Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Helping Myself by Helping Others

What do you want to be when you grow up? Not for an occupation. What kind of person do you want to be?

How about “strong, blameless, and holy”? Sounds good to me, too.

Bad news, though. You can’t do it. Only God can pull off a trick like that one.

As a result, Christ will make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy …. 1 Thessalonians 3:13 (NLT)

It’s a God-task, not a me-task.

But check out the first three words of the verse: “As a result.” The NIV misses it, but the Greek backs it up. In verse 13, God’s work of making our hearts strong, blameless, and holy comes as a response to whatever is in verse twelve. And that says…

May the Lord make your love grow and overflow to each other and to everyone else... 1 Thessalonians 3:12 (NLT)

In other words, as your love grows and overflows to others, God transforms your heart.

Too often, we act like service (reaching out to others) and transformation (God changing us from the inside out) are two separate things. But the Bible is clear. God transforms us as we reach out to others.

And Paul is very clear who we’re to reach out to. “Each other and everyone else.” Those who attend church with us and those who don’t. Or, simply put, everybody.

Now think about that a second. Have you ever considered that when we reach out to others, when we go all out to help other people connect with God, it strengthens our own connection with God and helps us grow to be more like Him?

So, when we start doing all the things we’ve been discussing to help reach more people for God, we’re not just helping them.

In pouring God’s love into their lives, we’re pouring God’s power into our own.


Bill&Karan said...

All say I am strong And I know I have the Lord But how do you get to where you say Iam not blameless. Maybe I don't understand what blameless means.
There are days where I have my own pity party for me. To where I am the blame for everything that is going on. Not very often but when it happens it is not a pretty sight.
How I would love to be set free to where I can say I AM BLAMELESS

Carol Battersby said...

I try to follow the verse in Joshua 1v9
Be strong and courageous do not be terrified, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

I don't think we can ever be blameless because we are sinful people. The only one who was ever perfect, and so without blame is Jesus, which is why we need to strive to grow more like Him.
Thank God that He took upon Himself our sins and we can, at the end, stand blameless before His throne.

Ruthie said...

I have experienced this. I live with chronic pain. SOme days it is worse than others. Every day when I get up I have a choice, to give in to the pain and have a pity party or to thank God for what I can do. I have also learned that by reaching out to others, encouraging them, supporting them, serving them, I get the focus off of my own problems and onto the Lord. He then pours His love and healing power into me, lessening my discomfort. Thanks for these thoughts.