Blessed to be a Blessing

Have you ever taken stock of the blessings you have? Think about everything that God has blessed you with, both material and spiritual. Most of us have far more than we usually acknowledge. Here in Singapore, compared to the rest of the world, we are blessed materially beyond belief. And as Christians, regardless of our present circumstances, we have been given the greatest blessing of salvation from sin. Indeed in Christ, we have been given all things (1 Cor. 3:21-23). Yet have we been given so much simply to enable us to live comfortable, even luxurious lives while many in the world do not have Christ and are lacking much?

Why have we been so blessed by the Creator God? The answer can be found in Genesis 12. In the beginning verses, God told Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you.” But this isn’t the whole story. “I will bless you,” God says to Abraham, “and you will be a blessing… and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Gen. 12:2-3). God’s blessing of Abraham is just the first step in a much bigger plan to extend that blessing through Abraham to all peoples in God’s created world.

It shows us the heart and intentions of God; it also teaches us about our own role in the world. God certainly wanted to bless Abraham and his descendants, but it was never meant to be exclusive. The noted missiologist Don Richardson has referred to these twin promises in Genesis 12 as a top-line blessing (“I will bless you”) and a bottom-line blessing (“and you will be a blessing”). They remind us that everything we have received from God is ultimately to be used for the benefit of other people—especially those who do not yet know him.

This idea is one of the most crucial principles in the whole Bible. The blessings God gives us are intended to be shared with all; we are channels of His grace—filled to overflow. Let’s not run into the danger of focusing on the top line blessing that we forget the bottom line blessing. We have been blessed; let us also be a blessing—sharing God’s peace and the hope of heaven with everyone everywhere.