Bless How Others Want to Be Blessed

“Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.(Prov 27:14)

With a good sense of humor, my wife will reference this verse to me in the morning when I am all “fired up” for the day and she is still trying to get coffee in her system. And when she references the verse, I get it.

A loud, boisterous voice is annoying any time of day, but especially in the morning to those who are waking up and need the quiet. People are not ready to receive a loud voice when they are still trying to wake up. Even if the loud voice is coming from a place of humor, it is – as Solomon said – more like a curse than a blessing.

But this verse is not just about loud voices. It is a figure of speech about people who intend to be helpful but don’t think about the delivery or medium by which they seek to be helpful.

This verse is a reminder that if we want to bless people, we should do it the way God instructs and not the way we think we should. This is a reason that Paul tells us to think not about ourselves but the interests of other (Phil 2:3-4). Other’s interests should determine how we bless them.

Thus, if your spouse is not a morning person, and they are drinking their coffee, let them. Be quiet; be solemn. Let them guide the conversation.

When wanting to bless someone, consider how they would like to be blessed and do that.

Randy Alcorn, On New Ideas Vs. Old Ideas

“Modern believers have a bad habit of acting as if the Christian faith began with us, with the result that we end up doing “theology on the fly,” ignoring a few thousand years of Christian history as if not much of importance was learned. We tend to think that what’s trending on Twitter is somehow important just because it’s current, when the fact that it’s popular and fashionable in all probability means it’s decidedly unimportant. We tend to be guilty of what C.S. Lewis called “chronological snobbery,” the flawed belief that newer ideas are always better than old ones. There’s a lot of trendy theology these days; like puffs of smoke on a windy day, most of it won’t last, and shouldn’t.” (Hand in Hand, pgs. 177-178)

8 Truisms About Christ That We Learn from “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us”

Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare.

We are Thine, Thou dost befriend us, be the Guardian of our way;
Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us, seek us when we go astray.

Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse and pow’r to free.

Early let us seek Thy favor, early let us do Thy will;
Blessed Lord and only Savior, with Thy love our bosoms fill.

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.

Date: 18th century

Writer(s): Dorothy A. Thrupp

Background for writing: This English woman wrote many children’s hymns and poetry but rarely signed any of her works. If she did, she would use a pseudonym. Thus, some speculate that she is the composer of this hymn, but we cannot be for sure.

8 Lessons:

  1. Jesus Christ is the Great Shepherd.
  2. Jesus Christ is Our Friend.
  3. Jesus Christ is Our Protector.
  4. Jesus Christ is merciful.
  5. Jesus Christ will hear our prayers.
  6. Jesus Christ is Lord.
  7. Jesus Christ is love.
  8. Jesus Christ will not change.

The Last Verse in the Psalter

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the LORD!” (Ps 150:6)

Anything alive must worship God. The psalmist calls on all living creatures to praise the Lord – both mankind and animal life. It also reminds us that worship is to happen all the time – every time we breathe (I Cor 10:31).  If you’re breathing right now, you’re supposed to worship.  

Making music is not the only way we worship but it certainly seems to be a primary way we praise God.

In his book Worship Matters, Bob Kauflin writes about how music equips the Christian to worship God and I want to share with you his 4 reasons why (pgs. 98-100).

  1. Music stirs up and expresses God-glorifying emotion. Singing is a primary form of expressing our deepest affections for God. This means that any musical praise that is half-hearted is an oxymoron – or worse – hypocritical.  
  2. Music helps us reflect the glory and activity of the triune God. Ever meditate on the reality that God sings too? The Son sang a hymn with His disciples on the eve of His death (Matt 26:30). The Spirit inspires songs in the hearts of believers (Eph 5:18-19). The Father rejoices over those who are also singing (Zeph 3:17). The Father sings, the Son sings and the Spirit sings.
  3. Music helps us remember truth about God. In Deuteronomy 31:19-21, God commanded this: “Now therefore write this song and teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the people of Israel. For when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to give to their fathers, and they have eaten and are full and grown fat, they will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise me and break my covenant. And when many evils and troubles have come upon them, this song shall confront them as a witness (for it will live unforgotten in the mouths of their offspring). For I know what they are inclined to do even today, before I have brought them into the land that I swore to give.” Music has a way of helping us remember God and rehearse His workings.
  4. Music helps us express our unity in the Gospel. When you look at examples of praise in the Scripture – especially the N.T. – it is often corporate and in the context of the body of Christ.

What a fitting end to the Psalter. There is no “Greet these people”; there is no concluding remark; this psalm doesn’t end with an “Amen” or “Doxology” because worship doesn’t cease; there is never an ending. It just ends with the remind “Praise the LORD.” In other words, “Keep on singing.”

5 Takeaways from the Ironmen Summit 2023

Last weekend, a group of 19 men from our church traveled to Emporia, KS for the Ironmen Summit (theme – “Men on a Mission”) at Flint Hills Bible Church. And then the 4 elders at our church attended the Shepherd’s Summit the night before (theme – “Evangelism”). Below are 5 takeaways or truths from the Summit(s) that provoked me to deeper thought.

  1. The sovereignty of God is not a theological truth that should work against evangelism, but for it. A high view of God’s sovereignty should lead to fervent, urgent evangelism. God’s sovereignty over salvation means that we can know that those whom God chose will be saved. Thus, to evangelize is to find those elect. His sovereignty is a reminder that evangelism works. It is not a waste of time.
  • In your personal evangelism, begin with God, and linger there until the non-Christian sees their need for Him. People need to see a much bigger God. They need to taste His majesty; they need to see His righteousness. When man sees He cannot meet God’s holy standard, he has no where else to go but to ask for help – help from the only One who is righteous.
  • When thinking about corporate evangelism, elevate relationships over events. It is tempting for a church to think they are doing evangelism just by inviting non-Christian to a church event or service or by supporting a missionary. Evangelism is a proclamation; it is using actual words. Evangelism is not the way some claim – “if necessary, use words.” It is words. A church is evangelistic if its people are actually speaking the Gospel and not assuming if someone is present, they will hear the Gospel.
  • People in your church will likely have competing evangelistic visions and methods of what the church is supposed to be. Preach and pursue clarity as a church. Some churches prefer Evangelism Explosion; others prefer the Navigators; others prefer Way of the Master; others prefer Grace Evangelism. And when a church grows numerically, it inherits differing ideas of which method should be preferred in sharing the Gospel. The church leadership is wise to allow a variety of biblical methods and encourage people to worry less about methodology and more about getting the Gospel truths correct.
  • We don’t evangelize because we fear man. Fear is not a bad motivator, but it is the fear of God that must motivate us fear God. The fear of God produces obedience and evangelism is an act of obedience.