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The Power to Bless

If Not For God / Mike Zwick
The Truth Network Radio
December 30, 2020 1:00 am

The Power to Bless

If Not For God / Mike Zwick

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December 30, 2020 1:00 am

Mike talks with Pastor Alan Wright, Sr. Pastor of Reynolda Church (EPC) in Winston-Salem, NC and President of Alan Wright Ministries, about his new book, "The Power to Bless."

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If not for God with my have a real special blessing today.

Alan right back with Mike and we got some really cool stuff to talk about here in 2021 it's there already. Mike it is there already, and Dr. I would write. He is the lead pastor Novick church EPC in Winston-Salem and he has written several books and and were excited about a new book that you got coming out on February 2 of 2021 of 2021, and it is the power letter back when I was looking at the book I would actually reminded of the story and without Barbie directed the story it said years ago, a teacher in Detroit at Dede Morris to help her find amount that was lost in the quadrant you see she appreciated the fact that nature had given Stevie something no one else in the room at nature had given Stevie a remarkable pair of ears to compensate for his blind eyes, but this is really the first time that Edie had been showed appreciation for the pelleted ears. Years later, he said that this act of appreciation with the beginning of a new life. You see, from that time on he developed his gift of hearing and went on to become under the stage name Stevie wonder, one of the great pop singers and songwriters of the 70 and so when I look at that story and that was the first thing that I thought of what I what I was looking at your book pastor Allen but we were talking about just a minute ago. What is it mean to bless well, thank you for having me to be with you to talk about what is perhaps the dearest life message that I have been living by and parenting by and are trying to build my marriage on and has been fueling everything I do as a pastor. The idea of blessing that I began learning about 25 or 30 years ago in the story about Stevie wonder is a great example Mike at that is exactly what the power of an affirming word like hey to a little kid. You've got great hearing and that could really be useful. What happens is that that does something to shape a child's identity and it is out of our identity.

The destiny is released. I think the world has it completely backwards.

We tell people hey don't let anybody tell you who you are. You just look inside yourself and you'll be able to figure it out.

Know the Scripture says exactly the opposite. The Scripture says that it's like we've got sent tainted spectacles on the John Calvin put it where all born in sin and we we don't see the truth about ourselves and instead we are prone to believe lies about ourselves and get around identity and live out of that a wrong identity and so what God has given to this is the power to bless blessing is simply put, a biblically grounded positive affirming vision spoken over someone's life with faith when the blessing becomes very powerful is when you know how someone think of someone you love and you see a virtue and that person better than he or she sees it themselves.

They can be very simple thing but in the beginning God made it clear that this is the way he wants to fuel our productivity in the world because God blessed Adam.

Even then he said, be fruitful and multiply. I think most my life Mike I was just looking to just completely the opposite of that.

I feel like that world was tell me if I'll be fruitful of all be productive if I'll do well then I'll be blessed, and it then creates a life of strife, but with God.

The blessing comes first. He blessed he affirmed, and then he said out of that deep sense of your identity out of that deep affirmation of who you are and what you're destined to be from that you will find the power to be productive in your life.

And so to bless someone is to see into their life.

According to the Scriptures and according to the uniqueness of the way that God has made them, and to affirm a vision over the life speak it out and I believe Mike that when we do that that something greater than then I'm your complement something much more than wishful thinking and something different than prayer happens. I think what happens is a mystical release of of power for transformation and productivity in life.

In other words, I think that the power to bless is the key to all growth and transformation if were going to do it God's way amended in your book you actually talk about the whole blessing that Ephraim and Minna right yeah I became fascinated by this seemingly obscure story of these obscure boys, Ephraim and Manasseh years ago because is probably the most important family blessing in the history of Israel because every Sabbath, Hebrew fathers, to this day.

Hebrew fathers bless their boys say. May God make you as Ephraim and Manasseh, well that's strange because Ephraim and Manasseh are so obscure.

You would think if there was going to be one blessing that God wanted to be spoken over children every single week you might think it would be. May God make you like Elijah and Elisha, or may God make you like David and Solomon are. May God make you like Abraham and Moses or something like that but Ephraim and the NASA and so I drew my attention and many years ago.

I believe the Lord gave me an insight about this strange story and I'm in a very short way because it it's a beautiful story and that the really get it. You need to look at almost the whole story of the life of Jacob, but to give a real quick synopsis and maybe some listeners know the story. Jacob was the second born twins and he always felt like he was trying to get in first place.

