Having an opportunity to travel over the past couple of weeks has made me realize even more that there are so many who are blessed by the lives of Christians around them. So many stories have been told of those who have been blessed by obeying the Gospel, choosing to live Godly lives, and showing forth a great example to others. There is no doubt that the Christian life blesses. But, many have taken for granted the impact that Christians have on others. With the admonition to “be ye holy, for I am holy” as found in 1 Peter 1:15-16 and the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus explained that the scope of our holiness affects others, we easily see that we are not an island to ourselves. Our lives affect others.
- Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:13-16).
Our lives should bless others emotionally, benevolently, and spiritually. We have opportunity by our teaching, our example, and our means to help and bless those around us.
Emotionally, we have opportunity by our example to show others how the Christian life sets the stage for how we are to react to life’s daily grind and circumstances. Events that happen in our lives are met with reactions that the world may find strange. While in stages of grief at the loss of a loved one who was faithful to God, we are still able to find reason to rejoice (Revelation 14:13). This is foreign to the world’s view of death, which offers no real comfort. For we know that God continues to bless the child of God who serves faithfully (Revelation 2:10). The faithful Christian knows that even in the trials of life he can find reason to rejoice (James 1:2ff). Those around us may see how we react in these difficult times and learn from our examples. However, we are also afforded opportunities to help and comfort those who are dealing with the discouragement of life’s tragedies and difficulties. The apostle Paul wrote:
- “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
These verses show how God blesses us, but will also be the source of blessing that we would bestow to others. God, in fact, uses us to bless others in their difficult times.
Benevolently, we are taught to be proactive in blessing those around us. Paul makes clear that we have the responsibility to be helpful to those in need. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in do season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9-10). Here is a way that not just by example, but also by our very hands and even by financial means we may benefit those around us. Paul reminded the church at Philippi that “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). It is natural then for us having been so richly blessed to turn and help those around us who are in need. So many have been converted to Christ through benevolent works of the church by both the individual and the church collectively. This naturally leads us to the greatest blessing of all.
Spiritually, we have the great commission that guides our efforts as children of the Most High God. The Son of God came into this world to “seek and save that which is lost” (Luke 10:10). Jesus prepared His apostles prior to His ascension with direction and goals:
- Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:19-20).
- And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:15-16).
- Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained (John 20:23).
- And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:47).
We continue that work at ever opportunity attempting to teach our family, our neighbors, our co-workers, etc. Seeking those who are lost so that we may teach them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This takes a conscious effort on our part as God’s children to teach God’s power to salvation (Romans 1:16) to those who are spiritually separated from God because of their sins.
While our example is paramount in blessing others by our Holy living, our teaching the Lord’s Way is tantamount in giving direction for others to live Holy lives. May God continue to bless us so that others may be blessed, as well.
article published in The Gospel Journal, Feb. 2012