Lift, Bless, Lift, Repeat

“And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:

‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

‘Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.

‘Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

‘Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!  Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.'” Luke 6:20-23

Jesus spent his days with individuals and crowds, teaching and healing and taking advantage of every moment of public ministry to display the works of God. But His special attention was to His chosen twelve, and removing Himself from the crowds, He lifted his eyes on them and blessed them. It started with a knowing look, seeing them inside and knowing their thoughts and needs, then looking to heaven from where all blessings flow. The beatitudes He then pronounced in turn lifted His beloved disciples from pressing concerns to heavenly joys in a buoyancy of benevolent care and favor.

We have opportunity everyday to see those God has put around us, or to turn a blind eye. God in His providence has particularly assigned individuals to our sphere in the world, and enlists us to make a difference as His servants. Their burdens of heart and reality are heavy, and not so unlike ours. If they know not Christ, the cloud of present ills may be suffocating, and the despair of a dark or uncertain future unbearable. They are ripe for a look of love, and a look above. The compassion we offer and the words we speak may be the only refreshment they receive. We never know how God will use His truth to plant seeds of hope, or to penetrating fears and doubts with light, but we can trust it will not return void. (Isaiah 49:1-3; 55:10-11)

What do we actually know about the people with whom we work, or among whom we live? Do we take the time and attention to stop, look them in the eye, ask questions in love and interest? Have we let assumptions build walls between us? Do we retreat from differing views to our safe comfy places, or are we prepared and willing to connect with their experience and relate to their souls? How could we, this day, look into, then up, to give out a blessing to people we know? (Romans 12:9-16)

“Out in the highways and byways of life,
Many are weary and sad;
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife,
Making the sorrowing glad.

Tell the sweet story of Christ and his love,
Tell of his pow’r to forgive;
Others will trust him if only you prove
True, ev’ry moment you live.

Give as ’twas given to you in your need,
Love as the Master loved you;
Be to the helpless a helper indeed,
Unto your mission be true.

Make me a blessing, Make me a blessing.
Out of my life may Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing, O Savior, I pray.
Make me a blessing to someone today.” ~Ira B. Wilson (1909)

Lord, keep my eyes and hands lifted to bless others in Your name.

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