In fact, he was grabbing a hold of his brothers heel when he was born and that he can. I've been deceived, he stole his brothers birthright and then in the moment of unbelievable deceit.

Jacob actually pretended to be his brother Esau so that he could pretend to be the firstborn so that he could get that very special blessing that everyone in Hebrew culture understood was reserved for the firstborn son firstborn son, and that culture would get a double portion of the inheritance would be set apart by the patriarch of the family for a very special destiny and on the whole, just the firstborn son got all the attention will Jacob was the second born, and he felt like he could not be blessed unless he was in first place.

So he put on some of his brothers clothes and put on some animal skins to make him feel hairy like his brother Esau, when and before his aged father Isaac who was blind by that time, and tricked him out. The thing that's incredible about this story is that Isaac blesses Jacob, thinking it's Esau and then Esau comes in and looking for the blessing and Jacob has stolen it. Esau deserves it and you would think you know the way we think and Western cultures. Well, okay, no big deal is just words just taken back Sabbath. Wrong again all bless the right one as what happens. Instead what happens is, is striking. Shocking.

The text says that Isaac when he heard this news and realize he blessed the wrong son, the text says Isaac trembled violently and Isaac said I have blessed him. I bless Jacob and indeed he will be blessed Mike when I read that text and really went down in the mud that some I sold some 30 years ago II. It stunned me because what I realize is it it is it is a proclamation. It is an affirmation. That blessing has irrevocable power, you can't take a blessing back. No, interestingly, curse can be broken but blessing cannot and even the sins of the parents go to the third and fourth generation. But there's a limit, but the blessing of God goes on to generation to generation to generation and generation and never stopped. So Jacob runs for his life because Esau wants to kill them.

Jacob lives a life of striving is whole life. If anyone knows the story of courses, son, beloved son Joseph is sold off into slavery by his brothers and Jacob thinks that his beloved son Joseph is dead but Joseph actually rules in Egypt and eventually there is a reunion in which Jacob realizes that Joseph was alive and an emotional scene of reunion and Joseph welcomes Jake up into Egypt will during this period of time that Joseph was in rule was sort of Prime Minister of Egypt. God blessed them with two sons, Manasseh, the firstborn, which means in Hebrew, something like forget in the text says they named him Manasseh because God made them forget all of his troubles and then he had a second son while he was ruling in Egypt and they named him Ephraim Hebrew ABF Friday team and is an interesting word because in Hebrew there is not only singular and plural. But there's also a double form i.e. Ms. the double form meets twice and the frame.

Ephraim means twice fruitful way these two boys one was named forgotten all my troubles and the other was named twice fruitful and when Jacob came to die very much like when Isaac was nearing his death in Joseph found out about it. He rushed over and the main thing on his mind was he wanted his father Jacob who is now called Israel. He wanted him to bless Joseph boys if rim and Manasseh, so I brought them in any put them before Jake up and the first thing Jacob did was set. I want to adopt them. This is part of the story. We don't have time today to talk about it, but all mine is beautiful. He adopted them so that they got in a share of the promised land.

They got a share of the inheritance and then he proceeded to get Ray to bless them. Joseph came and did the appropriate think he put Manasseh under Jacob's right hand because Manasseh was the firstborn and Manasseh deserved of the firstborn blessing. Any put Ephraim the second born under his left hand because it's the sign of the lesser blessing, but Jacob did most odd thing he crossed his his arms over and put his right hand on the younger son Ephraim's head and put his left hand on the firstborn would Joseph of course very respectful of his father and thought maybe his father just couldn't see well and didn't understand so he literally took his father's hands and move them back said no my father, this is Manasseh he's the firstborn, your right hand goes on his head in the left-hand and the text says that Ephraim crossed his hands again is that I know my son. I know Jacob essentially was saying I know what I'm doing. Unlike Isaac, who didn't know what he was doing and when he blessed the wrong son Jacob said I know what I'm doing. This is not an accident. I'm putting my right hand on the undeserving second born Ted to give him the strong firstborn blessing.

