Dear Church Family,
As we conclude the B.L.E.S.S. sermon series, I want to remind you what the five missional practices are that will help you be a blessing to those around you. Here is how the authors of the book entitled B.L.E.S.S. - 5 Everyday Ways to Love Your Neighbor and Change the World summarize each practice.
B - Begin with Prayer
“When Jesus started His earthly mission, Luke 6 tells us that He went out on a mountain and prayed. Prayer is both how you discover your mission and how you live out the mission. Over and over again, we see Jesus retreating to pray. If you’re not sure who God is calling you to bless or where God is calling you to go to be a blessing, you can begin with prayer. And if you know the people you want to bless, begin praying for those people now.”
L - Listen
“Asking questions and then listening was central to Jesus’s life and teachings. Consider the blind man in Luke 18. Jesus didn’t assume the blind man wanted to see. First, He asked, ‘What do you want me to do?’ Then He listened. In the Gospels, Jesus asked more questions than He answered. Of the 183 different questions He received, Jesus answered only a handful. Any relationship starts with listening to someone’s words and life. True listening may be the kindest and most loving gift you can give someone.”
E - Eat
“Jesus liked to eat! Over and over, as in Matthew 9, we find Jesus with tax collectors and sinners…doing what? Eating! There is something about sharing a meal together that moves any relationship past acquaintance toward friendship - faster than just about anything else we can do.”
S - Serve
“Jesus told us straight up, ‘The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve….’ (Matthew 20:28). He modeled for us that once you begin with prayer, listen, and eat with someone, there is a good chance that you’ll discover how you can best serve the person God is asking you to bless."
S - Story
“When people were ready to listen, Jesus would share His story. Like when doubting Thomas came to him asking, ‘How can we know the way?’ Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:5-6). When you befriend and bless people, they feel relationally safe and want to know your story. Then, and only then, you can tell them how the love of God and Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection have changed you.”
I want to encourage you to continue to put these into practice. We have been blessed to be a blessing. The best way for us to fulfill the mission of loving people and making disciples of Jesus Christ is to be blessers. I’m looking forward to meeting the people you’re praying for, listening to, eating with, serving, and sharing your story with!
Pastor Ron Jones