15th November 2018

“Bless You!” 

“How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every blessing in heaven because we belong to Christ.”
Ephesians 1:3 (TLB)

For what it’s worth, I usually say “Bless you” when someone close to me sneezes, perhaps you do this too. I have no idea where this custom comes from but perhaps it’s a nice thing to do. The Bible is full of blessings and the giving of blessings, but a blessing is much more than a polite response to a sneeze because all blessings come from God, as the hymn says, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”

The Hebrew of the Old Testament uses the word Barak, which means “to kneel or bless,” and in this context I’d like to consider the meeting between Abram and Melchizedek in Genesis 14. Here we have Abram returning from his raid on King Kedorlaomer and a coalition of other armies. He and his little band of 318 men had been victorious and had rescued his nephew Lot and all his family and their possessions (Verses 14-16). As they return they are no doubt weary, battle scarred and exhausted. Verses 17-20 tell us that Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought him bread and wine. Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing. “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has helped you conquer your enemies.”

Melchizedek means ‘King of Righteousness’ and is an Old Testament type or picture of Jesus who now serves as our Great High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. Notice these two verses about Jesus: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:19-20 NKJV). I think that the most beautiful part of this story is the fact that this great priest of God comes out to bless Abram—he takes the time, and makes the effort, to minister to this battle weary soul, and his men.

And you know we too, as children of God Most High, are to pass on the blessings we receive from Him to others. As usual, Paul hits the nail on the head when he writes, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those that are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we are ourselves comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV). And as Jesus instructed the disciples he sent out to serve, “Give as freely as you have received!” (Matthew 10: 8).

Father, please help us to share generously all the amazing blessings that we receive from you daily with those who are not so fortunate.

Study by Cliff Neill


About the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone: 01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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