Motivated Spirituality

redrose2We are called to be a blessing to the world first to those around us.

We are also called to bless the Lord God Almighty. We are called to love whether others love us, to care for whether others care for us, and to bless those in our lives, whether they bless us or not. The following scriptures examine how God blessed Abraham, and through him ALL the peoples of the earth. Then we look at how we are to bless the Lord our God, and what following Jesus looks like. Finally, we meditate and pray St. Francis's prayer.

  1. God’s blessing to Abraham, and to all the peoples of the earth
    1. Genesis 12:2–3: God said to Abraham:“I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
    2. Genesis 26:4 I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, and will give to your offspring all these lands; and all the nations of the earth shall gain blessing for themselves through your offspring,
    3. Galatians 3:6 Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” 7 so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you.” 9 For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed. 10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for “The one who is righteous will live by faith.”[b] 12 But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, “Whoever does the works of the law[c] will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
    4. Deuteronomy 28:1 [ Blessings for Obedience ] If you will only obey the Lord your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth; all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the Lord your God:
    5. Psalm 112:1 [ Blessings of the Righteous ] Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord, who greatly delight in his commandments.
    6. Psalm 119:56 This blessing has fallen to me, for I have kept your precepts.
    7. Psalm 127:1 [ God’s Blessings in the Home ] [ A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon. ] Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain.
    8. Proverbs 11:11 By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
    9. Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my spirit upon your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring.
    10. 2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.
    11. Hebrews 6:7 Ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.
  2. Blessing the Lord God Almighty
    1. Nehemiah 9:5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.”
    2. Luke 24: The Ascension of Jesus 50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.[p] 52 And they worshiped him, and[q] returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53 and they were continually in the temple blessing God
    3. Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
  3. What following Jesus looks like
    1. Luke 10:25-37: The Parable of the Good Samaritan 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

  1. Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console,

to be understood as to understand,

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen.

 

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Favorites

  • Transforming this World: The Hope of Glory by NT Wright +

    Wright confronts the perspective that this world doesn’t matter, and that we live only to be in heaven. He shows Read More
  • His Glory +

    I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Read More
  • A Blazing Offering: Glory to God Forever by Fee +

    Glory to God Forever by Fee. Read More
  • Enthroned Above All Things: Glory to God Forever by Fee +

    And only him... Before the world was made Before you spoke it to be You were the king of kings Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Easter: transforming how we relate to others +

    As we prepare for Easter, let’s prayerfully consider some questions regarding John 17. Read More
  • Jesus as the cultivator of our heart +

    Day after day our heart experiences dozens and hundreds of interactions: with others, with news stories,  with our thoughts, or Read More
  • Sing to the Lord: Thinking about to praise God each day with songs from our hearts +

    One of the overriding themes throughout scripture is praising God regardless of our circumstances. Read More
  • A focus on blessing others +

    We are called to be a blessing to the world first to those around us. Read More
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