Blessed to be a blessing

In reflecting upon this past Sunday’s sermon, I had a few thoughts I wanted to share with you to function as a type of reminder and encouragement.

Reflect on this:  God has bestowed His fervent and devoted love upon the Church in and through His beloved son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus has restored humanity to enjoy the full meaning of life in displaying what it means to be truly human.  Christ has removed the effect of the curse that was caused by sin and has blessed humanity by restoring them back to God’s original design shown to us in Genesis 1 and 2.  In Christ we are redeemed, forgiven, and restored to being God’s people who bear His image of blessing, display His blessing among the nations, and rejoice in experiencing God’s presence once again.

The purpose of humanity since creation remains the same:  we have been blessed to be a blessing.  It was the same for Adam and Eve as it was for Israel, and as it continues to be true for the Church today.

In Jesus, the church is blessed to be a blessing and, as part of that blessing, Christ has formed us to live in…

A community of  humility and tender-hardheartedness in a world of bitterness, anger, and gossip.

  • 1 Peter 3:8-9 “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.  Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”
    • Our response to criticism or an attack that is done in any tone, even an abusive or angrily manner is to be a response of blessing.
  • Hebrews 12:14-15 “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.  See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”

A community that loves and prays for it’s enemies within a world of hate.

  • Luke 6:27-28 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and bless those who curse you, prayer for those who abuse you.”
    • Living as a people of blessing on display, we understand that, as the world hated the father, we will certainly be hated as well.  However, we are to live as a community focused on love and prayer for those who may not only be enemies, but those whom we may find difficult to like all the time.
  • Hebrews 12:2-4 “Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”
    • The harm done to us is in no measure what our Savior had to endure as He was led to the cross.  May we also remember that our sin against the father is far greater than any amount of sin that has affected us.

A community of selfless generosity and giving within a world of selfishness.

  • Matt 25:34-40 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come to you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
    • Jesus has said earlier that “He did not come to be served, but to serve.”  He understood that He was already blessed, so He was to do the will of the Father and bless others.
    • We are to be selfless with our time for the purposes of the King.
    • We are to be selfless with our resources for the purposes of the King.
      • Selfless as we tend to the hungry.
      • Selfless as we tend to the sick.
      • Selfless as we tend to  those in prison, etc.

>> Food for thought – The US is the wealthiest nation in the world.  Haiti is the poorest nation within the world.  Haiti is only a 1.5 hour flight from Florida.  Although the US is not a “Christian” country (we can discuss that in another blog) the Gospel has saturated the US nation and we as the American church are part of the wealthiest people in the world whether we realize it or not.  Are we being a blessing in the sight of the nations when another nation so close to us is dying?  Same thought goes for Mexico that is just south of our boarders. <<

A community of truth and hope in a world of disillusionment and consumer satisfaction.

  • John 4:13-14 “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give will never be thirsty again.  The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
    • A Consumer world does not satisfy.  It only leads to more disillusionment.  When we give in to consumerism, placing or highest satisfaction on items and experiences, we believe in a lie and are blinded by the worldly philosophy that happiness can be found apart from God.
    • In Christ, we have been brought into the presence of God to experience His Spirit, His Forgiveness, and His life.  JESUS IS ENOUGH!  Jesus is beautiful and the Gospel satisfies the greatest hunger and thirst our flesh will ever desire.

In order to live in community like this, these ideas must move past the intellectual realm and reach into our daily lives.

  • How do you show humility in response to a bitter co-worker?
  • How do you practically love your neighbor?
  • How do you  give generously when the world tells you to take care of yourself first?
  • How do you show the hope that Christ represents to a world that can’t see past their own selfishness?

1 John 2:6 says, “Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.”  We look to Christ for the pattern that we can follow and we only do these things through the power of the spirit.  Remember Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (emphasis added).  We have the Holy Spirit residing within us and through Him we will have the strength to live like Christ.

The Gospel is attractive and the blessings of Christ are on display when the People of God are living out their salvation as a light to the nations.  We are blessed to be a blessing and this is our true nature since creation, through Israel, and IN CHRIST.

May we walk in the forgiveness and new life of Christ and display His Blessing to the lost world around us.

You have been blessed to be a blessing!

Luis