When God blesses us, he always intends it to be passed on to others. God’s reviving work in our hearts is meant for our community. Today we will look at a foundational example of this as we study God’s promise to both bless Abram and bless the world through Abram. As God revives our hearts personally, he wants to use us to bring revival to our community. We are blessed by God to be a blessing to our world.
SCRIPTURE: GENESIS 12:1-5
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
As we saw last week, God has chosen to use people to achieve his purposes. I am not sure why. It seems to me that God could do a better job by himself, but this is not his way. He loves to include us and give us a place in his powerful work of blessing.
Adam and Eve were God’s original choice to represent him to the world, but when they failed by wanting to displace him, God looked for another family through whom he could share his blessings with the world. He eventually settled on Abram and his descendants. They were not outstanding in any way. But that is the way God likes it. He takes ordinary people who trust him and rely on him and uses them to bless. This Scripture focuses on the way God is going to bless Abram. He would be the father of a great nation. Which is interesting because at the time had had no children at all and would not actually have a child through his wife until he was 99. He would possess a new land. Which is interesting because at the time he was a nomad. And he would build a huge reputation. Which is interesting because at the time he was a nobody. Of course, from our vantage point, we can see how all these promises were fulfilled by God through Abram’s family, Israel, and Abram’s descendant, Jesus. Abram/Abraham is still a household name throughout the world over 4000 years later.
But the point of God’s promise in this Scripture is not just the impossible and undeserved blessing that would eventually come to God’s representative Abram and his family, but the fact that it was God’s intention that the whole world would be blessed through Abram. “All peoples on earth” God says. This is the way God works. He blesses his people because he loves us, but the blessing is not just for us but for everyone – our friends, our family, our neighbours, our community. We are blessed so that we will be a blessing to our world.
As our spiritual lives are revived and God’s incredible love for us flows into our hearts, God’s intention is that we will bless others. This involves serving others of course, but it also includes praying for spiritual revival for those around us. For those who are close to God and those who are a long way off. That they might be filled “to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:19).
Lord I thank you for what you are doing in my life. Drawing me closer to your heart. Lavishing me with your love. Reviving my trust in you and passion for you. But this is not just for me. May your grace work in my life influence those around me. May your presence in me be obvious to them. May you work in power in those I love and in those I struggle with. Please Lord revive the spiritually lukewarm and dead in my community.
PRAYER FOR REVIVAL
Lord, please bring a new hunger for you to our church and community. We are a broken and rebellious people, but you love us deeply. Forgive our apathy and draw our hearts to you. Bring your revival.