Many years after the great flood the descendants of Noah built the great city of Babel with a great tower, claiming access to heaven, in order to make a great name for themselves. What humans create, build and achieve is still the pride of humans. Genesis 11:1-9.
Much of the landscape of world history is shaped by the achievement of human ideas causing both good and evil, progress and decline. Human cultures and civilizations exhibit a mixture of both beauty and ugliness, because all humans are a mixture of the noble and dishonorable.
Displeased with the vain human imagination that humans could build a gateway to God with their ideas and bricks, God confused their language so they would disperse into many different cultures. Thousands of years later, Paul an apostle of Jesus, preached that God’s action blessed the human race as seekers of God. Acts 17:22-34.
The next chapter in Genesis makes it clear that God’s plan is to bless the entire human race, introducing us to Abram, later called Abraham. Abraham left the
confusion of idolatry to serve the one true God who called him to greatness, promising to give him a great name and a descendant through God would bless all nations. Genesis 12:1-3, Joshua 24:2-3,14-15 and Hebrews 11:8-16.
Therefore, in the call of Abraham God reveals his own mission to bless; and he included Abraham and his descendants in his mission. God raised the nation of Israel from Abraham’s descendants. Through Israel God continued to reveal his word and expand an understanding of his mission and their mission to bless all. God himself would be the source of his own blessing through the Messiah, the promised descendant of Abraham and King David, who is God’s own eternal Son, chosen to also be the human King. The name of Abraham’s promised descendant is Jesus. Psalm 67, Isaiah 9:1-7, Isaiah 11:1-10, Isaiah 42:1-9, Isaiah 61:1-11, Matthew 1 and Luke 1:26-38.
Jesus took up the mission of his heavenly Father, God, through proclaiming and manifesting the coming blessings of God’s kingdom, with the Father’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus called disciples to teach, train and send them on the same mission of his Father and himself. Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 11:1-20 and Acts 1:1-11.
The notable disciple, the Apostle Peter, preached that Jesus is the Messiah. (Messiah and Christ both mean “the anointed one” and both refer to God’s promised eternal ruler of all nations, the King of the Jews). Jesus fulfilled the promises of Israel’s prophets; the promises restoring the fortunes of God’s rule on earth. King Jesus, who ascended to God’s throne in heaven after his resurrection, brings the blessings of forgiveness, new life and times of refreshing from his presence; first to own his people and ultimately to all nations. By his rule and his own returned appearance to the whole earth, Jesus will complete the restoration of all things in accordance with all God purposed and promised to bless all nations through Abraham’s descendant. Jeremiah 29:4-14 and Acts 3:17-26.
God’s calling and promise of blessing is for you and your children too. You can become one of Abraham’s children through your faith in his descendant Jesus as our Messiah. Jesus forgives everyone who turns from wicked ways to him. For you the blessing starts with your conversion to Jesus for the forgiveness of yours sins. The Apostle Paul assured a gathering of many new Christians who came from a pagan heritage, that they became children of Abraham and God through their faith in Jesus, when they were baptized into Christ. Baptism, which is immersion in water in the name of Jesus, is the means of conversion that Jesus himself commanded for making all his disciples. Baptism also meaningfully symbolizes the blessings every new disciple receives from Christ, including the new life by which every disciple fulfills God’s calling to bless and be blessed. Acts 2:36-41, Acts 3:25-26, Galatians 3:8-9,26-29 and 1 Peter 3:8-9.
I started the New Year 2015 reminding our congregation that as believers in Jesus their King, they are called to his Father’s mission to bless and be blessed. I also invite you to live to bless and be blessed.
By D. Bryan Buttram © February 16, 2015