May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us, that Your ways may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. May the people praise You, O God; may all the people praise You. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You rule the people justly and guide the nations of the earth. May the people praise You, O God; may all the people praise You. Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear Him. (Psalm 67:1-7)
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What if someone offered you a $100 bill?
Like no joke. What if today, a stranger approached you with $100 and said "I want you to have this and I am not leaving until you take it." What if it was just their opportunity to bless you...a random stranger?
Maybe currently you are struggling and wrestling with finances, so this would come as a God-sized blessing; a huge display of grace. Or maybe you have been wanting a specific item or experience for a while and, therefore, would already have planned what this $100 would go to before it even reached your hands.
But wherever you are financially, this would come as a blessing - and most of us, after several insists, would accept it.
But then, what if this stranger gave you one request; one challenge; one stipulation? What if they asked you to use this money - not for yourself - but for someone else?
What would your gut reaction be? I mean, lets be honest: they would never know where their money went...and they gave it to you anyways, right?
But out-loud they spoke their challenge: Bless someone else.
This is God's one request; one challenge; one stipulation.
Every blessing and gift that we have is not extended to us to be used just for us. Instead, God's grace is given to us only to bring about His glory, His honor, and His praise. He blesses and graces us so that we can shine Him.
Though we are the recipients, our blessings are for others. And ultimately, for God.
The psalmist says: "May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us, that Your ways may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations."
The prayer he prays is to experience God's blessings and grace SO THAT he can make God known to all the earth.
So I have a question for you: What are your current blessings and graces? Do they make God known - or do you bend them in a way to only shine yourself? Do they give glory, honor, and praise to God - or do you simply use them half-heartedly and selfishly?
If we do not intentionally use our blessings (our gifts, talents, possessions, passions, etc) for Christ, then we involuntarily deny the glory that could be - and should be - given to Him.
So today, you do have someone coming up to you with a blessing.
No, He is not a stranger. And no, it is not technically $100...Instead, it is your Heavenly Father, approaching you with excitement. He is so eager and ready to give you His grace and bestow His shining light upon you.
What He asks is for you to use it for the sake of others, for the sake of His Kingdom, and ultimately, for the sake of His glorious name.
So what are you going to do with this blessing?
We would love to know how God has called you to use His blessings in the past. Feel free to comment on today's IG post! And as always, please share this devotion with others!
Greg, Declare Glory