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Weekly Encouragement

8 Ways to Invest Your Blessings

Jesus came to give us life more abundantly, and when we believe on Him and walk in His ways, we receive blessings beyond anything we can ask or imagine.  And who doesn’t love blessings?

But once you have your blessings, what do you do with them?

This is the benchmark that divides the wheat from the tares in the church.  It’s the first thing Jesus plans on bringing up when we stand before Him: “here’s what you did with what I gave you . . .”

And so we don’t end up like the wicked servant who buries his talent, here are 8 ways the Bible teaches us to invest our blessings:

1.  Feed the Hungry  I’m sure that you’re aware that billions around the world go hungry everyday, and it certainly is worthwhile to donate money to organizations to help, but did you know that 14% of U.S. households are also going hungry.  Consider taking 10% of your grocery budget, and donating to local food banks in your areas.  “For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink.”

2.  Befriend the Stranger  Do you have a new coworker from out of town?  What about a new visitor to your church?  Chances are they don’t know anyone in your area.  Why don’t you invite them and their family over or go out for dinner and get to know them?  “I was a stranger, and you invited Me in” (Matthew 25:35)

3.  Clothe the Naked  How full is your closet these days?  How long has it been since you wore those clothes in the back?  What about the piles of shoes on the floor?  There are lots of people who can’t afford new clothes in our own backyards.  My wife and I have a rule: for every new item of clothing we buy, we give away an old one.  Give your clothes to thrift stores or better yet to someone you know is in need.  “I was naked, and you clothed Me.” (Matthew 25:36)

4.  Visit the Imprisoned  This one can be scary, but who needs a blessing more than those behind bars?  Put together a team if you don’t want to go alone to do some prison ministry.  There might be a prison ministry already in place that you can volunteer with.  Remember, you were once imprisoned in your sins, no better then these, and Jesus set you free.  “I was in prison, and you came to Me.” (Matthew 25:36)

5.  Visit the Sick  Obviously a major illness in the hospital is a reason to visit loved ones, but everyone in this life is going to get sick at some point: flues, colds, sprained ankles, etc.  A visit at these times with some homemade chicken soup or a meal for their family if they don’t have the energy to cook will certainly brighten their day and speed their recovery.  “I was sick, and you visited Me.” (Matthew 25:36)

6.  Care for Widows and Orphans  Here in America, elderly widows or widowers are often tucked away in nursing homes and forgotten.  They’ll talk your ear off when you visit, but you’ll learn incredible wisdom if you listen.  You can play games, sing songs, or just sit and get to know them while you’re there.  Orphans are often put into foster families.  You may not have the means to be a foster parent yourself, but you can certainly sow into the lives of those who do take up this calling.  Bring over clothes, coloring books, toys, food, or maybe even offer to babysit and give the overworked couple some much needed time to themselves.  “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27)

7.  Raise the Dead  You may never be called on to literally raise a dead body to life, but as believers in Christ we are all called to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world, and He is life: eternal life.  Talk to your family, have conversations with coworkers, pass out tracts, knock on doors, preach on street corners, whatever it takes but tell others about the life that Jesus offers.  “Even when we were dead in our transgressions, God made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).” (Ephesians 2:5)

8.  Give Thanks  And above all, bless God when he blesses you.  “When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.   Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” (Deuteronomy 8:10, Psalm 103:2-5)

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