HOW have you been blessed? God’s blessings include senses, like seeing, tasting, hearing, and feeling. They include the people He has brought into our lives, such as our family, friends, and neighbors. For most people God has provided a job or jobs. His blessings also include opportunities in life, like influencing others, being influenced, living where you live, and experiencing diversity. And of course God’s blessings even includes material things.
What’s the purpose of those blessings? WHY do you have the abilities, people, family, job, or influence you have? Yesterday I preached the answer from Psalm 67. HERE is the audio. Below are some notes to help grow your heart for the things God cares most about… THE NATIONS!
Psalm 67… God’s Heart for The Nations
1 [May] God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us—2 so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. 3 May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. 4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity [justice] and guide [govern] the nations of the earth. 5 May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. 6 The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. 7 May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.
Psalm 67 shows us that God’s HEART, what He cares about, is to be known and praised and enjoyed and feared… EVERYWHERE, to ALL PEOPLES, to EVERY NATION! For us over here… for “them over there” (including every refugee!!!)… and for everyone in between! God’s HEART beats to BLESS the nations!
God’s Heart for the Nations is Rooted in His Character
Notice three characteristics of God’s character that drive His heart for the nations…
- v. 1 He is a GRACIOUS God (chief characteristic of God)
- v. 4b He is a JUST God (vital to those who suffer injustice)
- v. 4c He is a SOVEREIGN God (He is in ultimate control)
Because the Lord God is GRACIOUS, JUST, and SOVEREIGN, He CARES deeply that all the nations, all the peoples of the world KNOW Him… and know Him for who He really is: GRACIOUS, JUST, and SOVEREIGN!
God Blesses His People to be a Blessing to Others
Every blessing we receive is meant to bless others. Blessings are certainly to be passed on to family, a neighbors, or co-workers, but definitely for the nations. This reminds us of the promise made to Abraham:
2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:2-3)
God promises blessing to His people because He wants to make them a blessing. Therefore we should ask to be blessed for the sake of others. God’s blessings are NOT just for us to enjoy (although we should definitely enjoy them), they are to be shared. And God is pretty smart! He knows that our joy is most full when we are sharing blessings in the lives of other. Therefore, when we ask for God’s blessing for the sake of others we are also asking for our joy to be full.
God Will Bless us When we are Planning to be a Blessing.
If God blesses His people for the sake of the nations, then He is most likely to bless us when we are planning and longing and praying to be a blessing to others. If God wants His BLESSINGS to get to the nations, then He will “fill the truck” that’s driving toward the nations. He will bless the church that’s pouring itself out for the peoples of the world.
OUR Part… PRAY for The Nation!
PRAY passionate, God-sized, prayers for blessing…
First, pray Psalm 67:1-2
God be gracious to us and bless us, make YOUR face shine on us— so that Your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.
Second, pray specifically for 1-2 people/families you know who are from other nations… especially those who either don’t know God, or are not connected to a church family. Pray for God to BLESS them THROUGH you!
Third, pray for an opportunity to INVITE them into our community! (Sun service, Comm Group, Super Bowl gathering, for a meal, a drink, etc.) #ComeAndSee
Fourth, and finally, #ShareTheStory when God answers your prayers! Share with those around you, your Comm Group, on social media, with us here on Sundays. We are Good News people… let’s share the blessings!