27 Mar 2008
Joining God’s Mission, 1Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Hebrew Bible, Kingdom, Ministry, Mission, Preaching
In Genesis 12.1-3 we read of the beginning of God’s reclamation project—the promises made to Abram. God told Abram to go to a far country; he said Abram would be a blessing and that God would bless all creation through him.
By singling Abram out from every other person God acted in pure grace, but that grace was not intended for Abram alone. God had chosen Abram for a special mission—a mission of embodying the blessing of God to earth. He was to be God’s “blessed” man through whom Yahweh would spread the aroma of shalom to others. This same mission of being a blessing is given to Abram’s descendants (cf. Ps 136.21-22; Isa 49.6; etc).
As we read through the Torah we notice Yahweh making Abram into a blessing for those around him. Lot was blessed by his association with Abram. When the Five Kings of the East invaded, Abraham came to the rescue and he declined the booty for his exploits (Gen 14.21-24). The destruction of Sodom was delayed because of the promise to Abraham (Gen 18.18). Where Abraham and his descendants are found, God’s bountiful blessings come as well. Even Moab and Ammon who came from Lot (Gen 19.37-38) were to be blessed by their relationship with Israel (Deut 2.9, 19).
God’s original intent was that his people be a blessing. He states bluntly to Abram “you will be a blessing.” Abram, Isaac, Joseph, Israel, and the Church are to be a blessing to those around them. We are a blessing because we bring kingdom values to our communities; thus, we honor our promises and treat others with dignity and respect.
Not only are God’s people a blessing in the “physical” sense but also in a “spiritual” sense. We are to be a blessing to those around us by pointing them to the God of all blessing. We point them to the Cross of Jesus, so they too can share in God’s salvation from sin and ultimate death. We are to invite them to join God’s mission of blessing all creation.
Yes, from the very beginning, it was God’s plan that his people look beyond themselves and see it as their mission to be a blessing. Like Abraham we sometimes fail due to a lack of trust/faith (Gen 12.10-20; 20.1-18). However, God gives us grace so we can become yet a greater blessing to the world around us. Are we living up to our calling?