So it's a story about same way Jacob did about a undeserving son getting the blessing that should've been reserved for the firstborn son. Well, why in the world. Does this become the blessing that Hebrew fathers are mandated to speak over there sons every single week and is so interesting to look and read all the rabbis throughout history who try to suggest why Ephraim and Manasseh, you know, the most prevalent answer amongst the rabbis, the rabbinical literature is it Ephraim and Manasseh, unlike the other siblings in the Bible. They got along well together. Well, that might be an impressive thing with no sibling rivalry indicated but surely there's something more than that, that's going on and I think it's this Mike and this is what drew me into the story and thrilled my soul is that 2000 years are so 1500 1700 years later there was a firstborn son. His name was Jesus Yeshua the Messiah and he lived a sinless life and you deserve nothing but the right hand of blessing of his father, but there came a moment and sheer obedience to his father's will to save the world that firstborn sinless son went to the cross and there he experienced godforsaken as he experienced what it was like to feel the right hand of blessing in those moments as if it is lifted off of him and he cried out.

Ellie Ellie Lammas, Tommy, my God, my God, why view forsaken me, and in that moment, the unthinkable happened a great exchange for anyone who trusts in Christ. The second born. That's all of us. The ones of the Ephraim's the ones that are undeserving. Anyone who trusts in him, God extends his right hand. He crosses his hands and extends his right hand of favor and blessing to us is if we were the firstborn, so Jesus took our curse and we got his blessing and I believe that God all those thousands of years wanted Israel rehearsing the gospel to every week in Hebrew home when a father says. May God make you as Ephraim and Manasseh, and he blesses his sons he blesses his children without realizing it. He is announcing the gospel long before Jesus ever came so it might thanks for let me share with it.

One of the dearest stories, I think in the Bible Jacob in the end I thing understood grace. He understood that blessing is not something reserved for the deserving but blessing is a gift that comes by God's grace. So in the book the power to bless.

We go all through that story and what else is symbolized in this Manasseh is forgotten all my troubles. I forgot all my troubles Ephraim twice fruitful. All of this is pointing. I think to some of the essentials of what we do in our blessings every day with one another. We want one another to know that you can live a life and I want you to live a life in which are not shaped by the troubles of the past.

You don't live out of the woundedness of yesterday, but that the forgiveness of God in the redemption and restoration God so complete, you can Liz live as if you forgot your troubles and to be twice fruitful is to have the power of God at work in your life by the gospel and maybe for some of her listers. Right now I just need to hear this word, you can be twice as fruitful as you ever would be by your own strength and power and to bless someone is to speak out the favor of God like you, for Manasseh to speak about the future of favor that you haven't warranted, but because of the merits of Christ you can receive all of that and so much more is in the power to bless my kids agency. I get talking too much, but it is a it is a thrilling journey to move in life from feeling unblessed to knowing yourself blessed. Ultimately, we can become like Paul who says we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ and that blessing shapes are whole.

Our whole destiny. It really does. You will not be called day but you know, make it a little bit personal. You actually have a story euro that right yeah well I had a wonderful dad was very intelligent and gifted a TV news man won the Edward R. Murrow award for broadcasting, was a pioneer in investigative reporting and was well known everywhere in the Triad because he was on TV and the love my dad very much a TT code for peewee football team and but but one is in fourth grade.

He left home. He struggled often on throughout his life with alcohol and so it limited the interactions you know that I had with dad and he, like so many fathers in that generation. I would hear stories all the time about how he would talk about me and my brothers. The other people he would brag on me almost obnoxiously. I think talk too much about us but when it came to him actually looking me in the and Saint-SaŽns. I'm really proud of you and here's why.

Like so many in that generation that I did never hear that and that there was a time in which dad had actually gone through some some therapy of his own is doing well and we were meet with a counselor together and I said dad said there with my brothers in the counselor. I said I'd like you to bless me and it was interesting. The counselor didn't really know what I was talking about other didn't either so I explained, much like I have with you how the Hebrew patriarchs bless their sons how powerful it was to hear from a father, a positive vision over his life and dad said he would. When he came back to her next counseling session in the blessing he had written was simple, it wasn't.

It wasn't super spiritual or profound, but I cherished those words as if they've been spun with gold. It is an incredible thing to have a person that's important to you speak a life-affirming vision. I wish it could have been more for me and so one of the things Micah did was I sought out spiritual fathers and others who could speak blessing into my life and then made it a point in my life when I became a father told my wife as it will go build our house and grounded on blessing, and you know Mike, I just would love for listeners to know this is not complicated, it is deep. It is mystical it is incredibly powerful but it is not complicated and in the book, which I actually have a blessing worksheet that anybody can learn to craft a blessing and a and you can make it just part of your daily life know maybe I could give an example. I remember back when Bennett was little our son. We play golf together so much and he loved often. I remember one day he was young maybe he's 10 years old. We play golf and the very first holy double bogey that he was a good golfer as a junior and so you know make a double bogey and you got all room around already a golfers can understand and I saw him I saw his face cool rat.

