By Mike Chaffin
Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen. Romans 16:25-27
The last words in Romans are a benediction. A benediction is a blessing. Paul has finished writing the most important letter in the Bible and closes it with a very specific blessing. He is offering a blessing to God.
Giving and receiving blessings are an important part of our Christian walk. Jesus gave a sermon on who is blessed by God. We call it the Beatitudes listed in Matthew 5:3-11,
3Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
It is easy to see that some blessings aren’t readily felt by the person being blessed. Some blessings come later; we must have faith to see them.
Perhaps the best known and most used blessing in the Bible is Numbers 6:24-26,
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”
This is the blessing Paul describes when he blesses God for giving us the scriptures and opening them up to us to understand the blessing we received through Jesus Christ. That’s a blessing that gives us peace and salvation when we accept Jesus Christ as our savior.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for opening the scriptures to all who ask for understanding and wisdom. Thank you for the gift of peace through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Grow me as I grow closer to you. In Jesus’s name, amen.