How God Blesses Us When We Bless others
DATE: July 10, 2005 AM PLACE: BBC Ballincollig
I. Introduction (Matthew 8:1-3)
A. We each have our “own little world” that we live in
B. A select few people are allowed into our world
C. But Jesus enjoyed others – didn’t run from them! He went out of His way to enter into our world, no matter how messed up our lives may be! Here, in Mt 8, Jesus walks to a man covered in leprosy, and reaches out and touches him.
D. I need that kind of mind-set
E. Preaching Sequence this month
1. The Importance of Grace for Others
2. The Joy of Others (Mt 8:1-3)
3. The Cost of Others (Mk 15:31)
4. Who is My Other? (Luke 10)
5. Living Beyond Others (Col 3:23,24)
F. Let’s review – Who Are My ‘Others’?
1. There are five kinds of “others” in every person’s life – people that are outside of our lives
b. My Family – both close, AND extended
c. My Neighbours
d. My Enemies
e. Regions Beyond - Missions
2. These are the five OTHERS that each of us have to deal with on a daily basis, and God tells us how we must correctly deal with them in the Bible
G. The world would have us believe that joy comes from seeking pleasure and getting it for yourself – if you have fun with someone else, that is a benefit – as long as YOU are having fun – that’s really all that matters
H. Jesus reverses it completely – happiness and pleasure can come to a person who is selfish and seeking pleasure, but JOY only comes when you are seeking another person’s happiness!
I. Yes, you need happiness, but seeking to fulfil your needs by fulfilling others is a million times more rewarding than seeking only to fulfil your needs yourself
1. Some Quotes:
a. "Selfishness is the only real atheism - Aspiration, unselfishness, the only real religion." Franklin D Roosevelt
b. "Modesty and unselfishness: These are the virtues which [all] men praise, and [yet] pass by"
2. “Self” is the root of all sin in our lives – simply put, it is the desire to do things without God
3. The Bible refers to self, when it is in control, as “the flesh” – not the skin and bone, but the preoccupation of trying to please first this skin and bone
4. “Self” is what separates us from God, and sends us to hell – there is no sin that damns us – just the fact that I am a sinner damns me
5. Self cannot be beautified, primped, primed, polished or perfected. No matter how beautiful a woman, or how handsome a man, without Christ inside, they are an abomination to God – period!
6. The only thing that self can do is yield – take second place to others
7. Some would like to get rid of their problems with self (it is our self that gets us into much of our troubles) – so they turn to suicide – seems so easy – but not an option – from bad to worse!
8. Some would like to ignore their problems – so they rewrite the rules
a. Selfishness is a virtue now – books extolling the value of “Good Ol’ Number One!”
b. Capitalism is now all about serving only self – which is not what it is supposed to be about!
c. Self interest is the highest priority in life
9. But One person would like to change all that – His name? Jesus!
B. The Enemy of Self – Jesus (Lk 9:23)
1. He came and REALLY rewrote the rules (Mt 5-7)
a. Righteousness first – blessed are they that hunger for righteousness
b. Blessed are the merciful – show mercy instead of judgment and revenge - Be merciful
c. Rejoice when people get upset at you for following Christ
d. Bless the people that hate you!
e. DO GOOD to them!
2. A bunch of Muslims would do well to learn from Jesus!
3. Jesus is the primary enemy of self, and that is why people do not follow Him very much – Oh they like Him, and all He stands for, but to live like He lived is asking too much!
4. Only those who HATE who they are and what they do are the ones who really come to love the Lord Jesus and go “all out” living for Him
5. Most “christians” tolerate the commands of Scripture, but few enjoy the ones directed RIGHT AT THEM and THEIR LIFESTYLE!
