Howard Strickland referenced a survey by George Barna on the topic of blessings.
Barna found that 72% of Americans believed that people are blessed by God so they can enjoy life.
52% agreed with the statement that the primary purpose of life is enjoyment and fulfillment.
No doubt all Bible Believers would agree that we’ve been richly blessed. The wise man wrote, “Blessings are on the head of the righteous” (Prov. 10:6). And he also affirmed that “a faithful man will abound with blessings (Prov. 28:20).
The apostle Paul reminds us that God has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). Think about it.
♦We enjoy a divine acceptance that can never be doubted (Eph. 1:6).
♦A love that is unconditional (Jn 3:16; Eph. 3:19).
♦A sacrifice that is unparalleled (Rom 5:7-8).
♦A deliverance that can never be excelled (Col. 1:13).
♦A grace that is undeserved and unlimited (Eph. 2:5-8).
♦ A mercy that is rich, abundant, and triumphant (Eph. 2:4; 2Pet. 1:3; Jas. 2:13).
♦A forgiveness that is absolute and unmistakable (Eph. 1:7; Heb. 10:17-18).
♦A faith that is overcoming and unconquerable (1 Jn. 5:4).
♦A hope that is sure and steadfast (Heb. 6:18-19).
♦A peace that eclipses and surpasses all human understanding (Phil. 4:7).
♦A joy that is inexpressible, irrepressible, and unquenchable (1 Pet. 1:8; 2Cor. 8:2).
♦An inheritance that is undefiled, unblemished, unfading, and unending (1 Pet. 1:4).
In addition to these blessings, we are blessed physically and materially. Especially, for those of us in the USA, even the poorest among us enjoy benefits and blessings often unrealized and unknown to many countries throughout the world.
Indeed, we are an abundantly blessed people. We are daily challenged to be filled with gratitude and not to take for granted God’s goodness. No doubt, we would all agree.
However, there’s another challenge. In the Barna survey Strickland noted that just a small percentage thought God blessed them in order to be blessing to others. Do we think of our blessings as an opportunity to reciprocate what God has done for us to other people? To share our blessing? To be a blessing?
When God called Abraham, He promised Him many blessings, both materially as well as spiritually. “I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing,” the Lord proclaimed (Gen. 12:2).
With great blessings, comes great opportunity. And great responsibility. Are you a blessing to your brethren? To your family? To your friends? To your fellow man in general?
We bless the lives of non-Christians by sharing the saving message of the gospel. We bless our brethren by bearing their burdens, exercising the “one another commands,” and fulfilling our mutual obligations. We bless our families by leaving a spiritual legacy on which they can build their lives in the Lord. We bless our neighbor by practicing the golden rule. We even bless our enemies, when we refuse to retaliate, but rather offering a blessing instead of cursing.
My son Kenny recently shared the saying from a local church marque that reminds us–Thanksgiving is not a day, it’s a lifestyle.” It’s not enough to thank God for our blessings, He calls us to be a daily, living, giving blessing to all we chance to meet.
As we approach this Thanksgiving holiday, stop and count your blessings. Thank God for your blessings. Then consider how you can be a blessing to others.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman