The Source of Blessing

“Following God’s Word” Sermon Series 05

Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
(Genesis 12:1-3)

This was in the land of the modern Iraq about 4000 years ago that God appeared to the man Abraham and spoke these words: “Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your father’s house! Go to a land that I will show you! And you shall be a blessing!” What dis God say Abraham would become? A blessing. “And when you become a blessing, in you all families of the earth will be blessed!” This is what God promised.

This person is very significant. We believe in Jesus and serve God, and this man called Abraham is very important to our faith. You probably read the New Testament before. The Bible is made up of the Old and New Testaments. The New Testament starts with the Gospel of Matthew doesn’t it? What is the name of a person that appears in the first verse of the Gospel of Matthew? It is Abraham. He appears in the very first verse of the first book of the New Testament. It says, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham”. It mentions Abraham.

We don’t believe in Abraham. Our faith is to believe in Jesus Christ and worship God. However the man Abraham appears as a significant figure. The reason for that is everything we are now enjoying in Jesus right now was promised by God to Abraham 4000 years ago. We are living in Seoul and here we live our faith lives, but everything that we are now enjoying was already promised to a certain man by God 4000 years ago. And that promise is being fulfilled upon us now. Hence if we carefully examine the promised made to Abraham, we can come to know clearly what it is that we are enjoying.

Another man called Paul also appears in the New Testament. Among the letters he wrote was a letter written to the people in the region of Galatia. The region of Galatia is the present day Turkey. After Jesus ascended the church was built, and there were a number of churches in the Turkish region. And among the letters he wrote to those churches is a letter he wrote to Galatia which is in the Book of Galatians. In that letter it says, “Christ was cursed.” He is the Son of God. We believe that Jesus is the Son of God. In other words, we believe Him as One who is equal to God. But it says that Jesus was accursed. Have a think about that. He is the One we believe in and He is the accursed One.

So why was He cursed? What kind of cursed did He go under? Jesus died on the cross. At that time the cross was used by the Roman Empire for capital punishment. Except for the most vicious criminals, many were not crucified. And they did not scourge a man who was to be crucified. The next severe form of punishment to crucifixion was scourging. Therefore, an offender was not both scourged and crucified. Because the scourge would already leave the person half dead. The person’s face become unrecognisable. They flogged Jesus to that point but were still not satisfied, that they crucified Him to death.

Jesus whom we believe in, as we know is now glorified as the Son of God. However when He came to the earth, He was cursed. Why did He undergo such cursing? In order that all the Jews, the descendants of Abraham, and even Gentiles like us may receive that blessing, He was accursed. The opposite of blessing is cursing. And the opposite of cursing is blessing. Hence the reason Jesus was cursed was so that we may be blessed. Thus if we believe in Jesus now, we are the blessed ones.

The world also talks about blessings. But these blessings are mainly of the flesh, such as money and health, and then they will be of no use when we depart from this world. However, The blessing we received, the blessing which God wants to give is not like those blessing of the world that fades away but an everlasting blessing. And in turned out that this blessing was not prepared by God for mankind originally but for His Son Jesus. It was a blessing that was prepared in the eternal kingdom. And He has granted that blessing unto us too.

In one word, that blessing is called the blessing of Abraham. Should we say that together? The blessing of Abraham! The blessing is given by God. And it was through Jesus He gave us the blessing. However it is not called the blessing of Jesus Christ. It was called the blessing of Abraham. This is because the blessing was sown like a seed in a field called Abraham. That field was fertile. Therefore when the seed was sown in that field, many fruits were produced. If the soil was bad and dries up hard like concrete, then though the seed is planted it wouldn’t bear any fruit. However Abraham accepted and obeyed the word – the promise – God gave him, and persevered so that many descendants came from him. Ultimately the Son of God Jesus Christ was born into the household of Abraham, and thereby the blessing which God had promised to Abraham came even to us.

There are many gods in this world. Whether people wish or not, they are influenced or controlled by some spirits, and some are so powerfully controlled that they even lost consciousness. Such spirits despise people. Therefore they go into people when they’re not welcome and harass them, control them and torment them.

However the God we believe in, our God is very noble. He will not trespass on your will. He is not going to force Himself into someone when he doesn’t want God. Hence we have to open our hearts wide and welcome Him that He may come in. But just because we open our hearts doesn’t mean He will come in to everyone. Why? Unlike the gods of this world, God is sacred. He is holy and pure, and therefore enters those who are holy. Thus unless one’s spirit is made clean, he cannot receive in God. And it was to make that spirit clean, Jesus became accursed. He paid the price of sin. Anyone who accepts that will be cleansed in his spirit. And it’s needless to say for those who are already baptised. If one has been baptised and completely united with Jesus, his spirit has been made clean. Then the Holy Spirit goes into that person and he gets governed by the Holy Spirit.

The gods of this world say to people, “I will bless you!” They say, “I can give you a blessing!” Do you know shamans? They perform shamanic rituals and do fortunetelling. When they are fortune telling, they say they are in contact with a spirit. And the shaman says, “I will bless you!” They claim that they can bless people. However none of those spirits have said, “I will make you a blessing (source of blessing).” Though they might say that they can bless someone, none of them says that they will make someone to become a source of blessing through whom others are blessed.

Yet this God, the God who appeared to Abraham said, “I will make you a blessing (source of blessing)! And through you all peoples on earth will be blessed!” Those people He referred to are not only the people that were around him. It didn’t mean only the people living in that village, nor is it confined to the nations living in the Middle East. He means all nations on the earth will be blessed through him. Not only will the people of his time be blessed but the people after him, whether a thousand years, two thousand years, three thousand or four! This was the blessing God had promised to Abraham.

God whom we are meeting now said, “I will bless you. Not only will you be blessed but you will become a blessing! And all peoples of the earth will be blessed through you.” All the nations of the earth will be blessed. Those you meet will be blessed. The taxi driver who drives you will be blessed because of you; the teacher that teaches you will be blessed because of you; the people of different countries whom you have not met yet will be blessed on account of you. That is the blessing we are receiving today. And we truly become the source of blessings.

If we don’t get this right from the start, we may not be in accord with God. We will be in conflict with Him. Hence you need to be in accord with God. You didn’t come to church only for you to be blessed. Through you your whole family will be blessed. Through you, the people around you will all be blessed. Through you, people you don’t even know will be blessed.

There are a great many people in China who are being nurtured by the word from our church. About 250 churches are receiving the word from our church – they learn and they teach that. Those 250 churches are sending us letters almost every day saying, “Thank you for sending us the word every week.” They bless the overseer, bless us the Sungrak people, bless me who is doing this work for them. They have been blessed through us. They have been blessed through our overseer. Likewise we become a source of blessing and bless all peoples on earth.

You can do the same. Though you came to church originally to be blessed, but don’t stop there. In Jesus’ name I bless you to be a source of blessing through whom all peoples and nations are blessed.

Pastor Ki-Taek Lee
The Director of Sungrak Mission Center