God blesses you so you can share your bounty with others.
by Aaron Householder
Blessings and nations and peoples, oh, my! Blessings and nations and peoples!
“May God be gracious to us and bless us; look on us with favor so that Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations (Psalm 67:1-2).
While reading the first verse, I thought, Hey, that’s cool. I welcome the good God gives. Then I was stopped still by verse two: You see that? The “so that”?
I love the “so that.” We may not use “so that” much, but a number of Bible translations do.
It’s a logical progression. It’s a step. It’s a reason. In this psalm, it’s the hinge on which the whole thing swings. God gives to us — stated three different ways in verse one — “so that” we can use those resources for missions. Simply put: We’re blessed by God to be able to share His blessings with others. We’re blessed to be a blessing.
This isn’t just any kind of blessing, however. It’s a blessing to the nations. A blessing to peoples without a saving relationship with Jesus. The next few verses, Psalm 67:3-5, tell us: “Let the peoples praise You, God; let all the peoples praise You. Let the nations rejoice and shout for joy, for You judge the peoples with fairness and lead the nations on earth. Let the peoples praise You, God, let all the peoples praise You.”
Part of His Plan
What a scene! Can you imagine people from every tribe and every tongue praising the One True God? And how did all those diverse folks come to know Him? It was in part because we gave.
But it’s so easy to treat all we have as if it’s all ours. We often get our priorities wrong. Selfish priorities inhibit the advance of the gospel. Pat Hood, senior pastor of LifePoint Church in Smyrna, Tenn., asks, “Can you imagine standing before God and realizing you spent more money on a cable TV package than on resourcing the Great Commission?” Or can you imagine your manicure was always perfect but you couldn’t afford to support missionaries as they told the lost about Jesus?
The Bible doesn’t teach that we shouldn’t spend money on ourselves. Nor does the Bible teach that we can’t have nice stuff. Psalm 67, however, does teach that we must use some of our blessings from God to make Him known.
We know we have the privilege of participating in His great redemptive plan. We know lost peoples will come to faith in Him by the working of His mighty power. We know we can make a household budget and stick to it, so we can tithe to our church and give offerings for missions. We know that every spending decision we make can have a life-changing, eternal impact. We know — so we give.
The Psalm 67 passage continues with the same principle: “The earth has produced its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear Him” (6-7).
We aren’t blessed because we’re worthy, but because God is gracious. We aren’t blessed in order to buy more stuff, but to invest in God’s kingdom. We aren’t blessed so we can be happier, but to proclaim the joy of the Lord among the nations. We aren’t blessed for our own comfort, but to share God’s eternal peace with lost millions. We’re blessed so that we can bless others. •
As a pastor in Nebraska, Aaron Householder has grown accustomed to midwest “Wizard of Oz” allusions. He even employs one on occasion. Follow him along the yellow brick road at aaronhouseholder.net.
This article originally appeared in the August, 2013 issue of Home Life. Subscribe