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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, May 23, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 67

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.

The earth has yielded its increase;
   God, our God, has blessed us.
May God continue to bless us;
   let all the ends of the earth revere him. (NRSV)

Reflection
It is in the character of God to bless. Daily our material and spiritual needs are fulfilled in and through a loving God. The blessings of God are far more intentional than simply making us feel carefree, peaceful, sheltered, and prosperous. Actually, God doesn’t intend for blessings to end with us. Rather, God desires for blessings to flow out to others as part of the master plan for humanity.

The passage “That your way may be known on earth” is one of the primary reasons for the blessings of God. It is true that God blesses us so that we might serve others, but a core reason is for us to, as the psalmist states, make God “be known on earth.”

God gives us gifts us so that we can demonstrate love and power on earth. When we exhibit goodness, mercy, justice, and love we show others the true nature of God. Knowing this should fill us with an overwhelming sense of significance. Blessings are not given for personal enjoyment but to enable one to make a difference 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 to the benefit of others. 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.

What a hopeful, encouraging truth that God would use us as an extension of grace. The blessings received from God can move anyone to a place of grace. Grace is the foundation of life blessings. Because we are endowed with blessings, we become glowing examples of grace. As a result, our testimonies are not about us but about God.

Prayer
Loving God, I am grateful for the many blessings you have poured out on my life. Help me to show who you are to those around me so that they, too, may be blessed. Amen.

Written by Robert Crouch, Director of Volunteer Ministry

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