The Blessing

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

January 24

The Blessing

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 16:1-6 | Genesis 48:1 – 49:33 | Matthew 15:29-16:12 | Proverbs 4:20-27

Today’s Scripture Focus: Genesis 48:1 – 49:33

“Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh…” (Genesis 47:8, 10 NIV).

“Bring them to me so I may bless them” (Genesis 48:9, NIV).

“Then he blessed Joseph. . .” (Genesis 48:15, NIV).

“Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come” (Genesis 49:1, NIV).

“All these are the twelve tribes of Israel and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him” (Genesis 49:28, NIV).

Throughout these chapters, the emphasis is on the blessings given by Jacob. He blessed Pharaoh. He blessed his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. He blessed Joseph. Then in chapter 49, he blesses each of his twelve sons.

In these blessings we see some of the common characteristics of blessings. There is often physical contact, usually placing one’s hand on the one being blessed. The blessing is spoken over the person so they can hear the blessing. The one blessing looks to the Lord for insight, and speaks words of insight and expectation.

In more informal ways, we often bless people through our prayers when we pray for them, seeking God’s best—his blessing. We also bless people through our words of encouragement. These are important too. But there is something even more powerful about the traditional blessing seen here, where one places their hand on you and looks to God for insight as they speak words of blessing over you.

In a world where we hear and experience more curses than blessings, these words of blessing are needed and encouraging. Blessings bring healing to wounded emotions and encouragement to the discouraged and disheartened. They bring joy, peace and hope–and we all need that.

Too often our words wound–they bring a curse rather than a blessing. James says, “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:10, ESV).  Allow God to control your tongue, then you will become the source of blessing he intends for you to be.

Blessed Savior, bless me with words of encouragement, hope and healing that I might bless others. Replace the words that were intended to curse, with words that bless. May my mouth demonstrate the fruit of a heart that has been changed by an overflow of words that praise you and bless others. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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