“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace” - Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV).
There are quite a number of places in Uganda where children naming is meant to describe some ominous event. Names that spell of evil are baptized to children- like one Damadri “death has come” or another Musota, “the snake”! A new generation though has since sought to cast off such names with their odd meanings in favor of healthy names that spell blessings- like Ayinza- meaning, “with God it is possible!”
To bless people, which can come in form of names, is very much part of the Bible. After Laban released his sister Rebekah to be taken away for marriage to Isaac, her family did so with a special blessing, “ And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the cities of their enemies” (Genesis 24:60).
As the Israelites were being released into a new land, the Lord promised blessings, out of obedience to Him. “You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out” (Deuteronomy 28: 2-6).
Indeed we find the promise of blessings throughout many scriptures, like Psalm 34:8-9, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!” And Psalm 1:1-3: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord… In all that he does, he prospers.”
Yet because many of us come out of mean cultures, where blessings others is frowned upon, sometimes we fail to appreciate that being blessed and passing on blessings is God’s nature. But our God desires that each and every one of us should be blessed. “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways” (Psalm 119:1-3).
Today, may you walk in those blessings and pass them to others around.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, I thank you for the blessings in my life, and help me live and gladly share your full blessings, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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02/03/2024 - 03/03/2024 All day
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”- (Philippians 4:6).
Perhaps you have heard of a certain old magical trade known as mind reading. According to this trade which has been around for millenniums and has its share of tricksters, mind readers are able to discern thought patterns of individuals before they even utter a word. There are places in the world where this, as expected, is a lucrative occupation, with practitioners, often crafty magicians, demanding hefty fees, just to tell thoughts of others.
As Christians, of course, we have an all knowing God, who has said, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” ( Mathew 6:8). Further, our Lord has pointed out, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” ( Mathew 6:7). As Christians when we come to God, we do so with full confidence, that He already knows our needs and will meet them according to his glorious riches in heaven.
Of particular interest for us here is that while God perfectly knows our needs before we even dare utter a single word, still it is incumbent upon us to make our requests known to Him. A parent may have long noticed a child has a need for a new pair of shoes; but it is another dimension, when the child does come out and share aloud that his pair is worn out, hurting and is quite in need of a new one. The parent takes notice, especially when the matter is presented with such conviction and urgency. This is why Hannah cried out to God for a child ( 1 Samuel 1:9-18).
In our relationship with God, as the Apostle Paul advises us, it is not just enough to assume and let matters be, that after all God knows all our needs, but we too bear a responsibility to make our requests known to Him. Once we are done with that, we let God do His part, allowing “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” ( Philippians 4:7) to flood us.
So, today, do not hold back your needs from the Almighty God. He has paved the way to walk to Him through His son Jesus Christ, to present your case, bear out your heart’s desire, and let Him do His part!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise to make my requests known to you, knowing you have heard me even before I utter a single word, assured that you will meet each and every one of my needs, according to your glorious riches in heaven!