Summary: Paul talks about how to be blessed with an inheritance from God. 1- Bless and don’t curse 2- Rejoice and mourn 3- Demote and associate 4- Befriend and don’t repay
INTRO.- ILL.- A woman's husband dies. He had $20,000 left to his name. After everything is done at the funeral home and cemetery, she tells her closest friend that there is no money left. The friend says, "How can that be? You told me he had $20,000 a few days before he died. How could you be broke?"
The widow says, "Well, the funeral cost me $6,500. And of course, I had to make the donation for the church and the organist and all. That was $500, and I spent another $500 for the wake, food and drinks, you know. The rest went for the memorial stone." The friend says, "$12,500 for the memorial stone? My stars, how big was it?" The widow says, "Three carats!"
ILL.- Nina Wang, who died of cancer in 2007 at age 69, signed over her vast fortune ($4.2 Billion dollars as Asia’s richest woman) to a previously unknown feng shui master Tony Chan as a promise for eternal life.
There is only one person who gives the promise of eternal life and we don’t have to buy or purchase our way into heaven.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world...”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
I Peter 3:8-9 “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
God wants to give us an inheritance! And, of course, it’s not money. It’s a life that is blessed by Him in many ways.
PROP.- Paul talks about how to be blessed with an inheritance from God.
1- Bless and don’t curse
2- Rejoice and mourn
3- Demote and associate
4- Befriend and don’t repay
I. BLESS AND DON’T CURSE
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Bless people, don’t curse them.
ILL.- In 1966 the public was horrified by the brutally sadistic slaying of eight nurses in Chicago. Here’s the story. Richard Speck was the notorious killer of eight student nurses whose bodies were found on July 14, 1966, strangled and stabbed in a townhouse on the Southeast Side of Chicago. A ninth student nurse survived by hiding.
Speck, then 25, was arrested within days. He had slit his wrists, and a doctor at Cook County Hospital spotted his telltale blood-caked tattoo, "Born To Raise Hell." On April 15, 1967, after deliberating only 49 minutes, a jury found him guilty of the eight murders, and he was sentenced to death. After the death penalty was ruled unconstitutional in 1972, Speck was sentenced to 400 to 1,200 years in prison.
While some people may think they’ve been born to raise hell, we were not. Some people may say, “Let’s go do something even if it’s wrong.” HOW FOOLISH, DUMB AND SINFUL IS THAT?! It seems like some people are always looking to cause trouble or do something sinful or even curse others. We were not meant to curse, but rather to bless others. That’s God’s will for our lives! He wants us to bless others and to be a blessing to others, not be a curse or curse others.
Luke 6:27-28 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. “
Has anyone ever cursed you and how did you respond? I heard preacher Roy Weece say many years ago in a sermon, “That we as Christians can act pretty good, but it’s how we react in a given situation that shows how much of a Christian we are.”
When cussed, most of us don’t act well. We often respond in a similar manner. We fight fire with fire. But Jesus said we’re supposed to fight fire with a blessing.
1 Corinthians 4:11-13 “To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.” WE BLESS.
1 Peter 3:9 “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
God wants us to intherit a blessing and this is why we give a blessing to others even to those who would do us harm.
What is the greatest example of this principle? Christ on the cross. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Have mercy on them in their ignorance and sin.