1. "Make Me A Blessing To Someone Today"
"By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked." Proverbs 11:11
We just completed our series on "Songs In The Bible" and it has been a joy thinking about some of the great old songs that have stood the test of time. As I began looking forward to our next theme, this song from 1924 came to my mind. "Make Me A Blessing" was written by Ira B. Wilson. Let's look in the mirror of God's Word and see how we can be a blessing to others.
"Make Me A Blessing"
Out on the highways and byways of life,
Many are the weary and sad;
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife,
Making the sorrowing glad.
Make me a blessing, make me a blessing;
Out of my life may Jesus shine.
Make me a blessing, O Savior I pray,
Make me a blessing to someone today.
Tell the sweet story of Christ and His love,
Tell of His pow’r to forgive;
Others will trust Him if only you prove
True every moment you live.
Give as ’twas given to you in your need,
Love as the Master loved you;
Be to the helpless a helper indeed,
Unto your mission be true.
2. Let Your Light Shine
"Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Genesis 12:1-3
God made this great promise to Abram, later named Abraham. "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:" I want to focus on the last part of the verse, "thou shalt be a blessing". I want to be a blessing to others. I am not a descendant of Abraham, but notice verse 3 says, "in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." That includes me. Also we read in Galatians 3:14, "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." I have received the blessing of Abraham through Jesus Christ, my Savior. As a Christian, I want to be a blessing to others. I want to let my light shine for my Lord. Jesus said, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16) Many today live in the darkness of sin. We can be a blessing to others when we let our light shine and glorify our heavenly Father.
3. Serve Others
"So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." John 13:12-17
When I wake up each morning, before I even get out of bed, I thank the good Lord for another night's rest and another day. I pray and ask the Lord to let me be a servant for Him and a servant to others. He often answers my prayers, and as I answer my phone during the day, I thank Him for giving me the opportunity to help those who need me. Several in my family have joked about my mom and me being "Two women and a truck" because we have moved all kinds of stuff. We can't always load or unload it, but we drive it where it needs to go. Jesus took on the role of a servant when He washed the feet of the disciples. It is not a custom in our day to wash each other's feet, but the example Jesus gave was to be a servant to one another. We can be a blessing to others by serving others. I don't print out ads telling people I will move their furniture, or paint their rooms, but God knows my desire to serve others and He answers my prayers. Many times I go to bed really tired from all the work I have done, but I thank Him for each opportunity to be a servant to others.
4. Be Kind
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32
I have five children and when they were young, they sometimes had squabbles as siblings often do. I tried to teach them memory verses that would help them learn Bible truths. The first part of this verse was one that we often repeated, "...Be ye kind one to another..." We worked on this verse a while and I was reading my Bible one day and came to Proverbs 31:26. "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." I was teaching my children to be kind, and I had to stop and think, did they find the "law of kindness" in me? From that point on, I worked to show them kindness in my words. I have noticed people out and about who seem to be kinder to strangers than they are to their family members. If we want to be a blessing to others, then here is a good place to start. I have often heard it said, "A little kindness goes a long way" and I believe it. Be kind. Be kind to your children and grandchildren. Be kind to the cashier checking out your groceries. Be kind to your spouse. Be kind to the co-worker who seems to irritate you daily. Be kind to your pastor and church members. Show kindness and you will be a blessing to others. "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
5. Pray For Others
"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit." James 5:16-18
I believe that the most effective way we can be a blessing to others is through the prayers we pray for them, because the blessings come from the Lord. Look at the end of verse 16 again, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." The Bible is filled with examples of men and women who prayed and God worked miracles in their lives. God is still God. As Christians we have the privilege of prayer and we can experience the power of prayer. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16) Through prayer we can find help for ourselves, but we can also help others through our prayers. Paul realized the blessings that came through the prayers of others. "Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf." (II Corinthians 1:11) I don't think we fully understand the value of prayer through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I know that I could spend more time in prayer. Don't wait for your family and friends to ask you to pray for them, but spend time each day in prayer and fellowship with the Savior on their behalf. "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (I Timothy 2:1-6)
6. Let The Potter Mold Us As He Sees Fit
"1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
2 Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;
8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.
