April 29, 2019

It’s a beautiful Spring Monday morning in between the storms that always come rolling through this time of year. At least be glad it’s not a snow storm like we got caught in during our brief stay in Chicago on Saturday. It was actually pretty fun to look at but not much fun to try to get out in it. I didn’t see anyone trying to ride a motorcycle but I did see lots of very cold, wet people. Thank the Lord for Texas!! Happy Monday!!

“God never blesses you or me so we can hoard his gifts. He blesses us so we can share them.” Have you ever noticed how much of our lives are a battle between doing things for ourselves and seeking to bless others? Most of us lean heavily in the direction of seeking to please ourselves. It is a struggle that we all face every single day.

Sometimes it involves money. What should I give my money to? Should I buy a nicer sofa or should I send that money to a missionary in need or should I just go buy some groceries for that guy on the street corner? Should I feel guilty when I go out to a nice place to eat knowing people around the world are going hungry right now? Do I really need that new coat when I have 8 more in my closet? Should I feel guilty because I have so much or should I be looking for ways to bless others?

Sometimes it involves our time. In fact, it is often easier and less painful to give our money than it is to give our time. We can usually figure out how to get more money but we know that time is the most precious commodity we have and so what do we do with it? Do we spend all our time thinking about my needs and my wants and my concerns and my family? Or do we look for ways to be a blessing to others? Are we constantly wondering how we can be a blessing to those around us? Or are we trying to figure out ways that they can bless me?

What we often fail to understand is that when we are absorbed in ourselves we are not living the best life. When we shift our focus to being a blessing rather than being blessed it is then that God chooses to bless us.

This is how the Lord spells out His plan for provision:

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6:38).

God is saying if you want to receive from Him, you must give to Him. He is telling you that when you choose to look after your own things in life rather than Him, your Harvest will reflect that choice in four distinct consequences:

1. You will eat, but not be satisfied

2. You will put on clothing, but not be warm

3. You will earn wages, but they’ll be put into a wallet with holes

4. You will experience drought, and never know a Harvest

Being focused on ourselves overrules the biblical commands to love and care for our neighbors (John 13:34–35), to bear others’ burdens (Galatians 6:2), and to be kind and forgiving (Ephesians 4:32). Being self-centered is directly opposed to the clear command, “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others” (1 Corinthians 10:24). Every act of self-love is rebellion against the authority of God. Self-centeredness is rooted in our desire to please self more than God.

Let me challenge you . . . and me, to be more giving today. As you read this right now think about someone you can bless today with a kind word or maybe just the gift of a message or phone call or maybe you can take them a cup of coffee from Starbucks or maybe they need more. Maybe you know someone who needs real help and you can be the answer. Maybe God is laying on your heart right now just how you can be a blessing to someone else today in His name!! Go do it. Don’t put it off or you will quickly talk yourself out of it!!

I wanted to say thanks (for hosting us) and congratulations to my niece, Aryn Henderson. She is graduating this May from Columbia College in Chicago. We finally had the opportunity to go up and see her this past Friday and Saturday where she was the Stage Manager for a production of the musical “Xanadu.” We had a great time and now I have all those songs still stuck in my head (Ha).

I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?