December 4, Wednesday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by Cami King, was originally posted on November 21, 2014.  Cami now serves as a staff at Remnant Church in Manhattan.

 

Devotional Thought for Today

“Being a Blessing to Others”

Proverbs 11:10-11

 When the righteous do well, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there is joy. 11 A city is exalted by the blessing provided from the upright, but it is destroyed by the counsel of the wicked.

 “An upright, pious, sensible man is a great blessing to the neighborhood where he resides, by his example, his advice, and his prayers. The considerate prize him on these accounts, and rejoice in his prosperity. But when the wicked perish, who has been a general curse by the contagion of his example and conversation, there is not only no regret expressed for his decease, but a general joy because God has removed him.” (Adam Clarke)

Many good pastors have asked, “If our church closed its doors, would anyone notice?” With this question, they are challenging their congregation to be a blessing. It’s easy to do “Christian” things, whatever they may be, but in so doing we are called to bless those around us. This should be a natural outflow of our walk with Jesus, but sometimes it takes intentionality and effort. 

The prosperity of the righteous is good for the world because our prosperity marks the coming of the kingdom of God in greater measure. By prosperity, I don’t necessarily mean monetary affluence (although that’s not excluded), but abundant life in Jesus. As we prosper in Christ, our communities are blessed. 

Are those around you, Christian and non-Christian alike, blessed by your life? As you prosper, is there greater blessing for those with whom you come in contact? There should be. A guest speaker visited our church recently and shared reflection from the parable of the Good Samaritan. In his message, he said something profound – God desires that we bless those around us; even those who will never choose to believe our message.  

We are trained to do good as a means of bringing people to a knowledge of Christ so that they will be saved. This is a noble and necessary effort. But what about those who will not receive our message or with whom we will not have the opportunity to share it. Do we cease to bless them? Of course not! Why? Because God loves them and we should too!  

We are called to be a blessing. So, how will you bless those around you today? 

Prayer: Gracious Savior, you washed the feet the one who betrayed you and the others abandoned you and then you died for a world that, 2000 years later, still rejects you. Yet you still chose to love and serve and bless them with your life. In the same way, let my life be a blessing to the world around me today. Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 51


Lunch Break Study 

Read Genesis 12:1-3: The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Questions to Consider

  1. What do we learn from these verses about why God called Abraham and promised to bless him? In other words, what end goal did God have in mind? 
  2. As spiritual descendants of Abraham, delighting in the blessings of the promise God to gave him, how does your answer to the previous question challenge you to view God’s blessing in your life?

Notes

  1. God blessed Abraham so that he could be a blessing. Not only to those immediately around him, but to “all peoples on earth.” Yes, God loved Abraham and delighted in being kind to him, but his plan was much bigger than that – God loved the world and desired to bless everyone! 
  2. Like Abraham, we, too, are blessed to be a blessing. Therefore, we should feel challenged to bless those around us. Not that we have to arbitrarily do acts of kindness for the sake of fulfilling this calling (not that random acts of kindness are a bad idea), but we should re-orient our hearts to understand that our blessings shouldn’t end with us; they should continue through us to those around us. This can happen in many different ways. 

Evening Reflection 

Were there any observable ways that your life in Christ blessed those around you today? What, if any, practical adjustments were you challenged to make in your daily lifestyle as a result of understanding your calling to be a blessing? Pray and ask God to continue to open your eyes to opportunities to be a blessing to the people around you and to fill your heart with His love for them. 

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