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      Be A Blessing

      God told Abram: "Leave your country, your family, and your father's home for a land that I will show you. I'll make you a great nation and bless you. I'll make you famous; you'll be a blessing. I'll bless those who bless you; those who curse you I'll curse. All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you." [Gen. 12:1-3, The Message]

      God promised the Land to Abraham, but it wasn't just an unconditional, purposeless gift. God had a plan and a purpose. He wanted all the nations of the earth to be blessed. Part of His plan in bringing this blessing [which ultimately was Jesus Christ] was the giving of the Land to Abraham.

      Just as God's giving the Land of Israel to the Jews of Joshua's day was not an end in itself but had a higher purpose in mind, so God does not give us our "land" just to consume on ourselves. He leads us into victory, but He has a greater purpose in mind.

      If we are only trying to "possess our land" for our own benefit, if all we can think of is our own peace, our own joy, our own wealth, we are going to run in difficulties. We will end up making a idol of our own desires and shriveling up into dried up prunes. And then we will find God turning us out of the land and giving it to someone else [this is not talking about salvation].

      God wants to give His favor to us, He wants us to enjoy all the benefits of His kingdom, but he wants us to pass them on. He wants to bless others through us. We have to go beyond the call of duty, if you like. We have to actively seek ways to pour God's favor on others. God's love sought us out even when we were His enemies and His true love flowing through us will seek out avenues to be a help and encouragement to others.

      It may cost us time, effort, friends, acceptance, and, yes, probably money. But no matter what it costs, it cost Jesus far more to make the "land" available to us. Let's possess our land joyfully and lets be a blessing to others "giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ." [Eph. 5:20]

      One of the primary ways we can do this is to share the gospel with our friends as the opportunity arises. There is no greater blessing than coming to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

      Sometimes we want to help others in a physical way, especially around Christmas, but many times our finances are low. Hand-made gifts are always nice and reveal the love in the time and effort put into making them. Low cost Bibles and DVDs can be purchased from places like Biblica. Often the "cases lots" are inexpensive and save even more money. When finances are an issue, as they are for most of us, planning in advance is important. For example, if you would like to give a gift card for a local coffee shop to your neighbours for Christmas, you can pick up one or two a month throughout the year [just be sure you know when/if they expire]. That way the expense is spread out in small bits rather than one large sum. Anyway, be creative and see what God will do in and through you.

           

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