This month I am the guest contributor for devotions at the His Kingdom Come community. Their focus this year has been on who God says we are; our Christian DNA. They have explored this theme through bi-monthly "I am" statements. November's theme is "I am blessed to be a blessing".
November 4, 2016
In 2002 Rick Warren wrote the book "The Purpose Driven Life" which quickly became a best seller and topped the New York Times Bestseller list for over 90 weeks. The first line of page one, chapter one says, "It's not all about you". That statement is followed by this paragraph:
"The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose."
"It's not all about you". This is a great statement to take into our hearts and minds in a culture that is very "me-centered". Even in the church community we can forget that we have been given a call to look to the needs of others. A number of years ago my church community did an extensive search through the Bible exploring God's call on His people. Out of that journey we saw a call for God's people to be focused on others and to be generous in our care and love for other people. There is a saying now that we use in our church community to express all that this call of God envisions: Blessed to be a blessing.
From the very beginning God has always had a plan that His people would be a blessing to others. In fact, many times it is through His people that God himself blesses others. God's call began with Abram (Abraham) in Genesis 12:2-3 and it is in this passage that the saying can be found.
“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
God laid the groundwork with Abraham for how he sees the role of his people in the world. “I will bless you and you will be a blessing to others.” Unfortunately, for most of the Old Testament history the Israelites kept their blessings to themselves. Then Jesus comes on the scene and calls us back to God’s others-focused intent for us. Through His words and His actions, Jesus showed us how to live as the people of God. After washing his disciples feet in John 13, a job that in that day would have been done by a servant not their teacher and Lord, Jesus tells his disciples (and us):
“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:15
He goes on to tell them in John 13:34 that the greatest of God’s commandments is to love God and love others, and that by loving others we will reveal God to them. (John 13:35, 1 John 4:12) throughout the New Testament we find 91 verses that call us to a lifestyle of focusing on "one another". God does not bless us so that we will hoard those blessings and keep them to ourselves.
Paul shared this same message with the Corinthian church:
“God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it,
He throws caution to the winds,
giving to the needy in reckless abandon.
His right-living, right-giving ways
never run out, never wear out.
This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:8-11, The Message
Sharing God’s blessings with others shows God’s grace at work in our lives.
Worship Video: Blessed to be a Blessing by Hillsong
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