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It is More Blessed

by Levi Sisemore

12/20/16 - Spiritual Maturity


“Blessing” is one of those words that we use in a common vernacular, but we hardly reflect upon its biblical origins. “Bless your heart,” we say (sometimes, even, as a backhanded comment), or “you’ve been a blessing to me” (as a genuine compliment), but what does it really mean to “be blessed” or even to “be a blessing”?

Blessings are not lucky charms nor happy coincidences. Blessing is not a pronouncement that one party has earned more of God’s favor than another. In the Bible, blessing may be understood as working to bringing about good for someone, or even as an act of greeting or prayer that invokes good for someone, or seeks to avert or neutralize evil. In a simplest sense, it may be an act of praise by which a benefactor – human or divine – is acknowledged and thanked for good things (“benefits”) received or expected. (Some paraphrasing from the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary).

In other words, blessings are just words unless the heart (meaning) and the hand (work) are tied to the pronouncement. It’s not enough to simply wish someone well and lift not a finger for his wellbeing. “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (I Jn. 3:8).

In this time of year, there is much focus on charity. That English word means something like taking care of others’ needs by gift, donation, and volunteerism. However, generations ago the word “charity” was interchangeable with “love.” What a beautiful picture, it’s not just love “in word or talk,” but charity is where love takes action.

Look around you at the needs (spiritual, emotional, physical) of others and be a blessing in their lives. Be God’s agent for heavenly good by giving and sharing yourself and your goods with others. “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (Jas. 2:15-17).

It’s wonderful to be blessed, but it’s even better to be a blessing.

“…by working hard … must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35).

-Levi Sisemore-- is between preaching assignments


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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33