“Giving the blessing back”
April 8, 2019
“When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. Genesis 22:9-10, NIV
One of the most challenging aspects of receiving blessings from God is to remember that the blessing is not really ours. Imagine a child receiving a gift from his parents, and then, when asked to share it with his sister, he protests, “No, mine!” On the other hand, when we, as children of God, recognize that the gifts he gives us are intended to bless others, then we can live freely in the abundant life that God has for us.
Abraham experienced this call to give the blessing back first-hand when God asked him to lay his only son Isaac on the altar. Ultimately God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son, but he needed to know that Abraham was willing to give the blessing back (Genesis 22:12). God wants us to remember to keep our eyes on the Giver, not the gifts. This perspective is what allows us to walk by faith, like Abraham. Because of Abraham’s faith, God blessed him by multiplying his family line, making a covenant with him that influenced generations to come with continual blessing and provision.
The Bible says that, “every good and perfect gift comes from God,” and that means that, while God delights in blessing his children and giving us good gifts, nothing we receive is ours to hold onto (James 1:17). We are blessed to be a blessing. Luke 12:48 says, “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.”
Jesus tells us the parable of the good and faithful servants in Matthew 25. This story demonstrates God’s desire for us to steward our gifts well. The servant who simply buried the money (or blessing) was deemed wicked, while the one who invested and multiplied it was rewarded with more. How are we stewarding God’s blessings on our lives? How are we multiplying what has been given to us?
The greatest gift we can receive is salvation, which God freely gives. How are we blessing others with the grace of God on our lives? We can bless others with words of encouragement, acts of kindness, self-sacrifice, and living generously. All of our blessings--whether in finances, relationships, family, or career--are given to us by God so that we can bless others. How are we blessing others with the gifts that we’ve been given?
Easter is the perfect time to reflect on all the blessings that God has given us, and to look for ways to give those blessings back to God-- by blessing others and honoring God with every good thing he has given us.
Help us to recognize the blessings in our lives, and that every good gift comes from God.
Open our eyes to see how we can bless God and other people by giving our time, talent, and treasure toward serving others and serving God.
Help us to keep our eyes on the Giver, not the gifts.