December 12, 2008 I think it's fair to say most of us are familiar with the opening words of Psalm 67, "May God be gracious to us and bless us and cause His face to shine upon us..."
These familiar words resound in our churches and in our prayer meetings almost incessantly. And, if not necessarily spoken, they still echo in our souls as a perpetual request of the american believer. Whether we affirm this consciously or unconsciously, if we were to boil this verse down to a single axiom it would sound something like this: God exists to bless me.
There's a problem with that though. Psalm 67:1 is only half of the sentence.
In concert I ask if anyone knows the second half of this sentence in the Psalms. Never has anyone shouted out verse 2 to me. Lets check it out.
"...that Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations."
Do you see what the psalmist is saying here? The point is huge, and if we were to stop at verse one we would completely miss the purpose of the passage. Here it is: WE ARE BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING!
Yes, it is good to ask for God to bless us and cause His face to shine upon us, but for what purpose? For what end? So that through us the fame and glory of God could spread throughout the earth, and that salvation could be preached to all the nations. Friend, do you see it? If God has saved you, if He has blessed you, if He has taken care of you, it is so you can use those blessings as resources to reach a lost and dying world with the hope of salvation from sin, death and hell.
Why am I saying this to you now? Because this year Gospel For Asia has provided a way for the blessed to be a blessing. It's GFA's 2008 Christmas Catalogue.
This isn't like your typical Christmas catalogue though. Instead of an iPhone as a gift, you'll find a pair of chickens, or a goat, or a lantern, or a water filter. You get the idea. All these gifts go to the "untouchables", Indian Dalit families that, because of the caste system in India, have no real hope of a future and no one to reach out to them. But we can reach out to them with the love of Jesus through these gifts. What happens is these gifts pave the way for the gospel in the future. A family can survive with the income a water buffalo provides for a long time. This blessing allows the GFA native missionaries a welcome ear as these families are eager to hear about the Jesus that would provide them with such a good gift. Many families are being impacted through these gifts and the gospel is reaching ears that have never heard before. What a great investment on our part!
We give so much to each other during this season. And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but there is, I believe, a great work to be done. This year, would you join with me and Kelly as we use the resources God has blessed us with to reach out to people who are desperate for help and hope? If you're interested, click on the link below and lets get started.
This Christmas, consider finishing the verse. Let's be a blessing for the glory of God among the most unreached.
For His Fame,