Spiritual people are not independent; they are interdependent.
We are a blessing to other people, and they are a blessing to us.
And He said to them, ‘Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.’” (Mark 4:23-25)
Do you all remember Barbara Jordan, a Congresswoman from Texas, Houston, I believe. She said that “I don’t want to be a run-of-the-mill person.” I don’t think any of us want to be just “run of the mill.” We want to be the best we can be – give it our all. Each of us would like to make a difference in at least some small way.
Say to yourself that you WILL make a difference in at least someone’s life today. We can do it alone or we can do it together. But, in actuality, we are never really alone.
Small differences accumulate adding up to major changes in people’s lives. You can make a difference, you can add to the equation to someone’s positive life. Do you know how easy that is? How profoundly it changes your life when you make that commitment? It is so joyous when you go out there and go on your search. You wonder who is going to be “the one” today. You wait to find that person.
Here is a story that happened long ago in Nigeria, West Africa. We hear so many scarey things about that general area these days. This story, however, happened way before politics played its dirty hand.
“There was a small village in Nigeria, West Africa, which is an agricultural community, a farming community. This village is in a large valley, plush with trees and vegetation. The villagers live in houses of dried mud which women decorate with colorful designs each year during the harvest festival.
Surrounding the village are fields filled with crops of yams, corn, and other vegetables. Just beyond the fields is a deep river that the villagers call “Baba,” which means, “Father.” The river has been a friend to the villagers and a provider for the people. The men fish in it. Women wash clothes on its banks. Children play in its waters. But, in the rainy season, it can overflow and the people are very fearful of its power. It could wipe out their crops and even threaten their safety.
There was a man in the village named Modupe, which means, “I am grateful.” Modupe was a shy, quiet man whose wife had died and whose children were all married. Modupe lived all alone, so he moved to the top of the mountain overlooking the valley. There he built a small hut and cleared a small piece of land to grow his vegetables. The people did not see Modupe often, but they loved and respected him.
One year at harvest time, there were unusually heavy rains. But because the crops had done so well and there was much work to do, no one paid much attention to the rains. One morning, Modupe went outside his house and was looking out over the valley when he noticed that the dam had been damaged.
The heavy rains were pouring down, and the river had become so swollen from the rains that the dam was going to break. Modupe knew he did not have time to run down to the village to warn the people. It would be too late and all would be lost. Even as he watched, the wall of the dam began to break and water started to seep through in several places. Modupe knew that his friends in the village, their crops, their homes, and their very lives were in danger of being lost in the flood. He had to warn them. But how was he going to do this? An idea came to him. He rushed to his hut and set his own home on fire.
When the people in the valley looked up, they saw Modupe’s house on fire. They said, “Sound the alarm. Our friend is in trouble. Let’s go help him.”
Then, according to the custom, men, women, and children ran up the mountain to help. As they reached the top of the mountain, a loud crashing noise from behind caused them to turn around and look down into the valley. Their homes, their crops, everything was being destroyed by the river, which had broken the dam and flooded the valley.
The people began to cry and moan about their loss.
Modupe said, “Don’t worry. My crops are still here. We will share them while we build a new village.” The people began to realize what had happened and they began to give thanks. They knew that in coming to help a friend, they had saved themselves.
You also save yourself when you help someone else because God and His love is coming through you. You are, just by your actions, displaying the love of our Lord. God is so wonderful.
When we stand alone and we become so independent that we do not care about another person – that is when we all fall. United we stand.
As spiritual people, we are interdependent. Together we bless others, help others, pray with and for others. You can look for someone to help, and God will lead the way. When you bless another, you also are blessed as he is. “ It comes back to you, pressed down, shaken over. It comes through you and yet, it comes back to you from the outside, too. Wow! You are the blessor and the blessee. You serve God by become a blessing in your world.” You are interdependent.
I talk a lot about our Spiritual Family Prayer Room – our Bethel. (http://thespiritualfamily.chatango.com/)
It was here that many of us became interdependent or more focused on our interdependence. We reached out and blessed and prayed for each other and those who we knew outside the Bethel that were in need – physically and spiritually and emotionally. At the same time, we blessed and prayed (and still do) for each other. We now are a family – we are interdependent with each other and with God. Please feel welcome to join us in our Bethel at anytime. There are usually people there all day and evening – long into the night. We would love to have you join us.
I pray that you are known by the positive difference you make in other’s lives. That is really what counts, isn’t it? We passed their way, and we made their life better because we took the time to make their lives better. Isn’t that what Jesus did. And Jesus was interdependent. He had God with Him the whole way. Plus He had his disciples helping and standing beside Him also.
