John Riley | 10 September 2020
Everyone wants to be blessed, but not everyone knows what to do with a blessing.
Jacob wanted a blessing so badly that he wrestled with the Lord for it and in Genesis 32:26 demanded it, “Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Like Jacob, many of us crave the blessing, envy those we perceive have received it, and sadly seek after the blessing in lieu of seeking after the blesser. In Jacob’s case he fought for God’s blessing even after having stolen the blessing from his own brother right under his father’s nose (Genesis 27).
Jacob found himself wrestling with God (how he must smile at his past self today). I imagine him shaking his head remembering that moment saying, “I had God in my arms and I wanted stuff.” Relationship with God and relationship with people is the greater calling and the greatest blessing.
That’s why Jesus encourages us in Luke 16 to use our worldly “blessings” to make friends and help people. I like the King James version of this verse because it’s so hard to understand (yes, I’m weird and like things that make me think and wonder and struggle to pin down a thought. This makes me research more).
“And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.” Luke 16:9
The mammon of unrighteousness, what a weird expression for money or wealth. The NIV version puts it this way.
“I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” Luke 16:9
This was Abraham’s task too; God said, “I will bless you… …and you will be a blessing to all nations” (Genesis 12:2-3). Too often, however, God’s people tried to hoard the blessing instead of eagerly sharing it. The problem isn’t blessing itself, but the human tendency to keep it to ourselves instead of eagerly sharing it with the people around us.
How about you, are you living life to share all that God has given you? There is a reason Jesus gave up everything for a relationship with people. Trust him and do the same. You could probably spend a good amount of time thanking God for the blessings that you could use today to help others know Him.
Pastor John Riley
Junior High Ministry