When we say to someone, 'God bless you' as they leave or sneeze, are we really saying to them, "God turn you from your wicked ways"?
Reference: v.26 "When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways."
Explore: 'Bless you' is an interesting phrase, particularly among Christians. Sure enough when someone sneezes most people will say 'Bless you' for reasons stemming back to the Bubonic plague breakout in the 1300's. However, when we say 'God bless you' to others, what are we really meaning? Maybe it's a way to farewell someone, hoping they have the Creator of the Universe with them as they go. Maybe we want what is best for the person and believe that God is the only one who can provide that.
If we look at this verse in Acts we will see that Peter felt that to be truly blessed was to be turned away from our wicked ways. Now that puts a different spin on things! When we say to someone, 'God bless you' as they leave or sneeze, are we really saying to them, "God turn you from your wicked ways"? It's not usually what I have in mind when the words come out of my mouth. And yet, is that not the best life we can live? When we turn from our wicked ways, then we are moving more in line with God's ways, and that is when we are in the best place we can be.
Application: We can never be in a better place than near God. That is when we can catch a glimpse at His greatness and give him the praise and honor that He is due. When we have our hearts set on worshipping God then our actions will follow through by loving Him and loving others, just as He commanded us. Not only will we receive the blessing of being in His presence and doing His will, but we will be able to blessing to others as well as we serve them as God desires. This often involves discipline and hard work, but the rewards of serving God outweigh the challenges every time. May we have the strength and courage to be blessed by God today.
Prayer: Lord, you have given us life, love and grace. We pray that we may continually be blessed today, not for wealth or earthly needs but be blessed by being turned from our wicked ways. May we live in your way today. Amen.
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.