Seek God’s blessing
Patriot Day, or September 11, 2001, reports many stories of heroism.
On the same day in 2001, firefighters, paramedics, police and ordinary citizens rushed in while others rushed. A few days later, armies of rescuers showed up to work in “the pit” or Ground Zero. The long-term physical toll it put on them while breathing the stale air has been told in many stories of sacrifice.
Pastor Gordon MacDonald felt God’s pat on the shoulder to work with rescuers clearing tons of debris in the hopes of finding survivors and cleaning up the site. He was associated with a Roman Catholic priest who wore his necklace. Pastor Mac wore work clothes thinking the priest was impractical.
He was about to find a much more important job than clearing rubble through his priestly partner. The Father simply walked through this sacred land asking people if he could bless them. If they would, and most would, he would say a simple prayer, putting his hand on their shoulder or forehead. The scriptures were mixed with prayer as the Holy Spirit led him. Soon the rescuers lined up to receive “the blessing.”
And no wonder. The blessings have been given since the earliest biblical writings.
Giving a blessing primarily involves our words. BEING a blessing also requires action.
The blessings in the Bible have these five elements:
1. AFFECTION – This usually involves a tender touch (Genesis 27: 21-22; Matthew 19: 13-19).
2. APPRECIATION – Words for what this person DID (2 Corinthians 8: 1-5; I Thessalonians 1: 2-3).
3. AFFIRMATION – Words expressed for who they ARE, qualities of character (Matthew 5: 14-16; Ephesians 1: 3-8).
4. ANTICIPATION – You tell them the glorious future you imagine with them because of Jesus’ purpose and desires for them (Genesis 27: 27-29; Jeremiah 29: 11-13).
5. ACTION – You promise an active commitment to them to help make this glorious future a reality (Jeremiah 29:14; Romans 1: 11-13).
Now all you need is the power to make them. Where do you think it’s going to come from?
Rick Sams is Pastor Emeritus of Alliance Friends Church.