How well we remember actor Paul Newman. In addition to being a great actor, he was also a great humanitarian. He formed and built a company named “Newman’s Own.” It was and is jars of wonderful foods. He did this as part of his humanitarian efforts. And today his $150 million company gives all its profits (after taxes of course) toward helping the needs of others. He was and his company still represents the wonderful humanitarian. He will be known for his acting, but he will always be known for his humanitarian achievements,
Bill Gates and Michael Dell will probably be the same, as will Warren Buffett. Living a life of giving and sharing and one will never be forgotten.
We don’t need to show off or boast about our life. None of that matters. What matters is what you can do now. What kind of effort can you do now to help in some way to make that difference in another’s life.
So take this pledge with me. “I will make a difference in at least one person’s life today, every day, and find that happiness and bliss through the blessings received doing so.”
Let me tell you a story: One time, there were students of a rabbi. They approached their spiritual leader with a complaint about the evil that was everywhere in the world. They were intent upon driving out the forces of darkness. They requested that the rabbi counsel them. The rabbi suggested they take brooms and attempt to sweep the darkness out of the cellar.
The bewildered disciples applied themselves, using all their vigorous energy to sweep the darkness out of the cellar, but to no avail. The rabbi then advised his followers to take big sticks and to beat vigorously at the darkness to drive out the evil. When this likewise failed, he counseled them to go down again into the cellar and to protest against the darkness by lighting a candle. When they kindled their lights, the darkness had been driven out.
It is the same with us. When we kindle our light, something very special is going to happen.
Mark 4:21. “He said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lamp stand?’”
This is asking us if we were born to hide under our light. Are you supposed to hide it deep inside of you where no one could see it?
“’For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’ And He said to them, ‘Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.’” (Mark 4:22-25)
This means that “For to those who have, more will be given. When you are giving more blessings every day, you are going to have more blessings come to you. When you give nothing, even what you have will be taken away. You will lead an empty existence. We all want to do God’s will, but are we willing to walk in God’s footsteps?”
Each of us is called to a different blessing to give. Your mission is right where you are. Your service, your blessing is different than mine or your friend’s or your cousin’s. Have faith totally in God’s direction in your life and work with Him in your area of the country. He wants you to hold your lamp up high so you can be the guide, the blessing to another.
Always be where you are to make it better there, to be that positive element that can put a smile on someone’s face. Not only will they smile, but you also will smile.
We all wish we were able to give gifts to others which would add to their joy and happiness. One of the greatest gifts we can give is the gift of blessing . Everybody wants to feel blessed. When you get up, tomorrow morning, how much more alive you will be as you crawl out of bed if you think, “I’m going to meet my good.” How much more alive you will be if you crawl out of bed and say, “I’m going to do good.” Because, as you do good, you are going to meet good. I am needed.
Do you know when it is the most fun to be a blessing? It is when you are a blessing to people who are hard to bless. That is where it really becomes entertaining.
Charles Harvey tells this true story. He said, “I made a commitment to being a blessing. Then, that very morning as I was driving to a job interview, running 15 minutes late already, I saw a middle-aged woman stranded with a flat tire. My conscience made me stop. I changed her tire and headed to the interview thinking I could just forget about getting the job now.
“But I filled out the job applications anyway, and went to the personnel director’s office. Did I get the job? Sure thing! The personnel director hired me on the spot. She was the woman whose tire I had just changed.”
That is the way God works.
I close with this piece of poetry. It is so meaningful.
The Day’s Result
Is anybody happier because you passed their way?
Does anyone remember that you spoke to them today?
The day is almost over and its toiling time is through;
Is there anyone to utter now a kindly word of you?
Did you give a cheerful greeting to the friend who came along?
Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said?
Does the one whose hopes were fading now with courage look ahead?
As you close your eyes in slumber, do you think that God would say, “You have earned one more tomorrow by the work you did today?”
My friend, don’t be a person that lives just for self-betterment.
Make a difference with your life in the lives of others.
Jesus spoke these words about you: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before humans that they may see your good works and glorify your God in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
Let us pray. “I give this day the God-touch and I glory in God’s blessings. I pray that I bless others as God’s love is reflected through my thoughtful acts, my gentleness, and courtesy, my words of praise and gratitude. The God-touch of my words and actions has an expanding, uplifting quality.
Today, God, with Your help, I give attention to others. I hold only positive thoughts.
I think of the many blessings that I can give, and I am constantly blessed.
Lord, help me become an imitator and one with You; help me to be gentle and giving. Let all my expressions be a reflection of You and let me become an imitator of Your wonderful ways.
In Jesus Christ’s name we pray.”
Thank You, God. Amen.
God bless you!