I will make you into a great nation. I will make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. ... All the families on earth will be blessed through you (Genesis 12:2-3 NLT).
Our spiritual DNA animates our spirits with God's ultimate purpose for us: each of us is put here — on earth, in our families, in our relationship — to be a conduit of his blessing. The advantages we think we've earned, the wealth we've accumulated, the resources we possess, the rights we believe we deserve are really blessings that have been entrusted to us. These blessings have been placed into our hands with the understanding that are to be shared — not possessed, hoarded, claimed, or owned.
This pulse in our hearts to be a blessing bumps up against the spirit of the age. This is especially true now, in a time when so many of us have seen "our" savings and "our" retirement programs shrink, evaporate, and disappear. Yet if we listen with our hearts to the stories of our past, the times when our spiritual DNA carried our heroes of faith, we know God's call to be a blessing is true and the call to possess and control is illusory.
Think of Joseph, sold into slavery by his own brothers. Punished for his righteousness in the face of Potiphar's manipulative wife. Forgotten when he helped others with their dreams in prison. Yet in every stage of Joseph's difficult journey, he was a blessing to those around him. This long faithfulness enabled him to be in the right position at the right time to save Egypt and his own family from the famine that was ravaging the world. "You will be a blessing to others," was written in Joseph's spiritual DNA and it was lived out in his life.
We see this same principle at work in the lives of four starving lepers outside the besieged city of Samaria. In their desperation, they knew if they entered the city there was no food for them, if they stayed where they were they would starve to death and if they entered the camp of their enemies, the Arameans, they would probably be killed. So they opted for bad choice number 3, and when they arrived, they found that God had scared off the army and that the army had left behind food, treasure, and drink. Mid way through their celebration, they knew it wasn't right to keep the food to themselves and said, "This is not right. This is a day of good news, and we aren't sharing it with anyone!" (2 Kings 7:9 NLT). "You will be a blessing to others," was written in their DNA. They had been blessed, so they knew they had to share the blessings!
When we move to the early days of Jesus' church, we find a group from the region of Macedonia. They had received significant opposition to their faith and had faced financial and physical hardship. Yet the spiritual DNA of Abraham, Joseph, and some miraculously saved lepers showed up in these Gentile believers. The apostle Paul described it this way:
Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity (2 Corinthians 8:1-2).
"You will be a blessing to others," was written in the spiritual DNA of the Macedonian believers: they felt compelled to share what they had!
Jesus had spoken of this spiritual DNA, this power to be a blessing, that is written into the fabric of our faith when he called us to be salt in a world of tastelessness and decay as well as light in a world of darkness (Matthew 6:13-16). This is our identity. We are called to be like our Father and be a people of blessing, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves (1 Peter 3:8-9). That's why in the face of persecution and martyrdom, Peter and John would not shut up — they were compelled to talk about the blessings they had in Jesus. "We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard," they told those who threatened them (Acts 4:20). "You will be a blessing to others," was written in their spiritual DNA!
In our materialistically driven world, we often lose sight that most of our greatest blessings are not physical and financial. While we are clearly called to share our physical and financial blessings, the deeper blessings of fellowship, friendship, family, hope, salvation, and grace that we have in Jesus are even more profound blessings! We share Jesus because our hope and future is found in him. We know good news and it has to be shared with others still caught in the undertow of darkness. We can't help but share what we've received, seen, heard, and experienced in the grace of Jesus. "You will be a blessing to others," is written in our DNA and it must come out in our daily lives!
Jesus called us to follow him, and now has sent us out to "fish for people" (Matthew 4:19). In doing this, he is asking us to awaken the spiritual DNA that God has placed in his people since the days of Abraham — we have been blessed to be a blessing! We must not keep these blessings for ourselves. Evangelism, at heart, is not some foreign activity separated from everything else in our Christian walk. Instead, it is simply a part of a lifestyle that shares the great things, the wonderful blessings, and the good news we have in Jesus. "You will be a blessing to others," is written in our spiritual DNA. It can't help but come out!
The following questions are for your own reflection or for sharing with others in small groups. I'd also love to get your input on my blog:
Why do you think it is so hard for us to be generous?
- Who is someone you know that is generous?
- What do you most appreciate about them?
- How can you be more like them?
- Why not send them a note and thank them for being generous?
Why do we not perceive sharing Jesus as a work of generosity?
- What blessings do you have in your life because of Jesus?
- Who is in your life because of your shared faith in Jesus?
- When is the last time you shared these blessings you have in Jesus with others?
Read 1 Peter 3:15 and notice how sharing good news is about sharing with others the reason we have hope in Jesus.
- Take a few minutes and write a paragraph giving the reason for your hope in Jesus.
- Pray that the Lord will give you an opportunity to share it with someone this week as an act of generosity!