A benediction is a blessing to keep on moving forward with what we have just been given. You are blessed to be a blessing.
I can remember as a kid going to church pretty much every time the doors were open. Although I do not regret that now, as a child it was at times less than desirable. Sometimes at special services there was a program, a written agenda to follow, that they would hand you as you came into the place of worship. I would eagerly follow that program anticipating the closing benediction hoping that there was refreshments afterwards. That benediction was always such a sweet relief and to me became associated with simply the closing of the service, or an ending.
Unfortunately I missed the whole meaning behind the benediction. What I saw as the ending or finishing of a religious ceremony, in actuality was a blessing to be received. A benediction is pronouncement of God’s favor on a person or a people. In Genesis 27:27-29 we see Issac giving a benediction over his son Jacob. In Luke 24:50 Jesus is blessing his disciples as he was about to ascend. Paul gives a benediction over the church at Corinth as he ended his second letter to them (2 Corinthians 13:11-14).
A benediction may indicate the closing of one chapter but it is not an ending. A benediction is a blessing to keep on moving forward with what we have just been given. You are blessed to be a blessing. Look at the benediction of Hebrews. “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20-21).
The author first makes it clear that “the God peace” is the one giving the blessing. Remember, because of sin, we are enmity with God (Romans 8:7), but because of His love for us and the sacrificial life, death and resurrection of Christ, peace has been restored for those who believe (Romans 5:10; John 3:16). The great shepherd has secured our safety.
As if salvation was not enough, God now” equips you with everything good.” The word equip in the Greek, katartidzo, means to make someone completely adequate or sufficient for something. Warren Wiersbe notes, “The doctors knew it because it meant ‘to set a broken bone.’ To fishermen it meant ‘to mend a broken net’ (see Matt. 4:21). To sailors it meant ‘to outfit a ship for a voyage.’ To soldiers it meant ‘to equip an army for battle.'”1 This prayer of blessing assures us that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Philippians 1:6).
FOR HIS GLORY
It’s astonishing to think that the creator of the universe wants to not only preserve my soul, but also use my life for His glory. He desires to work in us, equip and empower us, to effect the world around us. As Paul told the church in Ephesus, we are now to “live as children of light and find out what pleases the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-10).
This benediction is a prayer of blessing that remind us of who God is, what He has done for us through Christ, and how we are to now work to do His will with the tools He has given us. Our God of blessing offered sacrifice for our salvation and then equips us with everything we need to please Him. You are blessed by God to be a blessing to others.
1. How exactly does God equip us? Look up these verse and write down the tool described.
– 2 Timothy 3:16-17
– 1 Thessalonians 3:10
– Ephesians 4:11-12
– Ephesians 6:13-20
– Galatians 6:1
– 1 Peter 5:10
2. Read Hebrews 10:36 and summarize it in your own words. How does this verse challenge you to move forward in your faith?
3. How does Philippians 2:12-13 encourage you?
1Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 330). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.