Bless Each Other
A benediction is a blessing.
The phrase "God bless you." is a benediction.
What is a blessing? It seems intuitive to us that we know what a blessing is. Our children are blessings. Our pets. Our jobs. Having a home. Having transportation. Having our health. Those are the sort of things we count as blessings. Things that make us a happy camper and we perceive as good.
But maybe blessings come in all shapes and sizes. The song, Blessings by Laura Story comes to mind.
'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops What if Your healing comes through tears What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
Just maybe not getting that job you have been praying about is a blessing. Maybe not getting into that school is a blessing in disguise.
Sometimes what happens in our lives does not seem like a blessing. Sometimes we can look back and see how an event really was a blessing after all. Other times it is not so clear how it was a blessing. But we have assurance if we pray, He hears and He responds for our good.
Yes, some blessings are obvious. Others are hard to nail down.
Divine blessing is the assurance that God is conferring his grace. ... when we ask him to "bless" us, we invite him to call our needs to mind and respond in meeting them.
(The Essential Bible Dictionary by Moises Silva, copyright 2011, Zondervan, page 44 - *affiliate link)
The blessed person has a confidence that God is in control.
I've heard of keeping a Blessing Journal where every night you write down the blessings which come to mind and thank God for them. This keeps your heart in the right place. To be thankful and grateful for God's hand in your life.
There are many Scripture verses which are benedictions. The traditional church has many benedictions which are scripturally based and they often say them at the end of a church service or a mass. My church ends each service with Numbers 6:24-26.
May The LORD bless you, and keep you;
May The LORD make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you;
May The LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.
Let's look at some other benedictions in the Bible.
2 Corinthians 13:14
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.
Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.
Yes, benedictions are found throughout Scripture. Often they are found at the end of the New Testament letters. The New Testament letters are all about living life as a Christian and they often end with an encouragement for us. That is what a benediction really is. Encouragement to us. When I read them in Scripture I highlight them and write "benediction" in the margin.
Benedictions differ from doxologies. A benediction is a blessing and a doxology is a praise to God. (See my blog on doxologies, To Him be the Glory dated December 3, 2015.) We often find a benediction and a doxology near each other in Scripture. And many of the New Testament letters end with a benediction and a doxology. For example:
2 Timothy 4:18b to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (doxology)
2 Timothy 4:22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you. (benediction)
Now to God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, (benediction)
to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (doxology)
Hebrews Hebrews 13:25
Grace be with you all. (benediction)
Benedictions are a word of blessing.
How wonderful it would be if we ended every gathering of Christians with a benediction! A blessing to each other; profound encouragement for each other.