C. The Place of Self in Scripture – clearly, Third Place
1. The Scriptures
a. Philp 2:3,4 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
b. Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another
c. Eph 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love
d. Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
e. Rom 15:1,2 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
f. 1Cor 10:24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.
g. 1Cor 10:33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
h. 1Th 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
i. 1Ti 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. In other words, don’t ask questions that you KNOW will only cause endless more questions and strifes and arguments
2. So who is in first and second place?
a. Jesus deserves first place
b. Others are supposed to take up the attention of the believer
c. Finally, you and I can fit in, in third place - yourself
d. Amazingly Spells JOY
e. NOT the most stunning arrangement, but by far the best over all
3. Believe me, putting myself THIRD is NOT easy!
a. When what I do crosses somebody
1) Rom 14:19-22 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
2) 1Cor 8:8,9 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
b. When the Lord lays somebody’s need on my heart – my flesh wants it for myself!
c. When MY wants mean more to me than YOUR wants – I find it hard to give outside of my abundance!
d. When I’m tired and just want to be selfish – that’s when the flesh is in control!
4. Where’s the Benefit – what’s the pay-off?
a. It all boils back down to being blessed – getting the benefit – but not by self’s methods, but Christ’s way – by blessing others
1) Nobody is saying that you have no needs
2) But that you have no need to obtain your needs by yourself
3) Bless others, and miraculously you will be blessed by God – guaranteed – a spiritual law
b. The key is to get to where we start to Enjoy others – finding our joy in others
D. Jesus Taught Us HOW to Enjoy Others
1. By thinking about them (Ps 139:1-6; Jer 29:11)
2. By going out of His way to help them (Jn 4:4; Mt 8:1-3)
3. By praying for them – interceding (Lk 22:31,32) – knowing their needs, and bringing God into the situation
4. By relating to others (1Cor 12:26; Rom 12:15) – not being high-minded, or living above others
5. By sacrificing Himself for others (Heb 12:2) – putting Himself at risk (1Jn 3:16; Jn 15:13)
6. By edifying others – building THEM up:
a. With our words
1) Jesus encouraged people’s faith and people’s confidence
2) Jesus constantly tried to talk them through their struggle
3) So, Say things that encourage and strengthen people (Pr 16:21) – like you would an athlete that has fallen behind and needs to get back in the race - Like you would a struggling student
b. With our time – just taking time to be with people – Jesus took 33 and a half years with this world
c. With our attention – give people your attention – Jesus actually listened to people – asked them questions and answered their questions
d. With our abilities – meet their need (Mt 14:15-16)
E. What does all that do for the Believer?
1. Pleases God – HE is the real reason a Christian does anything – because God is worthy
2. Blesses others – makes friends out of people
3. Changes you – guaranteed! There is no better way to change than to dump that old stinking self back into the boot of the car, and make what God wants, and what others need your priority
4. Blesses your life – you will not believe just how awesome having Joy in others will be!
5. You end up the better – better than you EVER could have hoped to be by being selfish only!
A. The world would have us believe that joy comes from seeking pleasure and getting it for yourself – if you have fun with someone else, that is a benefit – as long as YOU are having fun – that’s really all that matters
B. Jesus reverses it completely – happiness and pleasure can come to a person who is selfish and seeking pleasure, but JOY only comes when you are seeking another person’s happiness!
C. Yes, you need happiness, but seeking to fulfil your needs by fulfilling others is a million times more rewarding than seeking only to fulfil your needs yourself!
D. There is a Problem With Self (2Tim 3:1,2) – it is ruined. Self cannot be beautified, primped, primed, polished or perfected. The only thing that self can do is yield – take second place to others
E. The Enemy of Self – Jesus (Lk 9:23)
F. The Place of Self in Scripture – clearly, Third Place
1. God almighty deserves first place
2. Others are supposed to take up the attention of the believer
3. Finally, you and I can fit in, in third place
4. Spells JOY
G. Jesus Taught Us HOW to Enjoy Others
1. By thinking about them
2. By going out of His way to help them
3. By praying for them – interceding – knowing their needs, and bringing God into the situation
4. By relating to others – not being high-minded, or living above others
5. By sacrificing Himself for others – putting Himself at risk
6. By edifying others – building THEM up:
H. What does all that do for the Believer? Everything we have been trying to do ourselves! Without God = without hope!