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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Sept. 17, 2007

  • 2007 Sep 17
  • COMMENTS
 

Have the Greatest Power By Word-filled Prayer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Servants of God: Last for Ever

 

Servants of God: Live for Others

 

Servants of God: Look like Christ

 

What was Christ's Final Action on Earth

 

New Testament Ministry of Blessing Others

 

In the New Testament a "blessing” we offer to a loved one is basically a prayer of encouragement for them.

 

2127 eulogeo is a verb used 44 times in the New Testament that means: “to praise [your loved one], to celebrate [them] with praises [that] invoke [God's] blessings and consecrate [your loved one] with solemn prayers [that] ask God’s blessing on [your loved one] to cause [them] to prosper, to make [them] happy, to bestow blessings [that they be] favored by God.”[1]

 

Old Testament Blessings

 

One of the key descriptions of how God wanted His people blessed comes from the instructions to the priests. In the Jewish community the priests were the public servants, they inspected for disease, they protected the food supply, housing, dealt with domestic issues, and of course represented the people to God. In the New Testament we are to all be priests, and in a real sense, we are called like them to bless those around us.

 

GET BIBLE NOTES

 

Numbers 6:23-27 (NIV) “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 upon 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 6:23-27 (NKJV) “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’ “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”

 

This idea of the blessing of the people was so woven into the fabric of the life of God’s chosen people of promise the Jews that they began to make a specific verbal blessing time to be part of the private family Sabbath meal.

 

One of the most moving Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) traditions is the blessing over the children given on Friday night. There are many variations on how the blessing is made. The most common custom is for the father to put his hands on the child's head and recite the blessing. In some homes the blessing is followed by a kiss, and in other homes it is followed by personal words of praise as the father walks around the table and blesses each seated child.

 

Why should we learn to share a blessing with our families? Because a blessing shared, and the whole expression of love that it gives helps those we love know in a visible way that we love them. Blessing those we love is a memorable way they can remember feeling and hearing our love.

 

Do you ever remember your father telling you out loud, in a clear and loving voice that he loved you and admired some qualities he had seen in your life? Those words just stay in our hearts for a lifetime. My own dad has often told me how much he sees the Lord’s Hand in my life and what great things he believes God will do in my life—and has been saying that for a quarter-of-a-century!

 

How to Bless Your Wife, Your Husband, or Your Children[2]

 

Do your loved ones in your family feel your love?

 

Many husbands think that their wives admire other men more than them as they relate how, “So-and-so’s husband does this and that with his children or for his wife…” Those men do not feel the respect and admiration of their wives.

 

Many wives feel that their husbands think other women are either better at caring for their husbands, prettier, or better at caring for their families than they are. Those women do not feel the love of their husbands.

 

Many kids hurt because they sense that their parents don’t even like them.

 

A struggling student watches his parents gloat about his sister’s straight A’s.

 

A boy strikes out in a softball game and notices his father’s disappointment.

 

An overweight daughter is told, “Stop snacking so much if you even care about your looks.”

 

This absence of marriage partner or parental approval, or family blessing, can lead to untold pain; whereas loved ones who feel approval and love face the daily challenges in their world with eagerness and confidence.

 

Paul Blessed Timothy

 

One of the most beautiful testimonies to the power of encouragement (or blessing) in the New Testament is in the life of the Apostle Paul. Paul explained to Timothy that he was:

 

“ A true son” (I Timothy 1:2);

·      he told Timothy he was “an example to the flock” (I Timothy 4:12);

·      that he “had a gift” and needed to “stir it up” (I Timothy 4:14; II Timothy 1:6);

·      and he reminded him of his incredible spiritual heritage “and that from a child” (II Timothy 3:15).

So Paul “blessed” Timothy, and used tender and encouraging words to help his son in the faith Timothy. He doesn’t belittle him for his weaknesses and tears. Paul also told Timothy he had a “treasure” entrusted him (I Timothy 6:20); and that he was “gifted”; and that God was “going to use him”. These exhortations were tenderly given to a struggling man.

 

These type of “blessings” when seen in God's Word often involve several elements: Meaningful touches with (like Jesus blessing the children )…Spoken words that have (like Jesus when He left for Heaven)…Expressions of high value (like Paul’s for Timothy and Epaphroditus) and …Point to a Blessed Future (like Christ's and Paul’s for those they discipled) with...Your personal commitment to be a part of their life and growth towards that goal. (“Lo I am with you” Jesus said. Paul said he labored in prayer daily for ALL the churches.)

 

Make sure your loved ones in your family receive your blessing. To help them receive and be touched by your love, we can try to use those several key ingredients that we see above, which always help us to communicate blessings and encouragement.

 

Use meaningful touches with them. That is what Jesus did (Mark 10:16) when he blessed the children, He was always touching those He ministered to. He could have healed them with a word, eight times in Mark alone Jesus touches those He served. So should we! The act of touch is a key to communicating warmth and affirmation. It is even essential to physical health. Be generous with your hugs.

 

Prepare special words for them. Paul used tender and encouraging words to help his son in the faith Timothy. He doesn’t belittle him for his weaknesses and tears. We should always remember that hugs aren’t enough. Tell your loved ones how you feel about them! Those who are left to fill in the blanks often feel worthless and insecure. At best, only confusion can come from silence. Far too many of us are really not that encouraging. It’s not that we have a critical spirit. Rather, we just say nothing. Our loved ones are not mind readers. We can do better than just expecting them to know we are in their corner, loving and admiring them silently. They need to hear it! Make an effort to catch them doing something good, right, thoughtful, considerate, well done, etc. and point it out. Highlight it! "Hey, you really handled that situation very well."

 

Attach high value to them. Paul also told Timothy he had a “treasure” entrusted him; and that he was “gifted”; and that God was “going to use him”. So should we also tell the ones we love about the qualities you admire in them. One of the best ways to do this with children is to liken them to a physical object (like calling your daughter a “pearl” or “precious jewel”). With your husband this is communicated by saying your husband is such a “wonderful dad, husband, friend” or such a “faithful leader, provider, diligent, hard working, thoughtful, etc.”. With your wife this comes in the form of “you are so beautiful I think about you all day long; I can’t wait to see you; I know how hard you work all day and can’t wait to get home to help you; there are so many things I want to talk over with you; I’d rather spend an evening walking and talking with you than anything else even sports, friends, golf, etc.”

 

Picture a bright future for them. Paul told Timothy about a “crown” that was awaiting him as he ran the “race” set before him; and that the Lord was going to “reward” him. So we also should express what God can do with them as they follow Him in their life. How they can shape the lives of the children (wife), launch wonderful children into life through their faithful example (husbands), or become the greatest servant of the Lord in what ever field God has gifted them (children). Explain why you think their gifts and character traits will be useful throughout their lives. Avoid negative admonitions; inspire self-confidence.

 

Make a commitment to walk through life with them. Stand by your loved one through the months and years ahead to help make your words of blessing become a reality. Express ways you want to be a deeper part of their life (monthly dates, weekly prayer studies, nightly prayer times, on going shared prayer list, etc.) Don’t quit as soon as you miss a scheduled time because of a conflict or your loved one hurts or discourages you, or your child fails in some area.

 

This sermon will continue tomorrow September 18th when we start by looking at “What are the Benefits of Meaningful Touch”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[1]Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.

 

[2] These ideas are adapted from The Blessing (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1986, Nashville) and The Blessing Workbook (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993, Nashville) by Gary Smalley and John Trent, Ph.D.

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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