I recently watched a video of Dave Ferguson on the strategy of blessing. Dave listed Genesis 12:2-3 as support for his position that God desires to bless and that we in turn should bless others. The passage says, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; and I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Dave continues and introduces a study that was performed on the mission field in Thailand. In this study two groups proceeded with one group focused on gaining new converts and the other group focused on blessing people. It was found that those who were focused only on gaining converts provided no social good, while those focused on blessing people provided a lot of social good. Additionally those who were only focused on converting people only added two people. Those who were focused on social good led one hundred people into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
I don’t know about you, but information like that causes me to pause and pay attention. The converters or those focused only on evangelizing had one focus and that was to get people to choose Jesus. They didn’t show any interest in the people other than getting them to make a decision. The ones, who blessed, however, were focused on not just the spiritual condition of the people, but their physical and emotional condition. They worked to meet the needs of the people and as a result gained a right to speak into the lives of those to whom they were ministering.
How often do we only focus on an objective and completely ignore the person? Salvation isn’t a transaction it is transformation. A person doesn’t become saved just because they say a prayer. A person is saved because they choose to make Jesus their Lord and because they dedicate their lives to serving Jesus forever. In fact, I suggest that it is impossible to live eternally unless we are willing to serve Jesus eternally. That requires that we give up focusing on ourselves and our desires and instead focus on helping others. It is a move from selfishness to selflessness.
Dave continues in the video to give an easy reminder for how we can bless someone. He uses the word Bless as an acronym. B = BEGIN IN PRAYER. It is impossible to bless or bestow God’s favor upon someone without first receiving guidance from God. We must start with what God desires and work from there. L = LISTEN. We must first listen to a person before we can know how to bless them. Failing to listen to a person can result in solving the wrong problem. E = EAT. Take a moment and find a way to engage the person in conversation over a meal. Your focus is on building a relationship. This is not a task list where you simply do something and move on. You are investing in this person’s life. S = SERVE. Once we know what needs the person has, we begin by serving them and assisting them with their needs. This isn’t a situation where we tell them what they need, but one where we work with them to find a solution. S = STORY. Once you have begun to bless the person you can tell them your story and why you follow Jesus. Since you have shown them Jesus, it is now easier for you to tell them about Jesus. Take some time this week and find someone you can BLESS.