Beliefnet
Mark D. Roberts

 

Oh, praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD. . . . May the LORD, who made heaven and earth, bless you from Jerusalem.

The life of faith might be described as living in the circle of
blessing. It begins with God, who blesses us (134:3). This means that
God bestows goodness upon us, giving us material, relational, and
spiritual benefits as an expression of his grace. As James writes in
his New Testament letter: “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to
us from God our Father, who created the lights in the heavens” (James
1:17).

What
do we do when we receive God’s blessings? Well, in part, we
simply receive them, enjoying the gifts he lavishes upon us with open
arms. We pause to reflect with gratitude upon what the Lord has given
to us: our life and our faith, our families and our friends, our work
and our world, our rest and our sleep.

Then, having paid
attention to God’s blessings, we respond by blessing God. Where our
translation of Psalm 134:1 reads, “Oh, praise the LORD,” it actually
uses the Hebrew verb “to bless,” the same verb that appears in 134:3 to
describe what God does for us. Of course, we don’t bless him in the
same way he blesses us. We have nothing material to give to God. We
can’t improve the quality of his life. But we can offer our words of
thanks and praise. We can proclaim God’s glorious grace, both within
the gathered community and in the world. And we can give to God that
which he does not have apart from our act of blessing: our love,
devotion, and life lived in service to him.

When I think of our
blessing of God, I remember times when my children were young and they
gave me a present for my birthday. They had no money of their own, and,
in actuality, spent money I had earned to give me a gift. Though their
“blessing” of me in this way didn’t add to my net worth, what I loved
more than words can express was the cards they made to accompany the
gifts and the devotion those cards communicated. They blessed me in a
way I could not otherwise receive, and it gladdened my heart.

So
it is in our relationship with the Lord. When we thank him for his
blessings, when we lift our voices to praise him, when we live our
lives for his glory, God is blessed. His heart rejoices. And we live in
the circle of blessing.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:
How has God blessed you recently? How have you blessed God recently? Do
you ever think that your praise actually touches the heart of God?

PRAYER: Gracious God, how richly you
bless me. Day by day you fill my life with good things, including life
itself! How thankful I am for the bounty you pour out upon me!

Your
blessing comes first, Lord. You don’t bless me because I bless you.
It’s the other way around. Your grace initiates and sustains our
relationship. Your blessings begin the circle of blessing.

So I
bless you today. I bless you with my words, lifting up your glory,
exulting in your goodness, proclaiming your grace. I bless you with my
actions, seeking to live in all moments for the praise of your glory.
May all that I do this day bless you, O God of all good and perfect
gifts!

I pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.

_________________________________________________

Would you like to receive a Daily Reflection like this one in your email inbox each morning? 

Here’s how . . . .
This devotional comes from The High Calling of Our Daily Work (www.thehighcalling.org), a wonderful website about work and God. You can read my Daily Reflections there, or sign up to have them sent to your email inbox each day. This website contains lots of encouragement for people who are trying to live out their faith in the workplace. 

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus