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God told Abram: "Leave your country, your family, and your father's home for a land that I will show you. I'll make you a great nation and bless you. I'll make you famous; you'll be a blessing. I'll bless those who bless you; those who curse you I'll curse. All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you." [Gen. 12:1-3, The Message]
God promised the Land to Abraham, but it wasn't just an unconditional, purposeless gift. God had a plan and a purpose. He wanted all the nations of the earth to be blessed. Even when His plan involved working with one nation, God's vision has always been worldwide, as we see from John 3:16. It is a modern error to see Israel as the centre of God's plan instead of Jesus. Part of His plan to bring this blessing [which was ultimately Jesus Christ] was giving the Land to Abraham.
Just as God's giving the Land of Israel to the Jews of Joshua's day was not an end in itself but had a higher purpose in mind, so God does not give us our "land" just to consume on ourselves. He leads us into victory, but He has a greater purpose in mind.
If we are only trying to "possess our land" for our benefit, if all we can think of is our peace, joy, and wealth, we will run into difficulties. We will make an idol of our desires, shrivelling up into dried-up prunes. And then we will find God turning us out of the land and giving it to someone else [this is not about salvation].
God wants to give His favour to us; He wants us to enjoy all the benefits of His kingdom, but he wants us to pass them on. He wants to bless others through us. We have to go beyond the call of duty, if you like. We have to actively seek ways to pour God's favour on others. God's love sought us out even when we were His enemies. His faithful love flowing through us will seek out avenues to be a help and encouragement to others.
It may cost us time, effort, friends, acceptance, and, yes, probably money. But no matter what it costs, it cost Jesus far more to make the "land" available to us. Let's possess our land joyfully and be a blessing to others, "giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ." [Eph. 5:20]
One of the primary ways we can do this is to share the gospel with our friends as the opportunity arises. There is no greater blessing than coming to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Sometimes, we want to help others physically, especially around Christmas, but our finances are often low. Hand-made gifts are always lovely and reveal the love in the time and effort put into making them. Low-cost Bibles and DVDs can be purchased from places like Biblica. The "cases lots" are often inexpensive and save even more money. When finances are an issue, as for most of us, planning in advance is important; for example, if you would like to give your neighbours a gift card for a local coffee shop for Christmas, you can pick up one or two a month throughout the year [just be sure you know when/if they expire]. That way, the expense is spread out in small bits rather than one large sum. Be creative and see what God will do in and through you.
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