Archive for April 8th, 2013

from JO’s sermon tonight:

everywhere we go, we should look for opportunities to be a blessing.  it doesn’t have to be something big:  you bring your coworker a cup of coffee in the morning;  a small act of kindness. or on the freeway, traffic backs up, you slow down, you let that car in in front of you;  just being good to people.  you don’t have to, there’s nothing wrong if you don’t, but you’re on the lookout for ways that you can be good to people.  on the forefront of your mind is not, “how can I get blessed?” but, “how can I be a blessing?”  if you will make somebody else’s day, God will always make your own day;  if you’ll bring a smile to their face, God will bring a smile to your face.  this is the most rewarding way to live;  not, “what can I get?” but, “what can I give?” not, “what can you do for me?” but, “what can I do for you?”

Acts 10:38 (NIV)

38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

the first thing Jesus did, before healing, ministering, delivering, was he was good to people.  we all have an assignment, a ministry;  it may not be up in front of people, or to go overseas and be a missionary, our ministry is to be good to people.  that’s one of the best witnesses that we could ever have.  you don’t have to necessarily preach them a sermon, argue doctrine, try to make them believe what you believe, just be good to them.  our actions speak much louder than our words.  we can say all day long, “I love you,” but true love is seen in what we do.  if I really love you, I’ll be good to you, let you have the parking spot, even though I got there first;  I’ll prefer you.  God said to Abraham:

Genesis 12:2 (NIV)

“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.

one key to being blessed is are you willing to be a blessing.  God is not going to increase us in the way He wants if we don’t we make it a priority to be good to people.  being good to people is better than preaching a sermon.  being kind, generous, compassionate, speaks much louder than any words.  we should have a goal every day to do at least one good thing for somebody else. don’t wait for a special occasion, it doesn’t have to be Christmas, their birthday, anniversary, no, just an ordinary day;  bring your spouse home some flowers.  you’re at the mall, and you see that blouse that would look good on your friend;  buy it and take it to her.  “what’s this for?  it’s not my birthday, Christmas?”  “no, it’s because you’re my friend, and I wanna be good to you.”  you can’t be good to everyone, but you can be good to the people God put in your life.  you need to study them, listen to what they’re saying, be sensitive to their needs.

Galatians 6:10 (NIV)

10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

when you’re good to people, you’re sowing a seed for God to be good to you.  “I don’t have extra $ to buy a computer monitor”;  maybe not, but can you buy a cup of coffee for a friend?  can you clean the kitchen, give your spouse a night off, take time to compliment someone, brighten their day?  that doesn’t cost anything;  don’t miss opportunities to be good to people.  you hear your coworker talking about how they’ve gotta take their car into the shop for repairs;  “hey, can I give you a ride, you need me to swing by and pick you up in the morning?”   you’re on the lookout.  that young couple that just had a baby, you hear them talking about how tired they are, how they’re not getting any sleep;  don’t say, “oh yeah, I remember those days, that’s a really tough time,” no, be sensitive, that’s an opportunity to be a blessing. “hey, how about my spouse and I come over and babysit?  you guys go out to eat one night and have some fun.”  are you looking for ways you can be good to people?  the more you bless others, the more God will bless you.  when I’m good to other people, God will always be good back to me.  my assignment is to be good to people;  that’s one of the main reasons God has put us here.   if we’re going to reach our highest potential, we have to make it a priority to be a blessing;  not just big things, small things:  borrow my cellphone, give a compliment, a ride home, stay late and help a coworker.  all through the day, we should be looking for ways we can be good to people.  the real joy in life is not in what we get, but in what we give;  there is no greater feeling than in making somebody else’s day.  we were never created to be ingrown, and think about me, my dreams, problems, challenges;  that’s a shallow way to live, that’s why some people are not happy.  we were created to be givers;  when you help make somebody else’s dream come to pass, God will always make your own dream come to pass.

Proverbs 11:17 (NLT)

17 Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel.

when you’re good to others, yes, you’re doing them a favor, but really, you’re doing yourself a favor;  your own soul is being strengthened, your own life is being enriched.

