Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Becoming a Blesser

 This month's series = (1) give thanks    (2) give thanks always  (3)  blessings = what we're thankful for  (4)  utilizing your blessings (making use of, putting them to work!) - Blessings are not just for us to enjoy, but to employ

This week: 
Blessing (noun) - an act of God's favor, a free gift bestowed by God (on you)

Blessing (verb) ??  (1)  to speak well of - ie:  "bless the Lord O my soul" - example:  Eulogy
                             (2)  to pray God's favor upon - Mark 10:13-16 - we can do this, can't guarantee the results
                             (3)  to cause to prosper, to do better, to add to sense of well-being - example:  "that _____ really blessed me"

Beyond food and shelter ... people need to know and feel they are:

#1.  Loved (therefore, lovable) - not trash, not beyond redemption)
#2.  Valued (therefore valuable)
#3.  Significant - (therefore they matter - adding to their sense of well-being)
Anything that communicates this = Blessing!!!!  

People need blessing ..... (1) to thrive
Examples:  2/3 of inmates convicted of 1st. degree murder report childhood histories of physical abuse.
                  97% of hard core juvenile delinquents experienced a history of severe physical punishment and assault in their home.
                 80% of prostitutes report histories of child sexual abuse
                 over 60% of runaways grew up in abusive homes
                 90% of girls with anorexia (nervosa) lacked a close relationship with their father.

People need blessing sometimes (2)  to survive - example:  13th. century German King Frederick II experiment:  babies taken at birth and cared for yet without speaking in their presence and without any unnecessary touch (idea = to see what language they would speak.  ALL infants died.

An Italian historian recorded this with "they could not live without petting" - (1248 AD)

Today's term ' failure to thrive" - dozens of studies have shown "expressed love is the chief influence in mental, emotional and even physical health"

AND (3)  people need to know and FEEL Loved, Valued, Significant - head knowledge is not enough

Anything that Communicates to them, they ARE L,V,S constitutes Blessing - has to touch beyond the statement of fact!
Anything that communicates the opposite - Curse!!

Again  (1) people long for (desire blessing
          (2)  people need blessing to thrive and sometimes to survive.  ie:  all people.  nursing home residents, suicide cases
          (3)  It is within your power to Bless  - (or curse!)

Look at 3 forms of blessing ... Formal  -- Informal  -- Non-verbal
but 1st. "power of the spoken word" -
            Prov. 12:18, 15:4, 16:24, 18:21, Matt. 12:36, Eph. 4:29
Point??? it is within our power to bless or curse simply with the spoken word!!!

I)  Formal Blessing - given on special occasions.
Example:  Jewish Sabboth tradition = home, gather, praise wife, bless kids.  Then fill "cup of blessing" and share it around.
Application:  holidays?  birthdays? graduations? weddings?
Note:  formal blessing NOT accompanied by daily evidence of love, concern is not effective!!! 

II.  The Informal Blessing = expressing, communicating L, V, S, in simple, everyday life
Examples:  praise, compliments, encouragements, questions about well-being, a greeting, a call, a text, email, Card
(1)  on one hand, this is not flattery - people recognize sincerity
(2)  however, Mark Twain said, "I can go a week on a good compliment!"
(3)  NOTENames Matter!  because it shows significance!!

III.  The Non-Verbal Blessing - unspoken blessing
Definition:  "to cause to prosper, add to sense of well-being", so... anything beyond words that does this."
(smile, hug, gift, act..... etc.)

So..... Becoming a Blesser

#1.  Decide - intentionally!  (you hit what your aim at)

#2.  Watch for opportunity 

#3.  DO IT - example: at a gathering - "I'm gonna bless _____ people!"  This is easier for some. (gift), however, is the duty of all!! - Prov. 3:27, Heb. 10:24

#4.  Leave the results in God's hands 
a blessing doesn't always lead to transformation.  (blessings are accumulative!)
Your job = bless.  God's job is to transform!!!

#5.  Deal with your past. 
if were blessed - build on it!!!  - Luke 12:48
if not, Deal with it!!  - unpack baggage, break the chain!

#6.  Make Jesus your Savior and Lord 
in Him is the transforming power, new perspective, new Calling!!

What if - the whole community focused on "self"?
What if - the whole community focused on blessing others?

We are called to M.A.D./ M.A.E.D. - (make a difference, make an eternal difference) - Regardless of where you live, work, etc.  Num. 6:24-26

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