Benedictions are something that is practiced in churches throughout the country, but what are benedictions? A Benediction is a short blessing brought out of scripture to bless a congregation as they leave the gathering of the church. It’s a way to send off the congregation as they leave.
I like to view meditating on scripture like how a cow grazes on grass all day. They’re constantly chewing and eating the grass that’s laid out before them.
In the same way, when we meditate on scripture, we should throughout our day be “chewing” on it.
When we talk about meditating on Benedictions, we’re talking about constantly “chewing” on these passages throughout our daily activities.
These verses will serve as benedictions to keep your congregation “chewing” throughout the week.
1. Numbers 6:24-26
The LORD bless you and keep you;(ESV)
the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
What a passage to reflect and meditate on. I read this and think “what if I read this 2-3 times a day, for the rest of my life? How would my life change?”
I think about being reminded of God’s grace continually and how much gratefulness falls upon my heart to be reminded that I deserve death.
Yet Jesus continues to give me peace.
2. Romans 15:5
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.(ESV)
This verse really brings out the community of the church and what that looks like, as we know church isn’t a building.
The church is a community of believers who gather to praise and grow closer to Jesus.
To remind ourselves that we are in this together, not just independent people meeting up in the same place is really important.
3. 2 Corinthians 13:11
Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.(ESV)
Aim for restoration.
What a theme in every Christian’s life. And what a gift to pursue restoration in Christ with one another.
4. Ephesians 1:2
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.(ESV)
This has been one of my favorite openings to a letter ever. Paul uses it in most, if not all of his epistles.
It’s a very short way that he was able to communicate a lot of love and care for the people he was writing to.
5. Ephesians 3:17-19
So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.(ESV)
This Benediction is really good to reflect on because of how long it is. It displays a beautiful image of what a lifelong pursuit of Jesus Christ looks like.
To share this at the end of service could be so powerful, because of how practical it is. “being rooted and grounded in love”, “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge”.
These are daily things we can remind ourselves of, but also statements of a lifestyle all of us as Christians want to live.
6. Revelation 1:4-5
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.(ESV)
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood
I think a lot of Christians tend to stay away from Revelation because it’s full of prophecy and apocalyptic events.
In this context, it makes the passage above even more comforting. To think that a God who will show His full wrath in the end days, He’s also a God who freed us from our sins by His own blood.
Ponder on that, who are we to deserve such a gift as eternal communion with Him?
We’re nobody, but God through His love sent His son to provide a way, even though we don’t deserve it.
7. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.(ESV)
It’s a constant process to surrender more of our lives to God, to make the daily decision to carry our crosses and allow God to sanctify us. It’s an act of humility to allow the Holy Spirit to sanctify us.
It’s a reminder that I know I need daily, even though it’s such a simple truth that we all know, it’s so important that it’s brought to us daily.
How often do some of us go months forgetting the most basic truths and blessings God has put before us?
I promise you this, there’s never been a time I’ve regretted giving more to the Lord.
But I’ve always regretted holding back from the Lord.
8. Romans 11:33, 36
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!(ESV)
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Two things stick out to me the most from this passage, two things I think all of us should meditate on when reading it.
- “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!”
I love to think about this, that will be in an eternal state of having our minds blown with the depths of God.
Think about that for just a second. We will never know the fullness of God, and we will forever be in awe of His greatness.
The best part is, we’re in the present moment of that eternity.
- “To Him be glory forever. Amen.”
This has been something I’ve had to walk through myself. Understanding that if there’s anything good or righteous about me, it’s all because of Jesus and who He is.
So when people compliment me I say back to them “Praise Jesus” or “All Jesus” or “I’m just a slave to a perfect master”
Constantly trying to lay down all glory to the Lord, I deserve none of it, and he deserves ALL of it.
As brothers and sisters in Christ, I think we sometimes take for granted what a blessing it is to be able to have community.
All over the world, there are missionaries and believers that have to keep their faith a secret because of persecution.
My heart in sharing this with you is that through that gratefulness we may start to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ to pursue Him more. We have the opportunity to, so why not take it?
I’ve been learning to be more encouraging to those around me not only in their day-to-day activities and life but in their pursuit of Jesus.
Sometimes eternity can seem lofty, but the church is there to remind us that we get to experience eternity not only with God but with each other.
WHAT A GIFT.