Tuesday, February 11, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 53: The Blessing of Multiplication

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 53, February 11, 2014
Readings: Psalm 53, Genesis 47:27-31, Genesis 48:1-22, 2 Chronicles 26, Acts 19:23-41, Acts 20:1-16

Do you have kids, or do you want kids? If so, have you thought about how you will raise them? What you will encourage them to do with their life? What will you do when they're about to leave the house? Will you be excited? Afraid? Nervous?

The Israelites had an awesome tradition that I don't think we give much thought to anymore - the concept of a blessing. Both physical and spiritual, this blessing carried not only the right of property ownership (like a will), but also a calling on God to bestow His promises on the children of the father. Often, the father would encourage their children through the blessing, giving them a mission to carry out with what they had received. Let's look at Israel's blessing on Joseph and his sons, Manasseh and Ephraim:

And he blessed Joseph and said, "The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth." (Genesis 48:15-16)

Israel keeps this blessing short and sweet, but he hits on three key points:
- Reminds his family that God has been their protector and provider
- Asks that God would continue to provide and that they would honor Him
- Sends them on a mission to multiply

Jesus does the same thing for us in the great commission, as he is preparing to leave the earth. He calls us to know God and what He's done for us. He calls us to trust God to provide and protect us. And he calls us to grow the family of God - to the ends of the earth. Friends, our goal is send our children, and to be sent children. We have been given this blessing of God.

Even if it's years away, I want to start a new tradition in my family. I want to bless my kids when they leave our home. I'm going to write it, maybe frame it and present it to them as the leave to lead their own lives. It will probably be longer than Israel's, and I'll probably cry while writing it, extolling the love I have for my kids and who they've become. But above all it will contain these things:

- Who God Is
- What God has done and is doing for them
- Who they are
- What they can do with their lives for God

What legacy will you leave with your kids?

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