Yesterday, we saw that we are blessed to be a blessing to others. Today, we get to see how blessing others changes us. In God’s plan, we take on renewed value, a conduit for his loving kindness, but blessing others has a personal benefit:
Blessing Up Others Actually Builds Us Up (Luke 18:29-30) And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”
Jesus reminds us of what we heard so regularly in the Christmas season or from our grandparents and we scoffed at it, “It is better to give than receive!” Sure grandma! If you say so! It turns out she was right, we get to give freely now as an investment for eternity!
A lot of the time though, the universal church has become known for the wrong things; instead of who we bless—building others up– the talk revolves around who we’ve judged—brought down. Maybe you are here this morning, a nonbeliever invited by a friend, just visiting, and you’ve had that experience. I am sorry for that! This doesn’t mean the church isn’t to stand for truth, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t called to boldly proclaim truth, but it does mean we cannot expect those outside of God’s covenant to live according to it. Listen to what Paul wrote, (1 Cor. 5:12-13) “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges.” Paul sets us free, from having to be the morality police, and allows us to focus on blessing those around us as a way to show them a better way of life—in the process we start living for eternity rather than living for something which is ephemeral. When we live in the reality of eternity with God’s provision, it allows us to step out of what is ordinary to love in an extraordinary way!
A newspaper article from 1994 highlighted a surprising discovery in the nation’s capital.
Graffiti was found, now that is not all that rare, but this was unique because it was from the1800s. A worker discovered the message while renovating the Washington Monument and was shocked by the different tone from what is usually found on sides of buildings or subway cars.
“Whoever is the human instrument under God in the conversion of one soul, erects a monument to his own memory more lofty and enduing (sic) than this,” reads the inscription which can now be viewed by visitors to the monument.
It is signed BFB. No one knows who that is, or who left the small drawings and 19th century dates on other walls. The markings in the lobby of the monument were covered over when it was decorated at the turn of the century. They were found when workers removed marble wainscoting as part of a year-long $500,000 renovation which was just completed. Spokesman-Review, June, 1994.
Want to leave an enduring legacy, want to be remembered, want to bless someone in a way that is truly meaningful? Share with them the Living Word of Christ. You don’t have to beat them over the head with God’s word turned weapon, but instead share what has touched your heart and applies to their lives, in conversation, over lunch, as you are blessing them. Theologian, pastor, and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer showed how blessing others builds us up: “Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are entitled to as we are.”
Blessing others changes you as it changes the circumstances of others!