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Be a blessing and BE blessed

What does it mean to "be blessed?"





One definition for the word blessed is - "bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune." [Merriam-Webster online]


Who doesn't want some of that?


Most people want to "be blessed", but don't think about first, being a blessing.

In the book of Matthew chapter five, Jesus talks about what we call, the "Beatitudes", which is defined as "supreme blessedness" [Matthew 5:1-12]. In the last two verses of that passage, Jesus finishes up by saying, Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for, in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you."


I don't know about you, but when I think about being "blessed", that isn't exactly what I have in mind. I dare say, that isn't what anyone would have in mind. Do you see the contrast between Webster's [this world's] definition of blessed and God's? Sure, God's idea of "blessing" and our idea of blessing isn't always the same, but sometimes it is. As Christians, we need to accept ALL of God's blessings no matter what. I know many who can testify that some of their greatest "blessings" came through their greatest tribulation, challenge or heartache.


Jesus said, "...the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” [Matthew 20:28] The apostle Paul said, "Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor." [1 Corinthians 10:24] Jesus teaches us in His Word that we are to consider others before ourselves, and Paul mirrored that teaching in the way he lived his life.


God has made it so, in His economy, that when we choose to be a blessing to someone else, when we choose to serve someone rather than worry about being served, we too are blessed, and in most cases, far more than the person we chose to bless!


The old saying, “In order to have a friend, you must first be one”, is true enough, but it might be said that “in order to be blessed, you must first be a blessing.”


Sometimes, when we least feel like being a blessing is when we most need to be...for others and for ourselves. There is something in the way God created us, that when we sacrifice something for someone else when we put someone else first, we are instantly blessed ourselves. Of course, we shouldn't set out to be a blessing "so that" we can be blessed. Again - God's economy is perfect. There must be authenticity for true blessings to abound.





Consider the following...


If you were to bless one person each day for a year, at the end of the year, you would have blessed 365 people. Try getting all of those people in one room at one time.


What if you blessed two people a day? Imagine getting 730 people in one room. After ten years of blessing only two people a day, you will have blessed 7,300 people. Twenty years – 14,600 people. Forty years – almost 30,000 people. Now, try getting all of those people in one room! That’s a stadium full of people that YOU would have blessed in some way throughout your life by just choosing to be a blessing to two people each day. Imagine if you blessed even more!


The blessings I’m talking about don’t have to be elaborate. They don’t have to cost you a dime or take a lot of time. Sometimes it’s just a smile that you intentionally give to someone or a word of encouragement.


I think we can all agree that this world needs more of that! Maybe you simply open the door for an elderly person or someone of a different race. Maybe you give someone a hug who desperately needed it that day, or perhaps your pocket change or maybe even more; the possibilities are endless.


Imagine if we each went a step further and chose to be the greatest blessing of all and tell that person about Jesus Christ! A popular quote says, "Preach Jesus every day and if necessary, use words." We may not always get to "share the gospel" in words with every encounter, but we can seek to share the gospel through our actions by choosing to be a blessing. However, be open to sharing the gospel with words as the Lord leads you. He promises to always give us what we need when we need it. [Luke 12:12]


Starting today - simply ask God to make you a blessing to someone today! I promise you - He will!


Below is an excerpt from a devotional I started writing four years ago but set aside [I'm trying to finish it up] called - Be a blessing and BE blessed. It will include real-life examples from my own life and the lives of others. I hope you enjoy!





“Smile and the whole world smiles back at you.” Anonymous


Sometimes just smiling at someone can make their day.


My heart goes out to elderly folks when I see them by themselves because I often wonder if they have lost their spouse after a lifetime of being together.


One day, many years ago, I was pushing my grocery cart up an aisle in the store and I saw this elderly man coming in the opposite direction toward me. My heart instantly went out to him and I thought to myself, “I’m going to make eye contact with him and smile so that he knows that someone 'saw' him today.” I softly said a prayer asking God to make me a blessing to that man, and as our carts approached one another, I made sure to look his way and smile; I nodded my head and said “Hello”. Upon which, he stopped his cart, and said “You, young lady, have the most beautiful smile. Thank you for making my day.” Whoa! I didn't expect that. It actually startled me for a second. I thought “Oh my. What have I done?” But that simple, free act of kindness, that choice to be a blessing to him, from a true heart of compassion, in turn, instantly became a blessing to me. Him calling me "young lady", well, that was just blessing upon blessing. [lol]


No doubt it was a blessing to him. He said, “Thanks for making my day.” But I was so blessed that I cried the rest of the way up the aisle. It didn’t cost me a dime and only took two seconds of my time, but look what happened; not one, but two people were blessed in that grocery store aisle that day. And me, probably more than he.


Scientific research has shown that smiling actually releases endorphins and serotonin in the body; both of which have to do with “feel-good hormones”. So even if you’re going through a difficult time right now, choosing to smile is not only good for someone else, it’s good for you.


"A glad heart makes a cheerful face..." [Proverbs 15:13]


Make it your mission to simply smile at someone today!


Be a blessing and BE blessed!


My Prayer:

Father God, I thank You for Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for the love of Christ that lives in us, through the Holy Spirit as believers, and gives us a heart of compassion for others. Make us a blessing each day to the people all around us, and cause our hands and feet to follow after our hearts. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

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