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Mark's Musing June 2020

During my devotional time this past week, I was reading in the book of

Psalms again, and landed upon Psalm 67. Here is a part of the Psalm:

May God be gracious to us and bless us

and make his face to shine upon us,

that your way may be known upon earth,

your saving power among all nations.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;

let all the peoples praise you.

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,

for you judge the peoples with equity

and guide the nations upon earth.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;

let all the peoples praise you… (Ps. 67 - NRSV)

As I sat and reflected upon the words of the Psalm, it hit me that it’s in God’s character to bless all of God’s children. Each day our material and spiritual needs are fulfilled in and through this God of love, who longs for a relationship with each of us. And the blessings of God are far more intentional than simply making you or I feel carefree, peaceful, sheltered, and prosperous. Because ultimately God doesn’t intend for God’s blessings to end with you or with me. God desires for blessings to flow out from us to others as part of God’s plan for humankind.

The line that says, “That your way may be known on earth” is one of the key reasons God gives God’s blessings to us humans. Sure, God blesses us so that we might serve others, but God also blesses us so, as the psalmist states, we might make God and God’s way “known on earth.”

God gives us gifts so that we can reveal God’s love and power to others. When we act with goodness, mercy, justice, and love we reveal to others the true nature of God. This knowledge should fill us with an overwhelming sense of significance. Significance, not importance. “Significance” has to do with “being meaningful”, whereas “importance” has to do with having a “high opinion of oneself”. Knowing that God gives us gifts to use to reveal God’s true nature is what gives meaning to our lives. But being overwhelmed with our own importance makes “me” or “you” the focus, rather than God. God’s blessings are not given for personal enjoyment but to enable one to make a difference in the world by furthering the knowledge of God and the growth of God’s Kingdom in the world.

Blessings flow from God, but the blessings should never stop with us. Every one of us has a responsibility to share what we have been given for the benefit of others, for the purposes of God. God loves us so we can love others. God comforts us so we can comfort others. God extends mercy so we can show mercy. You are blessed to be a blessing.

The blessings received from God can move anyone to a place of grace. Grace is the foundation of all of life’s blessings. When we receive God’s blessings and live out of the knowledge that God has blessed us, our words, our actions, our very lives become glowing examples of God’s grace. And that means that our testimonies, our faith stories, are not really about us, but about God and God’s goodness to us.

Blessings and Peace,

Pastor Mark