Links Daily Devotional

A Day of Blessing

“The LORD bless you
and keep you;
The LORD make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
The LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26, NIV)

What gifts will you be giving tomorrow?

I’m guessing it won’t be a new driver or a pair of sleek golf shoes. In fact, you may be saying, “What is this nut going on about? It isn’t Christmas.”

Exactly. It’s not Christmas. That’s why I want you thinking about what you may be giving tomorrow—whether or not you live in the United States, where Thanksgiving is being celebrated. We are all plenty aware that gift-giving isn’t the only kind of giving we should be offering one another. In fact, it’s easy to fool ourselves into thinking that if we give something material, those who receive such gifts will feel loved. It’s just not easy to fool others into thinking the same thing. We’ve all heard sad stories, often told by adult children, of how a parent has mistaken a quickly written check for meaningful expressions of love.

So consider this: tomorrow, because you will likely be gathering with friends and family, is a great day to deliver some of those deeper kinds of love, those that serve to nurture relationships.

In outlining his instructions for the people of Israel and their leaders, God presented Moses with a blessing that the leaders were to speak over the people. The words are actually quite few, but they are beautiful. To flesh them out:

May the LORD bless you, offering you his favor
and keep you, guarding you from the things that may harm you.
May the LORD make his face shine upon you, bringing his warm attention
and be gracious to you, showing you pity when you are most troubled.
May the LORD turn his face toward you, inviting you into his presence
and give you peace, knitting together all that is broken in your life.

Can you love someone in the way God loves you? Not entirely, no. But you can give these gifts to those who need his love: favor, protection, warmth, mercy, and restoration. You can be a gardener of the seedling, a shepherd of the lambs, a minister to fragile people. You can dispense blessings, in your words to others and in your way with them. Be quick to listen and quick to love. Give as God has given to you.

Jeff Hopper
November 27, 2013
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