I know he felt like get mad and just there's a thing that can happen golf like it like in life you get frustrated early on, it ruins the whole rest of the thing and you gotta find a way to move on so he did find a way to move on. He played good round and on the way home.

Here's how blessing works is this simple. We just run home is a minute I said you know I saw something today. I said, I'm really proud of you as an effort so you botched it has been whole. And I know you felt mad. I know what it feels like if you're getting frustrated as though your club and the like, but you didn't and you pulled it together and an interruption really good round and I said you know the Bible's got a phrase for that is called self-control and said you're young you're very young. I said, but already I'm seeing in you a lot of self-control and in my experience of observing people, men who have a lot of self-control go very far in this world. I think you're going to go far because you have self-control. What I took about 32nd Gen., at most, I was thinking back, I don't remember my dad ever seen one single thing like that to me. I think most people hadn't heard those from people that they love and trust.

But you see how that can go in shape and identity.

Bennett went on to have extraordinary self-control in his life become one of those discipline kids academically ever seen. He just graduated from Duke Law school and near the top of his class and I think part of it was just to sit there and practice the self-control to put away. Other things you go in and plan study in the books. Well I think that's the way it works.

I think it's it's is something this very simple and we don't realize how powerful it is.

But parents can learn this coaches, teachers and and certainly we, in our marriages and friendships we can learn to bless and it's not hard it's not complicated but it is exceedingly powerful, and far far reaching for the people we love you and I were you in the introduction or beginning of the book. He said it is reading the book, or if they're looking to that and it is a habit encouraged other people or blocked other people you're not doing that fishing I'd actually hurt people or that look to the back.

No other people. It is not necessarily come natural to arrive at.

It may be something that we have to work on and it may not happen overnight that right exactly because it you know as soon as I start talking about this and I know there's a parent listening right now going all know I didn't raise my kids like that is too late. What will the first is say is shame off you that that this is not about hey we didn't do it right. This is about learning a new way that we can start today and it's about a proven process that the biblical that works and that anyone can learn to do. And here's a beautiful thing.

Remember, all curse can be broken and blessing. It has irrevocable power. So many by listening and you want to start learning a life of blessing you can start today and I promise you it's not magic, but it is God's way and it will start shaping others and it is to say for any of us who missed blessing and we needed it that we can learn to receive and end of the book is designed Mike to just teach people how to bless but also to actually bless them. So it's it's a it's a book about others who have read and endorsed the book say this is a book that when you read it. Your your you're not only inspired and blessed but you learn to bless others and so I believe that the book will help people to do to do both. So shame off you if you if you've not been blessing others and shame off you. If you haven't received the life of blessing.

Let it all start today what it all start today and if people want to go ahead and order the book.

There are a couple website that right you can go to the power to bless.com and there if you preorder with our instructions. Then the pre-ordering process from Amazon.

We will be able to get you. Also a free audiobook.

So a big value there. It really helps the launch of the book for there to be lots of preorder.

So anyone that wants to help get this message out.

That really does help and there some other perks as well.

The power to bless.com and if you forget that you can always learn more about it and all of our resources@pastorand.org after hours and I will take you so much for show today.

It's always a blessing to be up and talk to you. You're so encouraging. I first heard you on the Truth Network.

So if anybody's interested as well go check out Renault. The EPC indefinitely. Pick up a copy of the book I would apply Mike, thank you so much for having me is always always a privilege to be with you and I should listen to this today in your thinking she I would like that second blessing on me right I want that right hand switched over and had never done that I may want an opportunity right now to to pray with the sound. Would you give us an example of how that could join in that second blessing. Yes, in fact, may be better yet if you let me listeners. Let me speak this blessing over your life. May God make you as a friend in the next knowing yourself and cries adopted and secure safe and him forever more.

Being assured that by the merits of Christ that you have been redeemed and the past is over and the future is ahead of you are not shaped by yesterday's mistakes and God's intention for you is to be fruitful by the power of the spirit may you walk in the power in the fruit of the spirit as he shows favor over your life today and every day with the right hand blessing of God is not forgotten you. This is the Truth Network


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