Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

The Ability to Bless
1 Pet 3:9-11

NAS
9 not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.    10 For, "Let him who means to love life and see good days Refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile.   11 "And let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.    (NAS)

KJV
9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.    10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:    11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. (KJV)
 

INTRODUCTION
Are you born again, that is you really know what is means to be a child of God? If so why were you born again? The answers can be many, but one answer can be found in the text. Notice verse 9 says ". . . giving a blessing instead, for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing."

We have been called to bless, and inherit a blessing. I am afraid we shied away from this terminology, and action. It is Biblical, and we have the authority through the indwelling power of God's Spirit to be a blessing. I want to develop this thought in the following ways:

The Design for Giving a Blessing

The Desire for Giving a Blessing

The Deliberation for Giving a Blessing.
 
 

1.    The. . Design for being A Blessing. v 9 - 11 


A.    The Design of . . Returning. v 9 a

9 not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; . . . "

    1.    Not Returning . . Evil for Evil.

It used to bother me to think that I would Make enemies in the ministry. But you know you can judge a man by his enemies as well as by his Friends.

Jesus said, "Woe be unto you if all men speak well of you."

    2.    Not Returning . . Insult for Insult.

Warren Wiersbe says we can function on 3 levels

        1     The Satanic Level return evil for good.

        2     The Human Level return good for good and evil for evil.

        3.    The divine level return Good for evil.

James Merrit further Clarifies::

        The first level is unnatural.

        The second level is natural

        The third level is super-natural.

We are to live on the supernatural

Rom 12:20-21
20 "But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (NAS)
 

B. The Design of . . Rejoicing. v 10 a

10 For, "Let him who means to love life and see good days . . . "

Do you rejoice in the good times?

Have you ever loved life, and think how good God is?
 

C.    The Design of . . Refraining. v 10 b

10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

Prov 21:23
23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles. (NAS)

IllustrationWhat About Your Pocket?
A serviceman once wrote about a moment of comedy he had  witnessed in the army. It happened during a company inspection at the Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.

The inspection was being conducted by a full colonel. Everything had gone smoothly until the officer came to a certain soldier,  looked him up and down and snapped, "Button that pocket,  trooper!"

The soldier, more than a little rattled, stammered, "Right now, sir?" "Of course, right now!" was the reply.   Whereupon the soldier very carefully reached out and buttoned the flap on the colonel's shirt pocket. The officer had been quick to note the youngster's uniform problem, but hadn't noticed his own. For some reason, we seem to be the same way. The faults of others stick out like a missing tooth, while our own are often hard to spot. Small specks in other people seem major, while the planks in our own eye seem excusable (Matt. 7:1-5).

Application
Let's quit dwelling on the faults of others all the time. The church needs builders and workers-not a wrecking crew. Work on your own faults, then seek to help others in a spirit of gentleness.

Jesus said it this way Matt 7:2-5
3 "And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's (NAS)

Vance Havner said:
"The Christian ought to develop a hide as tough as a Rhino; and a heart as tender as a baby but the trick is how to toughen the one without toughen the other.
 

D.    The Design of . . Responsibility. v 11
11 "And let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.

    1. Peace is not something you promote. Peace is something  you pursue. You must go after It. It's not
        what you let happen. It's what you Make happen.

    2.    Jesus did not say blessed are the Peace-letters. He said, "blessed are the peace- Makers."
            Someone has to take the Responsibility to MAKE PEACE.

Illustration
Through the years I have know husbands , and wives who did not speak for days. That has never happened in my home. I will further say it will not happen because of the attitudes Christ gives me, and my wife. But if it were necessary I would take the first steps to get peace initiated.

My two daughter, their husbands, and families all are at peace with one another, and with us. My Mom, and my two sisters also have a peaceful relationship with one another, and with us.

Why is that true? I want to offer this reason. We desire to make peace. In fact I will go so far as to say I will go out of my way if necessary to make peace. I believe the man should initiate peace.

It has never been necessary but if it were I would camp on the door step of my children to talk to them, and make peace. I would do the same towards my Mother, and sisters. I personally can not endure a lack of peace until I have done all I can to ensure it.

We are called to bless by making peace. We are not to be passive about this we are to be active in the peace making process.

Paul tells us in Romans 12:18-19
18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath {of God,} for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. (NAS)

We are to be Peace Makers. We are called for that purpose.

Matt 5:9
9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (NAS)

Application

Notice Jesus said blessed are the peace makers not the peace letters. Many people would say let there be peace, but how many of us do any thing to make peace? Some one must take the responsibility for making peace.
 
 

2.    The . . Desire for Giving a Blessing. v 9 


9 not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

A,    This is a . . Proper Desire. v 9 b
            ". . . but giving a blessing instead; . . . "
 

B.    This is a . . Purposeful Desire. v 9 c
            ". . . for you were called for the very purpose . . . "
 

Illustration
John Wesley said, "give me a 100 men Who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I will shake the world."
 

C.    This is a . . Personal Desire. v 9 c
        ". . . that you might inherit a blessing."
 

Illustration
When I was a brand new Christian I was privileged to have an evangelistic pastor. He taught me to share my faith.

I worked for a conveyor manufacturing firm in the engineering office. I became friends with a young man named Charlie Fink. He had played baseball for his high school, and I invited him to come to church and play on our softball team.

The league had a requirement for eligibility saying you must attend Sunday School 2 Sundays in the last 4 in order to be able to play. Well Charlie came to practice and desired to make the team, and play regularly with us. He did, but he never seemed to enjoy the Bible study, so after the season he stopped coming to church.

I continued to witness to him, and one day as I told him I was going to give a stewardship testimony. He asked "what is stewardship" I told him and then he asked "you give 10% of your check to the church? What do you get out of it?"

I had never asked my self what do I get out of giving a tithe.

But because I asked I then shared "I get a sense of meaning to life in the lives that are like me changed because of the proclamation of the gospel. Every time some one makes a decision for Christ I believe I have a part because I give."
 

Application

Well friend notice this phrase of scripture as it says ". . . that you might inherit a blessing.". Do you see the personal aspect to being a blessing. You get to receive a blessing.
 
 

3.    The . . Deliberation for Giving a Blessing. v 10 a



For, "Let him who means to love life and see good days

A.    The . . Choice of the Deliberation. ". . . Let him . . . "

        1.    We are not robots, but children.

        2.    We have a choice called Obedience.
 

B.    The . . Consequences of the Deliberation.   ", , , to love life and see good days,"

        1.    The deliberation determines the consequences.
 

Illustration
In the studies for my Doctor of Ministry Degree I had a course in pastoral care that included several weeks under a hospital chaplain. One day I was assigned to make visits to every one on the orthopedics floor. I did this with a degree of hesitancy as I wondered how I could be a blessing to people who were complete strangers, and may not even want a visit from a pastor.

The first room I went into a young man of about 30 years of age had just had his second amputation. He was laying there with both of his legs now gone. I asked him "how are you handling this", and "he said I can't kick". We both had a good laugh, and he taught me a lesson in making the choice to be a blessing.

This young man was a Christian, and he did not see physical abilities as the key to receiving or giving blessings. He deliberately choose to bless others as the Lord blessed Him.
 

Conclusion

We do have The Ability to Bless
 

1. The. . Design for being A Blessing.
 
 

The . . Desire for Giving a Blessing.
 
 

The . . Deliberation for Giving a Blessing.