9 And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them." Jeremiah 18:1-10
Preacher David Younger preached about the Potter and the clay at our revival meeting Tuesday night and it was a message we need today. It is good to be reminded that God is our Potter and we are the clay. Preacher Younger went through the steps the Potter takes from finding the clay, to picking out the bad spots, molding the clay and firing the clay. When the Potter is completed the vessel is shiny and useful. How foolish it is to think that the clay can tell the Potter what it wants to be. Yet, we often tell the Lord what we want to be and how we want to be used. "Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?" (Romans 9:20-24) Paul gives us four types of vessels molded by the Potter. There are vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor. There are also vessels of wrath and vessels of mercy. Don't fight the work of the Potter. Don't think that the fiery trials of this life are all accidents of chance. God has an expected end for His children. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." (Jeremiah 29:11) If we yield ourselves in the hands of our Potter we can be a blessing to others as we become a vessel that can be used by God.
7. Use Your Talents According To Your Ability
"And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey." Matthew 25:15
Jesus told this parable and I know that the talents were money, but today I want to look at them like talents, or abilities. God has given us different talents and abilities to do different things. Some people seem to have many talents, while others may not know what their talent is. We find some of these gifts listed in I Corinthians 12:28, "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." Some are called to preach the gospel, while others have a gift of teaching. I think musical talents are also gifts that God can use for His glory. We can be a blessing to others when we use our God given talents for Him. I enjoy hearing people sing who have a heart for the things of God and live for the Lord. If God has given you a talent or gift for singing, use it for His glory and you will be a blessing to others. Maybe you can't sing or play a musical instrument, look within and find your special talent. Of all the gifts Paul mentions, I like the gift of "helps". I know some people who just like to help people. I think God has blessed me with the gift of "helps". It blesses me to be a help to others. Don't get discouraged about the things you can't do. Ask God to show you what you can do and give it all you've got.
8. Send Some Good News
"As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25
We did not have email, or facebook, or even cell phones when I was growing up. But we did have a mailbox in front of our house. Once or twice I got mail and it made me feel so important. I don't even remember who sent something to me, but I remember how excited I was to get a letter with my name on it. Mail is not as exciting today because most of it is asking for money, in the form of bills or advertisements. Sometimes we get a card or letter from our children or grandchildren, and I feel the same joy I had as a little girl. Good news brightens my day. I hang the new drawing, or photo, and card on my refrigerator for everyone to see. Think about someone who has been special to you; your Mom and Dad, Grandparents, or maybe an aunt or uncle. Your Sunday School teacher may have had an impact on your life. Would you like to be a blessing to that special person? Send that person some good news. There may be someone from your past that would love to hear your voice on the phone. It may be even more special to visit your grandmother and grandfather and let them know you love them and were thinking about them. You can do it the modern way and send a text or email to someone you care about. Or, you can do it the old fashioned way, and write a letter, stamp it, and put it in the mailbox. It will be cherished and may end up on the refrigerator, and read over and over again.
9. Look Up To The Son
"My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up." Psalm 5:3
I was driving down the road Saturday morning and I passed some yellow wildflowers along the side of the road. I noticed them because they were all turned toward the sun. On up the road there were more, and around each curve, on either side of the road, they all faced the sun. I thought about this verse in Psalms, "My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up." I thought about how each morning we need to look up toward the Son. Jesus talked about the beauty of the wildflowers in the fields. "And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:28-33) As I kept driving I thought about how these wildflowers really had no purpose, except for those like me who noticed their beauty. I also decided that if they can turn their faces to the sun, looking toward the light, I can turn my face to the Son and bask in His Light.
10. Go The Extra Mile
"And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain." Matthew 5:41
My thoughts today are very simple... "Go the extra mile." I don't really know why someone would ask another person to go a mile with him. Maybe travel was so dangerous that it was safer not to travel alone. Maybe the reason was for fellowship, or even direction. Whatever the cause, Jesus told His followers that if someone asked them to go with them one mile, they should go two miles. Today we would say, "Go the extra mile." We don't really use the phrase for travelling, but for many different areas of life in which we can give of ourselves a little more. My Mom is a good example. When I planned to cook for several people on Sunday she offered to bring dessert. She not only cooked her special, made from scratch chocolate cake that everyone loves, but she also baked another dessert and helped clean up after lunch. If I ask her to help me with something, she always goes beyond what I ask her to do. She always, "Goes the extra mile." The best example is our Lord. Look at the description of God's love by Paul.
"14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." (Ephesians 3:14-21)
Do you want to be a blessing to others? Then share God's love and "Go the extra mile."
