ADVERTISING
 
Friday, May 25   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
State and Religion
Should religious symbols be displayed in buildings of the public administration?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Michael Gowen
 

Jacob – Passing on a blessing

The challenge for us is to set aside time to worship the Lord and seek specific prophetic blessings for our children and grandchildren – and for our spiritual children.

FAITHFUL UNDER PRESSURE AUTHOR Michael Gowen 06 AUGUST 2016 17:10 h GMT+1
Photo: Unsplash

One of the statistics that would be very uncomfortable for me is this one: how many times a day I criticise somebody versus how many times I encourage or bless somebody.



Maybe you are one of those people who is a natural encourager. That’s brilliant if you are – we need more of you in the world today!



But I suspect that many of you reading this are more like me, for whom criticising or seeing what is wrong in somebody comes much more naturally than blessing or encouraging. I need to make no effort whatsoever to criticise, but over the years I have had to try hard, with the help of God’s grace, to move the statistics more in the direction of blessing; and I still have quite a way to go.



Jacob was a man who led an incredibly rich and varied life. I don’t know what his statistics of blessing versus encouragement were; but what I do know is that in the New Testament he is remembered for his his blessing and encouragement.



Jacob is one of the dominant characters of the second half of the book of Genesis, from his birth in chapter 25 through to his death in the final chapter 50. He is such a significant person that the new name which God gave to him, Israel, is still being used for the Jewish state in the Middle East today.



When the writer to the Hebrews wanted to commend Jacob to Jewish Christians for his faith, which parts of his life did he select? Although there was an abundance of material available to him, he highlighted just one apparently minor event right at the end of his life:



“By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshipped as he leaned on the top of his staff” (Hebrews 11:21 – you can read about it in Genesis 48). Why did the writer choose this above all the other events of Jacob’s rich life? To show us how important it is to pass on a blessing.



If you are, like me, a father or grandfather (or maybe even a great-grandfather!), you have the privilege of being in a special position to bless your children and your grandchildren, in a way that nobody else can.



If you are not yet in that position, store this up and remember it for the future. Also, whether or not you have children, or ever will have children, then hopefully you have spiritual children: people in whose lives you have played a crucial role, in bringing them to Jesus or encouraging them to follow him. If that is so, then you are in a special position to bless your spiritual children.



When Jacob knew that he was about to die, the one thing on his mind was to bless future generations. He called all his children together and gave each one of them a final prophetic blessing (Genesis 49).



Just before that – and this is what the writer to the Hebrews highlights – he asked to see his son Joseph’s two children, boys who had only ever known life in the royal palace of Egypt.



Jacob worshipped as he leaned on the top of his staff, and as he worshipped, God revealed something special to him and he responded to it.



He stated that these two boys, who looked and behaved like the Egyptians around, them were to be treated as his own sons and included in the list of the tribes of Israel; and he blessed the younger Ephraim ahead of the elder Manasseh.



The challenge for us is to set aside time to worship the Lord and seek specific prophetic blessings for our children and grandchildren – and for our spiritual children. God has placed us in a position of privilege and responsibility with regard to these people.



Our words can impact them in a way that few others’ can. As we get older we are concerned to pass on a material inheritance to future generations; but what about a spiritual inheritance, which has much more lasting value?



Not all of us are parents; not all of us will be. But all of us have, or have had, parents and grandparents; and it is good to seek a blessing from them. Jacob blessed his two grandchildren in exactly the same way that his father Isaac had blessed him and his brother Esau, giving the younger precedence over the older (Genesis 27).



My own father was of the generation where you praised your children to other people but never to their face. So I never received an unqualified blessing from him.



Towards the end of his life I came to realise that he was not capable of giving this to me, and so I released him from this obligation, and I trust that God has given to me what my earthly father was unable to give.



By God’s grace, I want to pass a blessing on to my children and grandchildren, and to my spiritual children. It begins for me – and for you – with worshipping and seeking God.



When I receive words of blessing from him, then I will pray these words for the child or grandchild; and I will ask God if, how and when I should speak the blessing to them. I may need to wait, as Jacob did – for timing is crucial.



In this way I, and you too, will pass on something special to future generations; and we will be remembered for having done this.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Jacob – Passing on a blessing
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
Coexistence in the church - a model for society Coexistence in the church - a model for society

“Gospel, identity and coexistence” were the themes of the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Two days in Palma de Mallorca to reflect about the role of evangelical churches in society.

 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
VIDEO Video
 
What are the cultural roots of the transgender movement? What are the cultural roots of the transgender movement?

Peter Saunders, CEO of the Christian Medical Fellowship (UK) summarises>the philosophical framework that made the transgender movement so popular.

 
Pitfalls that Christian artists should avoid Pitfalls that Christian artists should avoid

Delta David Gier, Conductor and Music Director, on some of the dangers for artists.

 
Why are Christian leaders particularly vulnerable to sexual temptation? Why are Christian leaders particularly vulnerable to sexual temptation?

“The reasons why somebody might have sex with a prostitute are very different from the reasons why somebody might want to have an affair with a member of their congregation”. An analysis by John Stevens, National Director of FIEC (UK).

 
Be safe on social media Be safe on social media

A video about the way traffickers target teenage girls online, produced by anti-slavery gorup Abolishion.

 
In Mission In Mission

A 360º lyric video about how all followers of Jesus Christ are called to serve God. Duo in Spanish (Alex Sampedro) and Portuguese (Marcos Martins).

 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.