My attempt to be a blessing

Posted: February 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

My church is in the middle of a sermon series through the book of Ephesians with most of the focus on our identity’s being in Christ. As part of this series we have been given practical ways in which we can take the things Jesus has done for us and do those things for others. This weeks sermon was titled “I am blessed”. Pastor Mark preached from Ephesians 1:3-14 and outlined how Jesus has given us the blessing of holiness, adoption, predestination, redemption, forgiveness, love and grace. This weeks exercise was to bless someone without expecting anything in return, not even a thank you.

I went to Starbucks this morning and bought a $20 gift card and asked the cashier to use the card to cover the bill for the next customers in line until the card runs out. I asked him not to tell anyone I had done this and I planned on just sitting and watching people respond as they were blessed with free coffee. Here are a few questions that we were given as part of the exercise.

1. Does your satisfaction change based on whether you are thanked or not?
2. Is it harder or easier to bless a stranger than someone you know? Why?
3. Was it difficult to contribute money to blessing a stranger?
4. What reactions surprised you the most as you watched people receive free coffee?
5. Think through and journal about how this experience helped you understand the character or God in a deeper way.

I sat down and started working on some homework but kept my ears open so that I could hear what customers would say after the cashier told them the coffee was free. The problem was that he was still charging customers and not using the gift card. About 10 minutes later he walked over to me to clarify what he wanted me to do with the card. I explained it to him again and he returned to the register to help the customers in line. I thought to myself ok here we go he is going to start using the card. I sat intently listening wanting to make sure I heard how the customers were going to respond. The problem was that he still wasn’t using the gift card! I sat there asking myself, what the heck why isn’t he using the gift card. The Lord convicted me at that very moment about how I was still seeking some satisfaction out of blessing others with free coffee. Although I wasn’t going to get a thank you, I still wanted the satisfaction of seeing how they respond and seeing a smile on their face. At a moment when all I wanted to be was a blessing my wicked heart still wanted to receive some sort of satisfaction. I started asking myself why I was bothered that he hadn’t started using the gift card? Have their been other times in my life when I thought I was blessing others wanting nothing in return but in reality still expecting something in return? Do I truly grasp all Jesus has blessed me with?

The truth is that Jesus has blessed every part of my life. He has blessed me in the things He has given me, as well as the things He has taken away. Because Jesus is Holy, I am Holy. He chose me before time began. He has adopted me into his family which makes me a son of God. I have been redeemed because Jesus paid the price for my sins. Because my sins are no longer help against me I am no longer condemned to hell and separated from God for eternity. I just love how I played no part in all the blessings Jesus has given to me. Knowing I would be a wicked, self serving, lying, cheating, evil and a rebellious man Jesus still chose me, adopted me, redeemed me, paid the price for me and loved me. If you didn’t notice, By His grace He chose to bless me in all those ways before I was born and knowing I would be such a sinful man! Wow really? Why would Jesus do that? Why would anyone do that? The answer is simply, yet powerfully, by His grace alone. Thank you Jesus for choosing to save me despite my wicked heart and constant rebellion against you. Thank you Jesus for a new life, for a new heart, for a new set of desires and for your Holy Spirit that convicts me, leads me and guides me. Please help me to be a blessing and freely give as you have so freely given to me.

Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8

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