WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – If you are a child of God, your Father has delegated to you a wonderful power you are probably not aware of and probably not using much. You can say to your spouse, your child, or a stranger, “The Lord bless you!” – and a special blessing of God will actually be imparted to them. I do not mean that they will just feel blessed because you wished them well with this quaint expression. I mean that they will walk away from you with more of the blessing of God than when they approached you. (Whether they will accept, ignore, or reject this blessing is a different issue.)
If this sounds outlandish, please bear with me as we examine God’s word together.
Paul began and ended all thirteen of his letters by pronouncing blessings upon his readers. Peter, John, Jude, and the author of Hebrews included similar blessings in their letters. Here’s the blessing with which Paul concluded Ephesians:
“Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who have undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 6:23-24).
These were not just fancy religious ways of saying Hello and Goodbye. The apostles instructed their people to live in peace, love, faith, and grace. They prayed that God would grant these blessings. However, they also spoke these graces over them in impartations like this – and they didn’t think they were wasting their words.
They may have learned this from the angels who said, “Peace on earth to people He favors” (Luke 2:14). They followed the example of their Master who often greeted them with “Peace be with you” (John 20:21,26). He had, in fact, specifically instructed them in this: “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a person of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you” (Luke 10:5-6). They knew that the divine peace they imparted could remain on the one they blessed, or it could return to them.
WONDERFUL THING IN MY LIFE – If you’ve spent any time around me at all, you know that my reaching out my hand to greet you or patting your shoulder as we part will be accompanied by “The Lord bless you,” “The Lord love you,” “The Lord give you a good week,” or something similar. I do this not so that you will know I care about you (though I do), but so that you will be blessed.
I believe it when God says that I am to be a “good manager of the many-faceted grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). He has so much grace in so many forms, and you and I are privileged to have a part in distributing small portions of it. We can do that both by our actions (being a blessing) and by our words (imparting a blessing).
Please don’t let fear of what people will think hinder you from this ministry. I’ve been doing this since I learned these Bible truths 30+ years ago without a single a negative response. And I believe that there are many people who received a little more of the grace of God because of it. Wouldn’t you love to get to heaven and have people tap you on the shoulder and say, “I want you to know how much your blessing impacted me.”
[PS: I’ve gathered 50 of these pronouncements of blessing from the New Testament. Email me if you’d like a copy.]
May the Lord richly bless you this week!