One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
and one who waters will himself be watered. (Prov 11:24-25)
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” (2 Cor 9:6-9)
God uses people to bless other people. We all know that. We’ve been told that a thousand times.
And over and over again, we eagerly expect God to bless us through other people.
We’ve all heard the missionary’s stories. They did not have enough money to pay a bill, they checked the mail, and someone had given them the money, randomly, without being asked. It is an amazing testimony of God’s blessing and provision!
And it’s a story in which you have two parts to play, not just one.
God wants to bless you. And God wants to use you to bless others!
God wants to use you to bless others!
This is an exciting thing! You can be the very hand of God at work! You can be an angel of the Lord, delivering the message of his love to someone in a very real and undeniable way!
The God we worship is not distant, sending things to people and hoping we get them. He’s a relational God, a participatory God—he wants to do things for you. And with you! And through you!
Giving is an act of worship, but it’s also an act of relationship. Because when you give to bless others, it is not just you who gives, but God gives through and with you. You and God bless this person together!
You and God act together to bless someone. You are an agent of blessing!
We are all called to be agents of blessing, sharing God’s love with other people. We see it commanded time and time again throughout scripture. Just try googling “Bible blessing people” and see all the results you get. But more than that, we see it described as well. Perhaps best described in Acts:
And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. (Acts 2:43-45).
Here we see that the awe of God came on people and wonders were done while, at the same time, people gave freely to each other. The people of God shared his love and blessing with each other, and along with it were signs and wonders and a sincere appreciation for who God is.
Do you think God will give you an appreciation of who he is if you aren’t participating in his blessing? Or do you think you will gain an all new appreciation of who God is while you participate in his blessing?
God gave me this idea of being an agent of God’s blessing just a short while ago. And I can tell you from my own experience, it has given me an all new awe of God. I understand God more—and feel closer to him—now that I seek to bless other people with God than I did before.
Try it yourself!
It is an astoundingly intimate time of worship with God.
When God first laid this on my heart, I was hesitant. In fact, I told God, “I’ll do it, but I’m going to need you to do it with me.” Because I didn’t trust myself to do this on my own. All I was doing was paying for someone’s meal, and then I asked to pray with them. But I did not trust myself to do it on my own in behalf of God.
And God sent a message that pierced my heart to the core: “Let’s you and me bless these people together.”
Suddenly, this wasn’t me just trying to obey God’s leading. It wasn’t me bumbling my way through something. Suddenly, it was God and me, blessing someone together.
It was a rush.
Now it’s not so intimidating. The pressure is off—because I’m not doing it alone.
You’ve heard many times, “God is with you.” That isn’t just a figure of speech.
God sincerely wants to do these things with you.
Like I said, it’s a surprisingly deeply intimate thing, being a part of God’s blessing someone. It is remarkably different from giving because you should. It is an altogether different experience.
So I would challenge you, this summer, to be one of God’s agents of blessing. Eagerly ask God who he wants to bless around you. He’ll tell you. God wants you and him to buy meals for people, to pray for people, to give to those who need. To do something small that will bless someone in ways you may not even realize.
And when he tells you—when you feel an urge to do something for someone—don’t just do it alone. Invite God to join you. Bless someone with God, the two of you together.
And I think you’ll find the cheerfulness Paul talks about—not to mention God’s blessing on you as well—won’t be a problem.