Transitive Blessing

The Bible records in the 30th chapter of Genesis a dialog that takes place between Jacob and his uncle Laban. Upon the birth of Jacob’s eleventh son, Joseph through Rachel, Jacob asks his uncle to send him away so he may return to his own place and his country. He asks for his wives and children for whom he had served Laban. Laban responds to Jacob requests to and requests him to tarry and gives his reason for his request. Laban’s reason was that he had experienced how the Lord had blessed him because of Jacob. In other words, Laban was blessed transitively because of Jacob.

Points to ponder:
Are people around us being blessed transitively because of you and me? Do people who are acquainted with us, say that they experience the Lord’s blessings because of God being with us. In God blessing us, let us be a blessing!

Genesis 30:25-27 (KJV)
25 And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country.
26 Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go: for thou knowest my service which I have done thee.
27 And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake.

The Sons of Jacob :: Benjamin (and Jesus Christ)

Benjamin was twelfth born of the sons of Jacob. He was born as Jacob’s second son through Rachel. Upon his birth, Rachel breathed her last and as her soul was departing, she called him Benoni, meaning son of sorrows but his father called him Benjamin, meaning son of my right hand.

Points to ponder:
Jesus Christ, the Son of God willfully agreed (John 10:18) to become the man of sorrows, despised and rejected by men, and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). He was born into this world as Benoni the son of sorrows, but The Father God made him the Son of his right hand for Jesus was made ruler over all (Colossians 2:10), and is now seated at the  right hand of God (1 Peter 3:22), for having endured the Cross and despising its shame (Hebrews 12:2). He is God’s Benjamin.

Genesis 35:17-20 (KJV)
17 And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.
18 And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.

Isaiah 53:3 (KJV)
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Labor sans Love

Labor day is celebrated annually on the first Monday in September as a national tribute to all the workers who labored for the well-being of America, making it strong and prosperous.

Christian life is a life of labor, wherein we are co-laborers with Jesus Christ himself, in God’s mission of reconciling fallen man back to himself. We are commissioned to go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that God has commanded us (Matthew 28:18-20). And his greatest two commandment is to love him first and to love others (Matthew 22:36-40).

To the Church in Ephesus, God gives this commendation that he knows of their work and their persistent and persevering labor and how they cannot bear those who are evil. Nevertheless God says that he has a complaint against this church and his complaint is that the Church of Ephesus had left their first love (of God and of others). They are asked to remember their first love, repent, return  to the one who first loved and to redo their first works (labor) (Revelation 2:2-4).

Points to ponder:
From this commendation juxtaposed with complaint of the Church of Ephesus by God, we learn that one can labor without love. Let our work for the Lord God not be as such, but instead let our labor be as a result of our love for him and his creation. Let us labor because we love God for he first loved us (1 John 4:19). Let us labor to share with his creation that God sent his son Jesus (John 3:16), who came to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) and all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23); and whoever believes in Jesus and receives him, to them he gave them the power to become the children of God (John 1:12). Let us share the good news not because we have to but because we want to as an expression our love for God and his people so that God does not have to tell of us “I know your hard work, nevertheless you have left your first love”. Let our final commendation of labor not be one sans love.

Let us remember God’s love for us that demonstrated on the Cross by his Son (Romans 5:8) and repent and return to labor for our first love – Jesus Christ, who is always with us (Matthew 28:20).

Revelation 2:2-4 (KJV)
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.