Passing on God's Blessings
By Charles F. Stanley
Ephesians 4:25-28; 1 Timothy 6:17-18
I. Should believers always be generous? In tough economic times, our natural tendency is to be selfish with our resources. However, Jesus talked frequently about the importance of giving, even to His fellow countrymen who were made poor by Roman oppression. As believers, we should not hoard what the Lord has given to us, but be generous and willing to share (1 Tim. 6:17-18). God blesses us so that we might bless others.
II. What is a blessing?
The word “bless” represents an important biblical concept. When you ask God to bless someone, you are asking the Father to intervene in that person’s life and meet a need.
III. Our most important blessing is salvation.
Why did God save us?
- To keep sin from destroying our lives. Because the power of the Holy Spirit is available to believers, we don’t have to be devastated by the consequences of sin.
- To be conformed to the likeness of His Son. The Spirit gradually conforms our character to the character of Christ.
- To make us trophies of His grace. In eternity, we will be examples of the awesome power of the Lord’s goodness and mercy (Eph. 2:5-7).
- To bring glory to God. Our changed lives honor Him.
- To do His work on earth. He accomplishes His will through obedient believers.
IV. How did Jesus set an example for us by serving? (Luke 22:27). He . . .
- Fed the multitudes (Matt. 14:19-21).
- Healed the sick. He healed Bartimaeus, a poor beggar who was blind (Mark 10:46-52).
- Forgave sins. To the woman caught in adultery, He offered forgiveness and a fresh start (John 8:10-11).
- Raised the dead. Jesus brought Lazarus back to life (John 11:43-45).
- Comforted His followers. In John 14:1-2, He said, “Do not let your heart be troubled.”
- Assured them when they were confused. Before His crucifixion, Jesus promised they would see Him again (John 14:18-20).
- Saved those who were lost. He restored a wild demoniac to a peaceful life (Mark 5:5-15).
- Was patient with those who didn’t understand. Jesus explained to Nicodemus that the second birth is spiritual (John 3:3-6).
- Gave them peace when they were worried (John 14:27).
- Sacrificed Himself for the sins of humanity (John 3:16).
V. Who has served us?
Each of us can be grateful for the people who have made our daily lives safer, healthier, and more convenient.
A. Policemen, soldiers, firemen, doctors, and nurses
B. Thomas Edison, the Wright brothers, and other inventors
C. Servicemen, such as plumbers
D. Hair stylists and other professionals
VI. How should we serve others?
The Lord has been generous with us, and we should be willing to reach out to those around us. Because He . . .
- Saved us, we should “preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15).
- Loves us, we must “keep fervent in [our] love for one another” (1 Peter 4:8).
- Forgave our sins, you and I can forgive those who wrong us (Eph. 4:32).
- Provides for us, we should be generous with others (1 Tim. 6:18).
- Teaches us the truth, we should share our spiritual insights with others (Gal. 6:6).
- Comforts us, we can console others (2 Cor. 1:3-4).
- Encourages us (Rom. 15:5), we should lift up others.
- Accepts us, we can “accept one another” (Rom. 15:7).
- Admonishes us, we should encourage and caution those making unwise choices (Rom. 15:14).
- Is patient with us, you and I must be forbearing with others (Eph. 4:2).
- Is gracious to us, we can “be kind to one another” (Eph. 4:32).
- Challenges us to be obedient, we should stimulate others to good deeds (Heb. 10:24).
- Shares with us, we must contribute to the needs of others (Eph. 4:28).
VII. Conclusion: Are you a giver? Or are you best described as a taker? The happiest people I know are thos who generously give of themselves and their possessions. Cheerful givers can be assured of supernatural joy on earth and eternal rewards in heaven. I pray that you will trust God to provide all of your needs and freely share the blessings He has given you.
Passing on God's Blessings
Are you a giver? Or are you best described as a taker? As believers, we should not hoard what the Lord has given to us, but be generous and willing to share (1 Tim. 6:17-18). (Watch Passing on God's Blessings.)