February 5, 2017

Genesis 12:2-3 “I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I 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.”

This is of course one of the pivotal points in the entire Biblical narrative. Its importance cannot be overstated. Several messages could be preached on this passage (and doubtless have many times) but what strikes me most strongly right now is that Abram wasn’t the final, end recipient of all that God was promising. Dotted throughout this is the clear statement that others would be blessed through him. He would certainly receive plenty of blessing in the process, but it was not to stop with him. That is actually a major principle of the whole Bible, and we overlook it to our loss. There is an old hymn that is specifically about this: Make Me a Channel of Blessing. It’s refreshing to find hymns that are genuinely Biblical without simply being Scripture set to music (though those are nice too). When we focus on I-my-me-mine, as we are so prone to do, we generally miss the greater part of what God is doing. He cares about each of us individually, but He also cares about each other human being, down to the end of the world. My father caught that idea in his letter to the family before his heart surgery from which he woke up in heaven: “My prayer for each of you is that you will know and do God’s will for you, which will fit in perfectly with His will for everyone else.” We are individuals, but we aren’t in isolation; what we do or fail to do affects many more people beside ourselves. To the degree we are self-centered, we fail to recognize and enjoy the many ways God wants to bless others through us, and so miss blessings for us.

This applies to me just as much as it does to anyone. As a pastor I try to communicate this truth to others, but it sometimes feels like bailing a battleship with a teaspoon. The thing is, I don’t see the end results of anything I do, because my actions will continue to echo on to the end of the world. I’m not to despair at a lack of immediate, visible results for my labors because I don’t know what the end results will be down the line. I have ministered to many people who have talked about how they were impacted by people years ago, and those people probably never knew the influence they had. God created and commissioned me to be a blessing. I need to believe, trust, and rejoice in that, whatever happens to be visible to my very limited perception.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I get very caught up in the “right now,” and lose perspective entirely. Thank You for how You have blessed many people through me over the years, and how You continue to do so. May I not hinder that by my narrow field of vision, but may I also not obsess over it. May I rather rest, relax, and rejoice in You, just as You have told me, so that Your will may be done in and through me on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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