WELCOME TO WELLING: for your spiritual health and growth.
Some time ago, Bonnie and I were in the land of Trinidad for a nephew’s wedding. We stayed in a simple hotel, and each morning, as the housekeeper came in, Bonnie would simply ask, “How are you?” And in a most amazing way, she would say, “Blessed and highly favored of the Lord.”
“Blessed and highly favored of the Lord.” That sentence has never left my wife’s mind. That phrase has never left my wife’s mind, that at the end of each year, when my wife writes our annual family letter to our friends and constituency, she signs off with that phrase, “Blessed and highly favored of the Lord.”
We are in a series called, “Blessed Beyond.” I’m talking about you and myself, especially, when none of our blessing is obligated where God must bless us. When He blesses us, there are some obligations that we bring to the world, simply because we are overwhelmed in a thanksgiving mode. It is not so you can manipulate God into more blessing, as though you’ve got to bring Him down to have favor toward you. You are already highly favored of the Lord because you have been saved by grace through faith and every spiritual blessing is already yours. You don’t have to do anything to get God to bless you or to think better thoughts about you as someone else said. “You are blessed and highly favored of the Lord. And yet because that is so, we can be distributors of God’s blessing.
That’s the whole ethos of Psalm 67. “Blessed Beyond,” has been the theme of this year for RREACH. In fact, the new brochure that we’ve just produced, the inside cover has Psalm 67 beautifully presented with white font on blue paper. It is a rehearsal of my favorite of all psalms. I mentioned to you earlier there are creation psalms, national psalms, but this is a global psalm. The psalm is called a psalm and a song. And that’s how we’re dividing this psalm, into stanzas and choruses.
We’ve looked at verses one and two, which are already one unit. And I asked you to put the words “global knowledge” on verses one and two. But this time I want to do verses three and five.
It’s like the chorus of a hymn. They’re identical. Where the psalmist says, “Let all the peoples”, one left out “Let all the peoples peoples left out of God’s provision of salvation and God’s invitation to salvation. “Let all the peoples praise You, O God. Let all the peoples praise You.” Exactly the same as verse five. So I read those two verses together as the chorus. Put the words, “global praise.”
The reason God has blessed you, and especially me, is so that there will be global knowledge verses one and two but there’ll be global praise. “Let all the peoples.” The word “peoples” is parallel to the word “earth,” the physical rock on which we live. The nations, the political and other divisions that we make. “Nations” are ethnicities. “Peoples” have to do with sociological realities of language and culture. Even divisions that we make between ourselves, not just what others have made for us by color or by caste Let all the peoples or by computer preferences or credo differences “Let all the peoples throw praise at You. Let them bring praise to You.”
This is God’s vision for our planet because He’s blessed you and blessed me, that we become the first link in an aggressive chain contagion that reverberates across all the peoples. One of the reasons I speak about the principle of subsidiarity is that proximity allows for peoples to reach each other. In the history of missions, there have been about four streams. For example, in modern missions, started in the late 1700s, there was a “West to the Rest” concept. And then there was a concept of the “West to the West.” And then there was a strategy of the “Rest to the Rest” and then finally came full circle of the “Rest to the West.” Actually, the biblical conviction is that it’s everyone to everywhere. I shared these concepts at the 75th anniversary of the evangelical missions agencies.
It’s everyone to everywhere. If you are blessed and I am blessed, “That Your way be known on the earth. The salvation among all nations. Let all the peoples praise You.” Blessed Beyond. Highly favored. The reason we chose “beyond” as part of the theme of not just “blessed” but “Blessed Beyond” is because we’ve got to go beyond an egocentric way of living. We’ve got the list of blessings beyond the known. And as we focus on looking at these blessings there are so much more than we can list. But beyond the known is beyond this life itself.