real God was because their ancestors had rejected him and misused God's blessings. But God would not give up. He wanted us to know who He really is and the way we were created to live. So he spoke to Abram with a command and a promise.
“Go from your country and your family and …to the land that I will show you. And I will make a great nation out of you. I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, … and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” - Genesis 12:1-3
In Genesis 12:2 God promises Abram, "I will bless you and make your name great." Then God gives the reason: "so that you will be a blessing." God does not say: "so that your life will be wonderful." God does not say: "so that you will get what you want." He says: "so that you will be a blessing" to others. God repeats it in Genesis 12:3. "In you (Abram) all the families on the earth will be blessed." Lesson to learn: The purpose of blessing Abram is not for Abram to be blessed. The purpose of blessing Abram is to bring a blessing to everyone else through him.
If we figure out this mystery why God blessed Abram, we will understand the purpose behind every good gift God has given in human history. God blessed Abram for a bigger reason. The greatest of all God’s blessing was His only begotten Son through whom we are blessed eternally. John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Give this free gift of ‘Jesus’ freely to the entire mankind, but beware that you share not only Jesus but the rest of your blessings as well.
God works through us. If God wants to bring love and forgiveness to the whole world, He shares it with a few people so that they can share that love and forgiveness with others.
Prayer: Almighty God, my Father, Make me a channel of blessing to others in this land of the living.