11. True Joy -- Jesus, Others, You
"And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:28-31
I have heard that true joy comes from putting Jesus first, others second, and yourself last. We can see the contrast in what is often said, "This is my life and I will live it the way I want to." This is far from the truth as we see in Romans 14:7 "For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself." We can carry this thought a little farther for those who are saved. "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (I Corinthians 6:19-20) A loving way to be a blessing to others, and also please God, is to put their wants and needs ahead of our own. Dorcas is a great example of someone who put others first, making them coats and clothes for the widows, and she was a great blessing to others.
"36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
38 And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.
39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.
42 And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord." (Acts 9:36-42)
12. Making A Difference In Someone's Life
"And of some have compassion, making a difference:" Jude 1:22
Our theme is, "Make Me A Blessing", and we have been looking into God's Word to find ways we can be a blessing to others. We need to ask ourselves the question, "Are we content to wander aimlessly through life, or do we really want to make a difference in someone's life?" This verse from the little book of Jude tells us how we can make a difference. "And of some have compassion, making a difference:" We find several examples in the New Testament that shows us the compassion of Jesus. One example found in Mark 6:34, "And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things." Through His compassion He healed the sick, and fed the multitudes. He even told of The Good Samaritan to teach us compassion.
"25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise." Luke 10:25-37
If you want to make a difference in the life of someone else, have compassion!
13. Be Faithful
"Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." I Corinthians 4:2
You may be asking, "How can my faithfulness be a blessing to others?" First of all, you will be an encouragement to your pastor when you are faithful to God's house. If you sing in the choir, you will encourage your music leader, and you can also be an encouragement to your Sunday School teacher by being faithful to Sunday School. By being faithful to God you will be a witness to those around you. The world often remarks of hypocrites in the church, well, show them that not all who profess to be Christians are hypocrites. Let's look at some of the faithful men and women in the Bible who were a blessing to others. Noah was faithful and built an ark, thus being used of God to save mankind from total extinction. Moses was faithful and led the Children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. Ruth was faithful to Naomi and became a mother in the lineage of King David, and eventually our Lord Jesus. Esther was faithful to her people and saved them from destruction. The prophets were faithful in delivering God's message to His people. In his last letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul shows how his faithful friends had been a blessing in his life, and we also see the sadness in his heart from the unfaithful Demas. "Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry." (II Timothy 4:9-11) Above all, God is faithful, as we read in I Corinthians 1:9. "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." I close with these words we long to hear. "His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (Matthew 25:23)
14. Don't Be A Busybody
"For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies." II Thessalonians 3:11
"And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not." I Timothy 5:13
For the past two weeks we have seen that we can be a blessing to others through things such as prayer, serving others, and by our kindness. Most of the things we have seen are things we can do, but today we see something that we should not do. The Apostle Paul called them busybodies, people who wandered from house to house "speaking things which they ought not." Some today try to make it okay by calling it a "prayer request", but what it comes down to, is gossip. When we go about telling things we should not tell, we are tearing down the church. James was very strict in what he had to say about the tongue. "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain." (James 1:26) "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." (James 3:5-8) No matter how much effort we are putting forth to be a blessing to others, it can all be torn apart by our words.
15. Give Water To A Thirsty Land
"For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward." Mark 9:41
As the first tropical storm of the season makes its way across our state, I have been watching the rain through the windows. I see water standing in various places in the yard and wonder when it will dry out enough to mow the yard. Today I want to talk about water. Jesus assures us in His Word that if we give just a drink of water to servants of Christ, we would be rewarded. I am also reminded of Elijah and Elisha in II Kings 3:11, "But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD, that we may enquire of the LORD by him? And one of the king of Israel's servants answered and said, Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah." Elisha was known as a prophet in part because he was a servant to Elijah and poured water on his hands. We have already talked about Jesus taking on the role of a servant to wash the feet of His disciples. The people of that day did not have running water as we do today and I believe water was more precious to them. We probably waste more water daily than they drew from the town well. The Lord is our living water.
"6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw." (John 4:6-15)
We need to offer this living water to a thirsty world. Our church gives out cold bottled water at the annual fall festival of the town. Along with the water, we hand out gospel tracts and share the gospel message of the Lord, the living water. We can be a blessing to others when we water the land with God's precious Word. I close our theme with this thought from I Corinthians 3:6, "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."