Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Blessed to be a Blessing!

“The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.” Proverbs 11:25

This scripture is simply implying that generosity prospers a person. The New Testament counterpart to this verse is found in Luke 6:38 - “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into our bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

I am a pastor who loves my people and loves to see all of them blessed. But to be blessed, we will have to become bless-able. I want to help God’s people live lives of blessing, purpose, peace, and eternal impact for God. Linda and I have had a very blessed life throughout our years in ministry. I believe it is because we have cultivated a culture of stewardship with our time, talents, and treasure. When we first started out we adopted a lifestyle of generosity because we were immensely grateful to God for saving us and because He had birthed in our hearts a genuine desire to help people—not because we were looking for a great return on investment for our money.

I believe that one of the keys to a blessed life is when we see that blessing is a by-product, rather than the motivation, for giving. Giving is all about the heart. The blessings that we have received through life does not just result from sharing our material possessions, but God’s true blessings come from being generous and also obedient to God. We must be willing to hold with an open hand everything God has entrusted to us to be able to bless someone when God puts them upon our hearts.

Many people ask me how it is possible for a rural church in Shell Lake to raise an unexplainable amount of dollars to bless missionary works and touch the poor all over the world. I tell them that it is because we have the heart to bless the missionaries. Are we suffering impoverishment because we give so radically and extravagantly to bless others? I think not! We are only enriched in our joy and love toward one another because we have found the secret that “it is more blessed to give than it is to receive.” Generous giving is proof of our love. (2 Corinthians 8:24; 9:6,7,13) It is also proof of your faith and maturity.

We want God’s people to have a blessed life. The Bible teaches that when we give willingly and cheerfully from a spirit of generosity, that we will reap generously. (2 Corinthians 9:6)