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Message (Brick) & Response (Rock) Genesis 12 Discussion
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Genesis 12: 1 begins, “Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing." What are the ways that God promises to bless Abram in Genesis 12: 1–3?
The principle here is that God doesn't bless us just for us. He blesses us so that we will be a blessing. What do you think this means?
In the optional reading below, we learn that Jesus is the fulfillment of this promise by becoming the ultimate blessing for the whole world. In Philippians 2:1-5, we see the same pattern – we are blessed in order to be a blessing. Discuss how you see this pattern in Philippians.
Where do you see the pattern of extending our blessings to others in the following passages:
- The blessing pattern extends even one step further – briefly discuss this verse: 1 Peter 3:9
- From what you have read in these verses, how would you define a blessing? Craft a definition to share with the group.
- List 5 creative ways you could give a blessing to people in your life that fit with the definition your group came up with.
- Choose 1 blessing to extend to someone in the church community. Choose another one to extend to someone from where you live, work, and play who is not following Jesus.
- Share with your group your 2 chosen blessings – invite them to ask you about how your blessing experiment went next week.
Going deeper: the ultimate blessing through the OFFSPRING OF ABRAHAM
Earlier in Genesis, God promised that the offspring of the woman would crush the head of the offspring of the serpent (Gen. 3: 15). God then promises to bless the offspring of Abraham. He says, “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12: 3), and “To your offspring I will give this land” (Gen. 12: 7; 15: 18). In Jesus’ day, the Jews claim to be legitimate offspring of Abraham— but Jesus says that they are of the devil (John 8: 39– 44). The apostle Paul clarifies that we are offspring of Abraham not by bloodline but by “faith line,” connecting this explicitly to Genesis 12:
Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. (Gal. 3: 7– 9)
Paul then clarifies that this biblical, God-spoken promise “does not say, ‘And to offsprings,’ referring to many, but referring to one, ‘And to your offspring,’ who is Christ” (Gal. 3: 16). Jesus Christ ultimately fulfills God’s promise to bless the nations in the offspring of Abraham. However, this blessing is not fulfilled only in Christ as an individual, for “as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. . . . And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3: 27, 29).
6 Practices (3 of 6)
Read a chapter a day. Sign up for our current Bible reading plan today at http://mydailymuse.org. Pay special attention to learn about Jesus, his ways and means. Ask God to speak to you and do what He says. Sometimes we also read sections of a book together.
Eat 2 meals. Each week, share a meal with someone in your faith community and someone from the places you live, work, or play who, as far as you know, is not a Christ-follower. Jesus is already at work in each of us – listen in how He wants to express His friendship through you.
Extend 2 blessings. You are blessed to be a blessing, so give something that would be received as good news with 2 people each week – for one person IN your Christian community and one OUT to a not yet Christian from where your live, work, or play. Blessings can range from a simple email of encouragement to a gift of some sort. Do something that joins you with the person in a relational investment rather than something simply for someone, which tends to elevate the giver more than the recipient.
Go on a 9-month mission trip without taking time off work, leaving your neighborhood, or spending a small fortune. This is a chance to invest time in the lab or learning and start to launch out in love to your neighbors.