"God bless you." People say this to each other all the time particularly after a sneeze. It probably never occurs to most of them that these words can unleash the power of God into a person's life. Are some people really able to command blessing on other people just by speaking it? The answer is, yes.
Funny how most people will accept "God bless you" from a total stranger without even thinking about what it means or the significance behind it. All they know is that it sounds like a good thing and makes them feel special.
But there's more behind the words, God bless you, than you think. God's blessings have power to change lives. When you say, "God bless you" to someone, you are inviting God to bestow his favor on them. Here's what that looks like:
In biblical terms, to bless is to declare God’s truth into someone’s life and to announce God as the gracious, sovereign Lord who intends to flood His children with goodness and joy. When we pronounce a blessing, we serve as witness to the truth that God’s generosity and power have by no means been extinguished. --- In-Touch magazine
Most people will admit that the thought of being blessed by God is a good thing, whether they think they deserve it or not. Few people realize, however, that God 's blessings don't depend on how deserving a person is. God blesses everyone, believers and unbelievers alike. That's just his nature. The Bible says:
The Father who is in the heavens causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and unjust. --- Matthew 5:45
God looks upon his creation with love, and more than anything, his blessings are simply the way that he shows it. The common understanding of being blessed by God is that we receive good things from Him. People often say that they feel blessed in response to the good things that happen in their lives. Blessed because they got the job they wanted, or maybe, got out of debt; blessed because they got into the college they wanted on a scholarship; blessed because they were healed from a serious illness or maybe, survived a deadly accident; blessed that the bullet just missed...and the list goes on. God makes no secret of the fact that his blessings are meant to win over the hearts of everyone he desires to come to him. His blessings serve to remind us of how good he is.
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: 'I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness'. --- Jeremiah 31:3
Perhaps, the blessing behind the blessings is that God offers forgiveness even when we sin and turn our backs on him. The Bible makes it plain that Jesus came to earth to offer humankind the way back to God. That's why when Jesus was asked why he spent so much time hanging around with sinners, he answered:
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. --- Luke 30-33
God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8
Anyone can pronounce a blessing, but God gives those who believe in him special authority to use his name to bless others. Next time someone sneezes in your presence, smile and ask their name. If they comply, now you can make it personal, "God bless you, Carolyn." Hopefully, when you say or hear those words from now on, you'll think about the real blessing behind them, embrace the practice and share your new insight with someone who doesn't know the God behind every blessing.
God, I need your blessing on my life today. I realize that my sins have separated me from you and I am sorry. Please forgive me. I accept Jesus as your sacrifice for my sins. I ask Jesus to come into my life right now and help me to live for you from this day forward.