When I was around 18 years old, a young man came into our church on a Sunday night and sat on the back row. I was bothered that no one went up to him. After service, I made my way to him and introduced myself. He was looking for a church with people his age. We became fast friends and were nearly inseparable. A few years later, I ended up saving his life. Our friendship grew to the point he had me over one Thanksgiving. At that lunch, I got to know his cousin who became my wife. Both of our lives were changed that night when I made the decision to go say hello.
In 1 Samuel 25, David heard a man named Nabal was sheering his sheep. Knowing he would be celebrating with a feast, David sent some men to greet him and to remind him that he and his small army had been protecting his shepherds and flocks. Nabal returned the favor by insulting David and his men, sending them away with nothing. David decided to kill him and was on his way when Nabal’s wife Abigail rushed to meet him with food. They’re encounter saved her husband’s life and kept David from having blood on his hands when he would become king. In verse 32, David said to her, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you today to meet me!” (GNT) She later became his wife and trusted advisor.
I believe God gives us opportunities for divine encounters that can change the course of our lives. It’s something I often pray for. We never know what direction our lives will take when we step out in faith following the prompting of the Holy Spirit. We have opportunities each day to be a blessing to someone else changing their trajectory. We also have opportunities to meet people who will help us get to where we’re being led. I never want to miss those divine encounters, so I’m constantly on the look for them. Make sure you take time today to ask God to order your steps and to lead you into the path of a divine encounter where you can mutually benefit the people God brings into your life.
I was talking with someone recently about how incomes have fluctuated during the pandemic. Some people’s income increased and many’s decreased. They were saying how theirs decreased, but they wanted to maintain their giving level through their season of having less money. They were following a Biblical principle of giving. No matter how much or how little we have, we are to give to God and others. I cant help but think of the widow’s mites. We don’t get to see the blessing side of her story, just the obedience side. I believe God opened the windows of Heaven and blessed her because she continued to give and bless others no matter how little she had.
Here are some Bible verses on blessing others through giving.
1. Do not neglect to do good, to contribute [to the needy of the church as an expression of fellowship], for such sacrifices are always pleasing to God.
Hebrews 13:16 AMP
2. The generous man [is a source of blessing and] shall be prosperous and enriched, And he who waters will himself be watered [reaping the generosity he has sown].
Proverbs 11:25 AMP
3. For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, “You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy, and to your poor in your land.”
Deuteronomy 15:11 AMP
4. When you are generous to the poor, you are enriched with blessings in return.
Proverbs 22:9 TPT
5. Take advantage of every opportunity to be a blessing to others, especially to our brothers and sisters in the family of faith!
Have you ever been around someone who makes you better at something? Or someone who has the gift of encouragement? People like that seem to draw out the best in us. They make us pay attention more, do more and give a better effort. I’ve had a few people like that in my life. Each time you walk away from them you feel like you’re better for just having been with them. I always walk away from those conversations wanting to be like them and praying that God would help me to. I think of the John Maxwell quote where he says that we are either a plus or a minus to everyone we meet. I always want to be a plus, but I’ve learned it takes intentionality to do that.
David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel 18 had the kind of relationship where it was mutually beneficial. From the get go these two were around each other. They were both warriors in their own rights. Johnathan was the kings son and David was a shepherd. Even though they came from different worlds and there was a financial difference, they were still able to add value to each other. Jonathan was willing to give up his place as king for David. They had a serious bond that many of us need in our life. I believe bonds like that start with us believing we have something to bring to the table that’s beneficial to others.
In Romans 1:12, Paul writes to believers, “When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours” (NLT). We all want to be encouraged by someone else, but we need to remember that we have the power to be an encouragement to someone no matter how highly we esteem them because they need encouragement too. Look around you today as you go about your business. As God to open your eyes to see people who need encouragement. Then be bold and intentional about adding value and encouragement to them. Don’t wait for someone to be an encourager to you first. Step out in faith and encourage someone, then watch how you will be encouraged too. You have value that you can add to someone’s life today. Don’t hold back. Give it away like you’re made of it.
Back in 2005, I started a job as a sales rep for a Fortune 15 company. I was new to the industry and to using a POS system. My boss paired me with one of the reps to shadow. One morning, we both were on the opening shift. While customers lined up outside waiting to get in, he grabbed the intercom and started speaking in a slow, one word at a time, drawn out pace. He said, “Folkssss, each day is a gift. Today, you’ve been given another opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life. You can choose to make a difference in your life or in someone else’s life. You get to choose. Make today count.” I later figured out that each time he opened, he would do something like this as a means to motivate himself and others.
Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “So be very careful how you live, not being like those with no understanding, but live honorably with true wisdom, for we are living in evil times. Take full advantage of every day as you spend your life for his purposes” (TPT). None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, or even the rest of today. Most of us interact with different people throughout the day whether in person, on the phone or through social media. Are we thinking about what our lives say to others? Are we a positive in their day or a negative? Are we a blessing when we show up or a blessing to them when the interaction is done? Are we seeking to make our life better or the lives of others?
Paul is very clear here that you and I are to take advantage of each and every day whether we feel like it or not. If we are living our lives for His purposes, which by the way is your life’s purpose, then we do it no matter what our feelings tell us. His Kingdom is more important than our feelings. Jesus told us to seek His Kingdom first, and when we did, all the other things we seek will be added to us. If we’re going to make today count and take advantage of each and every day, we’re going to have to seek to do His will before we seek to do our own. His will is that none would be lost, and He choose you and I to be the ones to make sure that happens. Our lives should be lived so that others see our good works and lives and glorify our Father in Heaven. Live your life on purpose today taking advantage of each opportunity He gives you to be a blessing to others.