Faith for Others to Flourish [Part 1]
By Alan Wright — September 21, 2018
Are you ready for some good news?
When you speak blessing over others’ lives you’re in the faith Hall of Fame.
Today’s Text: “By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff.” (Hebrews 11:21, ESV)
It’s surprising that the litany of great men and women of faith in Hebrews 11 includes Jacob for blessing his grandsons.
Think about it. The Hebrews 11 examples of faith include God Himself for creating the world, Noah for believing God would spare his family in an ark, Abraham for believing he could be a father at age 100 and Joshua for believing that Jericho’s walls would come down upon their shout.
In a list of such heroes, Jacob appears because, before he died, he blessed his grandsons. Really? Blessing somebody is on a par with creating galaxies, conceiving a child at 100, and shouting down impenetrable walls?
Here’s why Jacob’s in the list.
In many ways, the whole story of the Bible is the drama of blessing. In the beginning, God blessed Adam and Eve and then told them to be fruitful. The Lord blessed Abraham, calling him a father of a nation when the Patriarch didn’t have a single child. God instructed the priests of Israel to regularly speak blessing over the people and Hebrew fathers to bless their children every Sabbath. It should be no surprise then, that upon the inauguration of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the Father blessed Christ saying, “This is my beloved Son in Whom I’m well pleased.” Jesus began His teaching ministry with a series of blessings (the beatitudes). Christ delighted in blessing the children brought to Him and the last ministry of Jesus on earth before the ascension was blessing the disciples.
Simply put, blessing is an exercise of faith for others’ to flourish. When we speak a faith-filled vision over others lives in accord with God’s Word, we’re doing more than affirming them – we’re helping to release them into their God-given destiny.
That’s why Jacob is in the faith Hall of Fame for blessing his grandsons. Seeing others lives flourish even though their positive attributes and behaviors have not yet manifested is, in God’s eyes, like God creating the cosmos and Joshua marching around Jericho’s walls. When you speak blessing over someone’s life, you’re in the faith Hall of Fame. And that’s the Gospel!