2009-10-14 - A Blessing to Others
Note from Jan: You may think, after reading this devotional, that Tim and I coordinated our devotionals, since the topics are related. However, it's all totally coincidental, or as someone has said, "Godincidental." Neither of us had read the other's devotional until yesterday (when mine went out in e-mail) and today (when I proofed his), respectively. Evidently it's just a path that the Lord is leading CF down at this time! Enjoy!
Psalm 144:15, How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.
Are you a blessing to others? Let us hope that we are, and striving to be so even more, but maybe the question can be asked better by asking, How can we be a true blessing to others? There would be many answers, if we posed this question on the street in Manhattan. I can imagine some of them: Give me a winning Powerball ticket, Make my mortgage payment, Change my husband so that he loves me, Make my children obey, Give me relief from this affliction I am under, Help me find a new job, Give me hope. Those are but a few and they touch, all but the last, on present realities in this life. How can I live better now? And this is what many want. I would suggest the last statement (Give me hope) is what the Christian offers to the world. I would plainly state that all questions respecting the believers ability to be a blessing to others, focus and center in the hope that is in Jesus Christ.
It is Christ who heals marriages, makes us happy in our jobs, and able to endure afflictions. It is Christ alone who can do this. Christ in the Christian produces a character that brings consecration to all around them and in them. The Christian would never be a blessing to others, if they first did not receive from Christ, and what they share and lead others into is not something tied to this world, but rather something that supersedes this earthly life and looks beyond and through it. The outward is a reflection of the inner life. The inner life is a life of hope and joy.
We first have to be growing ourselves, before we can be a blessing in others. This means steady growth over time. We all know the fungus kind of growth that looks promising for a moment, and then melts away when it is hit by the sunlight of life in the world. It doesnt last long. But the practical holiness that the Christian knows is one that flows outward from what is true inside. The life that he/she shares with others comes from the vibrant life that he/she lives daily before the face of God. It is a new nature given to them. They have hope, so they can give hope. The know peace, so they communicate peace. Like a tree, it grows steadily, weekly, yearly, over decades until it is a mighty oak sharing the comfort of its shade with all who come near. We must grow daily in the things of Christ, if we are to be a blessing to others.
Holiness, purity, virtue, and love are heaven in the soul of the follower of Christ. They share it. Others see it and are drawn to it. It has to be this way. The Christian is not saved in sin, but from sin, and they have a burden lifted that puts other attempts to find happiness to nothing, when compared. It is the first step in being a blessing to others: Live near to Christ. He is the source. He is the fountainhead of all blessings, and when we draw near to Him, we cannot help but impact those around us.
Anxiety, worry, unbelief, and fear are the flip side of this. It is what those who have no hope do have every day. Christ gives freedom from these things, and replaces them with things of which the world is not worth, and cannot understand. How can we be a blessing to others? Draw very near to the Lord, and live faithfully before Him. The specifics, I am quite certain, will flow nicely from there.
Soli Deo Gloria,