2 Corinthians 8:7 (NLT)

Since you excel in so many ways — you have so much faith, such gifted speakers, such knowledge, such enthusiasm, and such love for us — now I want you to excel also in this gracious ministry of giving.

he could have said, “I want you to excel in sports, business, medicine,” that’s all good, but he said, “what I want you to be really great at, excel in, is in giving.”  I’m gonna live my life as a giver and not a taker.  If you get around me, I better warn you, you’re going to get blessed.  I’m gonna study ways that I can be good to you, encourage you, buy your dinner, be good to your children, help make your dreams come to pass.  I’ve heard it said:  if you want happiness for an hour, take a nap, if you want happiness for a day, go fishing, if you happiness for a month, get married, if you want happiness for a year, win the lottery, but if you want happiness for a lifetime, be good to people.  so often, we are praying for a miracle;  we have to realize we can become someone’s miracle. look around at who God has put in your life;  you may be their miracle.  there may be miracles in your closet, in storage, that furniture, equipment, those outfits you’re never going to wear again, you could give them to a friend and become their miracle.  you can become someone’s miracle;  “I am not going to give away my umbrella to a total stranger, it cost me $22.95,” listen, you can’t out-give God:

Luke 6:38 (NLT)

38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.

when you’re good to people, when you meet a need, become a miracle, God will make sure that you get paid back;  your gifts, generosity, kindness will come back to you.  you go around being good to people, and God will make sure that people are good back to you.  when you’re kind to people in their time of need, God will make sure somebody will be kind to you in your time of need;  your gifts will come back to you.  every opportunity you have, be good to people.  you don’t know why God has put that person in your path;  it’s not a coincidence, God has strategically lined up every person, every detail, every step of your life.  now do your part;  don’t miss an opportunity to do good.  even small things;  giving a glass of cold milk, giving somebody a ride, letting them use your cellphone.  you say, “I’ve got my own challenges, I’m dealing with this health issue, got these problems in my finances, I didn’t come all the way out here to hear about being good to people, I want somebody to be good to me,” no, you’ve gotta sow a seed:

Psalm 37:3 (NIV)

Trust in the Lord and do good

most of us know how to trust, we’re believing for a breakthrough, healing, promotion, we’ve got the trusting down, now we’ve gotta move on to step 2 and be good to somebody, be a blessing.  if you will become a miracle, that is the seed God will use for your own miracle.  in difficult times, it’s easy to fall into self-pity, and think about my problems, “I can’t believe this is happening, I don’t understand it,” no, get your mind off yourself and go out and be a blessing to someone.  being good to people in your time of need is one of the most powerful things you can do.  don’t let that difficulty cause you to become ingrown and sour, “I don’t feel like doin’ it,” no, shake it off and go out and be a blessing.  the medical report may not look good, but don’t you sit around at home all day and just think about it, get out of the house and go cheer up that neighbor.  if you can’t leave, bake some cookies and give it to the mailman.  if you can’t get out of bed, at least pick up the phone and call and encourage a friend.  when God sees you not only trusting, but doing good to people, that’s when He promises your gifts will come back, your kindness will be returned;  you’ll not only come out, you’ll come out better off than you were before.  being good to people is contagious.  when you go out of your way to show kindness, you start a chain reaction;  you compliment someone, puts them in a good mood, and they compliment someone else, on and on.

there are enough chain reactions in the negative;  “they were rude to me, I’m upset, I’m gonna be rude to somebody.”  no, let’s start some chain reactions of kindness, being good to people;  not waiting for special occasions, no, “I heard you’re going on a trip, let me run you up to the airport, so you don’t have to pay that $ for parking.”  your generosity will not only bless that person, it’s not only a seed for God to bless you, but it’s contagious;  it will inspire them to be good to others. what would happen if every one of us would do at least one good thing for somebody every single day?  what would our office, school, home be like, if we made it a priority to brighten somebody else’s day?   you don’t have to do something big;  small things can make a big difference, small acts of kindness will be remembered for a lifetime.  kind deeds will never be forgotten;  it may seem small to you, but they’ll be remembered for a lifetime.  take time to be good to people, look for ways that you can make their day, don’t miss an opportunity to be a blessing.  this is where the true joy of life is really found.  when you become a miracle, that is the seed God will use for your own miracle.  have a goal every day to do at least one good thing for somebody else.  let’s start some chain reactions of kindness.  have the attitude, not, “how can I get blessed today?” but, “how can I be a blessing?”  don’t wait for a special occasion;  let every day be a blessing day.  if you will develop this simple habit of being good to people, you’ll be happier, your life will be more rewarding, plus God promises your gifts will come back to you.  in your time of need, the right people will be there, the right doors will open, you will see God’s goodness in amazing ways and live the life of victory that He has in store.

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