Be a Blessing to Nations

On Sunday March, 1 2015, I was down to leading our service at Living Hope with the usual welcome, bulletin announcements, a Scripture reading and an opening prayer.

We are reminded in 1 Corinthians 14:26 ~

26  How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

A doctrine was given pertaining to evangelism where we are called to be a blessing to nations; to every tribe and tongue and people group. The Scripture reading was done in three parts. First, Psalm 67 ~

1  To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm or Song. God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. 
2  That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. 
3  Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. 
4  O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah. 
5  Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. 
6  Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. 
7  God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

This Psalm has its roots in the covenant YEHOVAH (YHVH – God) made with Abram – later to be named Abraham, father of many nations, as secondly we read in Genesis 12:1-3 ~

1  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 
2  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 
3  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Kindly note, God says in verse 2:

  1. I will bless thee;
  2. I will make thy name great; and
  3. Thou shalt be a blessing.

And in verse 3, God says: “in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

The Great Commission started in Genesis 12:1-3. The Great Commission is the Abrahamic covenant and the Abrahamic covenant is God’s unchanging purpose for this world. Thirdly, in Galatians 3:8, we read ~

8  And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

The gospel, the good news of the Kingdom of God, was already preached to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

Today the Church has a misconception of what it is to be blessed. The Church tends to think that to be blessed of God is that the blessings come in possessions, material objects, lots of riches for one’s self and family. But the true blessing is that you have been blessed by being saved from God’s wrath and what you have is what God has given you to be a blessing to the nations, taking the gospel of Christ to the unreached peoples of the world. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

In the Great Commission verses in Matthew 28:18-20 the word nations is the Greek word ethnos from which we get “ethnics”, which refers to races, tribes especially foreign, pagan, Gentile, heathen, people, nation.

Whilst currently studying Missiology and evangelism I had to do a 2 Corinthians 13:5 examination of myself and it was not a pleasant experience. I do suggest that each and every person examine themselves to see whether they are being truly obedient to God’s commands. Go into your homes and see the entertainment that is there. Leonard Ravenhill said, “Entertainment is the Devil’s substitution for joy.” Entertainment robs us of what we are supposed to be undertaking for the Kingdom of God. What do you watch on Hellevision? How are you a blessing with your time and resources to the unreached people groups of the world?

Are we Jonahs? – running from our commission, that is co-mission with God. Are we asleep in the bottom of the boat while the storm rages outside, a judgment upon the earth, as we read in Romans 1:18 ~

18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Or are we as Jonah oblivious to the raging storm directed at him/us? At times the Church too sleeps right through the storm of God’s judgment passing over the world assuring herself that the winds outside has nothing to do with her.

Here is the challenge – we going to hear about the heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11 (sermon of the day). Are we individually and corporately going to leave a mark on this generation that people will be speaking of after we have passed on, should our Lord tarry? Leonard Ravenhill hits the nail on the head when he poses the following, not verbatim: We have 24 hours in a day – if we sleep 8 hours, work 8 hours, what are we doing with the remaining 8 hours? Now put that in years. You live 60 years, 20 years you sleep, 20 years you work, what are you doing with the remaining 20 years?

I will end off with Thomas Carlisle’s poem “You! Jonah!”, which possibly sums up the tardiness of being a blessing to the nations, with these lines:

And Jonah stalked to his shaded seat
and waited for God to come around to his way of thinking.

And God is still waiting for a host of Jonahs
in their comfortable houses to come around to His way of loving.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Internet Archive You can listen to the audio Here or by clicking the Internet Archive logo >>>

The notes above are not verbatim with the audio.

______________

Some wording from Kairos: God, the Church and the World, 4th Edition: Living Springs International.

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