A Psalm.Of David.
The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
2 for He founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the waters.
3 Who may ascend the hill of the LORD?
Who may stand in His holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to an idol
or swear by what is false.
5 He will receive blessing from the LORD
and vindication from God his Savior.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek Him,
who seek Tour face, O God of Jacob.
Selah (Think about it . . . meditate upon these words of Holy Scripture)
7 Lift up your heads, O you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?
The LORD Almighty —
he is the King of glory.
[Editor's Comment: When I was a pastor, an Air Force chaplain, and a college president it was my practice to give the benediction at the close of every worship service. In those days, I stood tall and measured 6 feet 4 inches in height. My arm reach is extensive and I would lift my hands high above my head and look at my congregation from left to right and wait silently as I did that. Then, I would speak these words in the form of a question: "Will You receive the Benediction?" The choice to receive or reject the benediction is the decision of the worshiper in that congregation. I have memorized many benedictions in the Bible and some not written there, like the Irish Benediction for which I was noted as an Air Force chaplain. Many people would not dare leave church or chapel without the benediction. It had meaning and significance to them.
The Holy Spirit revealed to me many years ago that I should memorize Scriptural benedictions after I understood the Aaronic Benediction recorded in Numbers 6:22-27. When I understood that it was the Words of Scripture that God uses to bless His people, and I obeyed God by memorizing many in the Bible, God anointed me to give them in such a way that it literally affected and effected those who received the benediction. What God does internally in the believer through His Word is supernatural and cannot be fully analyzed by the human mind. God reminds His people of His love and provision for them in spite of adverse circumstances. God does care for us.
The leadership of worship should be directed by the pastor. He may certainly delegate certain aspects of it to his lay leaders. When a pastor takes seriously the meaning and purpose of the benediction he will want to be the one to pronounce the blessings of God upon the congregation he has been given as a sovereign act of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I do not claim to have memorized all the benedictions in the Bible. I am not sure that there is anyone who knows all of them. I find them constantly as I read the Bible for my own personal spiritual edification. I often think or say, "I never saw that before." The Bible is a gold mine of truth. We will never be able to discover it all. It is indeed a continual process of adventure and blessings God has in store for us.
We are called to bless others. We are constantly being blessed by God, and so we should be going about blessing others with the Word of God. Often when I pronounce a benediction in private to an individual in person or on the phone, that person will bow his or her head in reverence to God Who gave that Word, and they will let me know how much that it meant to them. God's Word is powerful and can meet any need one might have.
As we approach the new year of 2016, let us be forever blessing others as the Holy Spirit directs us. Our lives will be blessed as we bless others.]