Time after time in the Bible, we find God providing an abundant blessing for one of His servants, then immediately exhorting that servant to be a blessing to others and to glorify His name. We see this principle when God blessed Abraham, then immediately said, “Thou shalt be a blessing.”
When Jesus healed the demon-possessed man, He in turn instructed that man to be a blessing to others. Mark 5:18 describes this story: “And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.” After healing this man, Jesus exhorted him to see this blessing as an opportunity to witness—to make a difference in the lives of others!
When Jesus spared the life of the woman taken in adultery, He also gave her a word of exhortation. John 8:10 tells us the words of Jesus: “When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
Christ did not want the lady to use the grace she had been given as an opportunity to continue sinning, rather He desired that she use that grace as a learning experience. He instructed her to live a God-honoring life in response to the generous mercy she had been shown.
This principle of “gratefulness for grace” still applies to us today. We, as believers and as Americans, are a blessed people. Therefore God expects us to be a blessing to others and a light for Him. There are so many examples of this command to believers in Scripture.
First Peter 2:9 reminds us of our privilege: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.” But this passage also shows us that blessing does not come without responsibility: “That ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” We have been saved to served, and washed in the blood so we can witness to the lost.
May we never become complacent in the blessings of God. We should always be careful to count our blessings as an individual, as a family, as a church, and even as a nation. Blessings, whether in material things, in health, in relationships, or in any other area of life come from God. He is the One who created us and gave us life; He is the One who saved us and redeemed us so we could spend eternity with Him; and He is the One who provides for our every need.
First Corinthians 6:9 should serve as a reminder of our special position in Christ…and the resulting responsibility this position carries: “Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
First Timothy 6:17 is one of the most pointed, clear exhortations in Scripture to those who have been blessed: “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
It is obvious that each one of us, though we all come from different backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses, have all been greatly blessed. Now the question that each of us must ask of ourselves is simple: Are we selfishly receiving and benefiting from our God-given blessings or are we instead choosing to bless others and glorify God with the gifts He has provided?