Be a Blessing!

Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Psalm 103:1-2 (Amplified Bible)

“Bless—affectionately, gratefully praise—the Lord, O my soul, and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name! Bless—affectionately praise—the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all [one of] His benefits.”

The concept of blessing has come to hold more meaning to me than ever before. We either bless or curse with our mouths. At times I have talked about how actions speak louder than words. That does not mean we are to be silent—rather we are to speak blessing into situations and then act in the manner that is consistent with our words.

When performing wedding ceremonies, I present this challenge to the couple: “Will you listen to (her/his) inmost thoughts and be considerate and tender in your care of (her/him)?” That is a very good challenge for every couple. Listen to other people’s inmost thoughts! Be considerate! (That means doing to others as you would have them do unto you – that is the Golden Rule!). Be tender! Care for each other! Think of the difference it would make if we all put that concept into practice.

Many of us are familiar with the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5, Jesus introduces a godly lifestyle. He does this by presenting the Beatitudes. Each of the Beatitudes begins with the phrase, “Blessed are you.” The phrase sounds good, but do we really have an understanding of its meaning?

I am captivated by the meaning of words. Each day I delight in solving the crosswords in the newspaper, which I supplement with books of former crosswords puzzles from the New York Times. Believe me, they are mind zingers. The nuances of words can determine several different meanings. Just as the word bless in the above passage means to affectionately praise, so the term blessed in the Beatitudes has more depth of meaning. In the Amplified Bible, it is rendered this way: “Blessed — happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous [that is, with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions].”

Throughout Psalm 103 we read of conditions that we tend to complain about, instead of blessing the Lord for. You will notice that it is far beyond our normal understanding of the term blessed or blessing. It is not just saying, “Have a nice day, if you can work it into your busy schedule.” On the contrary, it means, “Keep your eyes on the Lord and not on the circumstances.

A humorous story is told of two boys who had totally different views of life. One was a complainer who never was satisfied—the other was a kid who loved life and loved people and was always looking for something positive in every situation.

As the story goes, a team of sociologists wanted to put the two to the ultimate test. The first boy was placed in a room filled with wonderful toys, games, and pleasant things. He did nothing but gripe and complain about first one thing and then another. He demonstrated his outlook on life, and it was not a blessing to him or those around him.

The second boy was placed in a dismal room filled with nothing but piles of horse manure. After a time the researchers returned and found him happy and joyous, grinning from ear to ear. When they asked him why he was so happy he replied; “With all of this horse manure, there just has to be a pony somewhere!” He was looking beyond what he could see and visualized what was possible. That, dear friend, is the concept of blessing that Jesus was teaching.

Where do you fit into the concept of blessing? When someone asks, “How are you doing?” and you respond, “Pretty good—under the circumstances.” ask yourself: What am I doing under the circumstances? Get out and above them. Begin to be a blessing by blessing people in a meaningful manner.

I will continue to sign my letters and correspondence with a blessing. My deepest desire is that you now will know what I mean when I bless you!

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

— Pastor Cecil

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Insights on John is part of the 15-volume Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary series. This newly revised and expanded edition draws on Gold Medallion Award–winner Chuck Swindoll’s 50 years of experience with studying and preaching God’s Word. His deep insight, signature easygoing style, and humor bring a warmth and practical accessibility not often found in commentaries.

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