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Summary: God has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams! Why? Because He loves us--AND--He wants us to bless others! This is the process of the Kingdom!

If you use any or all of this message--would you be willing to fire off a quick email to:pastorjerryvargo@juno.com? I would like to have an idea of how often my sermons are actually being preached to strengthen the Body of Christ. Thanks!

Blessed to be a Blessing!

Pastor Jerry C. Vargo

Calvary Christian Chapel

I. Introduction.

A. Before I teach today, I’d like to give a testimony and make a few opening comments.

B. This morning, I stand before you as your new pastor. I also stand before you with the same reliance on the Spirit that the Apostle Paul expressed in…

-1 Corinthians 2:1-5

C. I know the unanimous vote blessed everyone. It speaks so clearly of the unity of the Spirit and the mandate that God has given me to be your pastor. Yet, like the Apostle Paul, I come here in fear, weakness, and trembling.

D. I am painfully aware of my reliance upon Him for wisdom to lead this church.

E. I exhort you to remember verse 5.

F. Today, I want to preach a foundational message that serves as a good starting point for our time together. I want to talk just a bit about why we are so blessed by God.

G. We are blessed to be a blessing. We must understand this and it must be part of our covenant together. It is our mission and mandate as a local expression of the body of Christ.

Illustration

The human heart is a wonderful thing. It pumps blood in at one valve and then sends it out through another valve. It never stores up blood. It is constantly circulating throughout the body. It gets blood…then it gives blood. It never stores it up for use at a later date.

It receives…then gives! It receives…then gives! It receives…then gives!

The same is true with any healthy Christian or church. It first receives from God…and then it gives. The giving always starts with God…

“We love, because He first loved us.”

- 1 John 4:19

The same is true with the blessings of God. “We bless, because He first blessed us.”

Two texts that illustrate this principle of blessed to be a blessing…

Old Testament: Genesis 12:1-3

New Testament: 1 Peter 2:9

II. Body.

A. Let me draw from these two texts some principles that I believe must be a part of body life.

1. We are blessed so that we can serve as ministers of the good news.

A. Another way to say this is to say:

God has saved you to help others come to Him.

B. Every single individual who names the name of Christ has a unique, personalized, and effective way of sharing the love of Christ.

C. May God help us to be known as a Church that cares about the lost and the lonely…about the hurting and the helpless. A fellowship that cares not about skin color or economic status.

D. Think back for just a moment about the days before YOU came to Jesus Christ. We must not lose sight of our history.

E. 1 Peter 2:9 again.

F. Matthew 24:14 says: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.”

G. Let me say it as clear as I can:

God has called every single one of us to be involved as ministers to those whose hearts are broken and without Christ…no exceptions!

Every member a minister!

H. Jim Peterson in his book “Church Without Walls” gives some great advice concerning serving others as ministers:

1. To be a messenger of Christ is to participate in spiritual warfare.

2. Communicating Christ involves incarnation, not just information.

3. The journey to Christ is a process, not just an event.

4. We guide people to Christ through the Scriptures.

5. Witnessing among unbelievers is a team, or body, effort.

6. (Add one of my own) Our lives must produce questions.

Transition: So, God has blessed us so that we can serve as ministers of the Good news.

Secondly…

2. We are blessed so that we can be part of a covenant community of faith.

A. What we read in Genesis 12 this morning was a covenant that God made with Abraham.

B. The Bible is filled with covenants. God and Noah. God and David. David and Jonathan.

C. The interesting thing to note is that God who is holy and without sin, sent His Son to usher in a New Covenant with a sinful and unholy people.

D. A covenant is much more than a contract. A contract usually involves a certain skill and has an ending date. A covenant has no ending and it involves the whole person.

E. In the Old Testament slaughtering and cutting an animal into two halves confirmed covenants. Then the parties would pass between the slain animals to signify that if either party broke the covenant…they would end up like the slain animal.

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