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Discover the Book - Aug. 28, 2007

  • 2007 Aug 28

Be The Greatest Person by Being the Greatest Servant







So, tonight I want you to focus for a few minutes on giving an encouraging blessing to each member of your family. 


Use this definition of the Greek word for “blessing” that we have been learning about. Plug in some genuine loving expressions of what you see that you can praise in their life. 


2127 eulogeo is a verb used 44 times in the New Testament that means:  

“to praise [your loved one], to celebrate [them] with praises [that] invoke [God’s] blessings and consecrate [your loved one] with solemn prayers [that] ask God’s blessing on [your loved one] to cause [them] to prosper, to make [them] happy, to bestow blessings [that they be] favored by God.”[2] 


Often we forget that strengths and weaknesses are just the two opposite ends of a characteristic we exhibit. For examples someone who is anxious and worries has just misdirected their meditation onto problems instead of blessings. There are so many character flaws that we can encourage the positive side in a person. Just as Peter was encouraged by Christ's loving ministry so can we encourage prayerfully those we love. Here are a few of the two-ends of the same trait: 


Positive Character

Negative Character

Alert and sociable

Overly curious, nosy



Resourceful and creative


Thrify and stewardship minded


Expressive and dramatic

Overly talkative

Enthusiastic, vivacious


Sincere, earnest, with strong convictions

Too serious

Strong convictions and uncompromising

Bold and inflexible

Strong disciplines and convictions


Confident and assured


Creative and imaginative

Dreamer and distracted

Organized and efficient

Too fussy




Old Testament Blessings


One of the key descriptions of how God wanted His people blessed comes from the instructions to the priests. In the Jewish community the priests were the public servants, they inspected for disease, they protected the food supply, housing, dealt with domestic issues, and of course represented the people to God. In the New Testament we are to all be priests, and in a real sense, we are called like them to bless those around us. 


Numbers 6:23-27 (NIV) “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: ““‘The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’ “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”  


Numbers 6:23-27 (NKJV) “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’ “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” 

This idea of the blessing of the people was so woven into the fabric of the life of God’s chosen people of promise the Jews that they began to make a specific verbal blessing time to be part of the private family Sabbath meal. 


One of the most moving Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) traditions is the blessing over the children given on Friday night. There are many variations on how the blessing is made. The most common custom is for the father to put his hands on the child's head and recite the blessing. In some homes the blessing is followed by a kiss, and in other homes it is followed by personal words of praise as the father walks around the table and blesses each seated child.

Why should we learn to share a blessing with our families? Because a blessing shared, and the whole expression of love that it gives helps those we love know in a visible way that we love them. Blessing those we love is a memorable way they can remember feeling and hearing our love. 


Do you ever remember your father telling you out loud, in a clear and loving voice that he loved you and admired some qualities he had seen in your life? Those words just stay in our hearts for a lifetime. My own dad has often told me how much he sees the Lord’s Hand in my life and what great things he believes God will do in my life—and has been saying that for a quarter-of-a-century!


How to Bless Your Wife, Your Husband, or Your Children[3]  


Do your loved ones in your family feel your love?  Many husbands think that their wives admire other men more than them as they relate how, “So-and-so’s husband does this and that with his children or for his wife…”. Those men do not feel the respect and admiration of their wives. 

Many wives feel that their husbands think other women are either better at caring for their husbands, prettier, or better at caring for their families than they are. Those women do not feel the love of their husbands.


Many kids hurt because they sense that their parents don’t even like them.  A struggling student watches his parents gloat about his sister’s straight A’s. A boy strikes out in a softball game and notices his father’s disappointment. An overweight daughter is told, “Stop snacking so much if you even care about your looks.”  


This absence of marriage partner or parental approval, or family blessing, can lead to untold pain; whereas loved ones who feel approval and love face the daily challenges in their world with eagerness and confidence. 


Paul Blessed Timothy 


One of the most beautiful testimonies to the power of encouragement (or blessing) in the New Testament is in the life of the Apostle Paul. Paul explained to Timothy that he was: 

·      “ A true son” (I Timothy 1:2);

·      he told Timothy he was “an example to the flock” (I Timothy 4:12);  

·      that he “had a gift” and needed to “stir it up” (I Timothy 4:14; II Timothy 1:6);

·      and he reminded him of his incredible spiritual heritage “and that from a child” (II Timothy 3:15).  


So Paul “blessed” Timothy, and used tender and encouraging words to help his son in the faith Timothy. He doesn’t belittle him for his weaknesses and tears. Paul also told Timothy he had a “treasure” entrusted him (I Timothy 6:20); and that he was “gifted”; and that God was “going to use him”. These exhortations were tenderly given to a struggling man. 


These type of “blessings” when seen in God's Word often involve several elements: Meaningful touches with (like Jesus blessing the children )…Spoken words that have (like Jesus when He left for Heaven)…Expressions of high value (like Paul’s for Timothy and Epaphroditus) and …Point to a Blessed Future (like Christ's and Paul’s for those they discipled) with...Your personal commitment to be a part of their life and growth towards that goal. (“Lo I am with you” Jesus said. Paul said he labored in prayer daily for ALL the churches.) 


Make sure your loved ones in your family receive your blessing. To help them receive and be touched by your love, we can try to use those several key ingredients that we see above, which always help us to communicate blessings and encouragement. 


Use meaningful touches with them. That is what Jesus did (Mark 10:16) when he blessed the children, He was always touching those He ministered to. He could have healed them with a word, eight times in Mark alone Jesus touches those He served. So should we! The act of touch is a key to communicating warmth and affirmation. It is even essential to physical health. Be generous with your hugs.  


Prepare special words for them. Paul used tender and encouraging words to help his son in the faith Timothy. He doesn’t belittle him for his weaknesses and tears. We should always remember that hugs aren’t enough. Tell your loved ones how you feel about them! Those who are left to fill in the blanks often feel worthless and insecure. At best, only confusion can come from silence. Far too many of us are really not that encouraging.  It’s not that we have a critical spirit.  Rather, we just say nothing.  Our loved ones are not mind readers.  We can do better than just expecting them to know we are in their corner, loving and admiring them silently.  They need to hear it!  Make an effort to catch them doing something good, right, thoughtful, considerate, well done, etc. and point it out.  Highlight it!  "Hey, you really handled that situation very well." 


Attach high value to them. Paul also told Timothy he had a “treasure” entrusted him; and  that he was “gifted”; and that God was “going to use him”. So should we also tell the ones we love about the qualities you admire in them. One of the best ways to do this with children is to liken them to a physical object (like calling your daughter a “pearl” or “precious jewel”).  With your husband this is communicated by saying your husband is such a “wonderful dad, husband, friend” or such a “faithful leader, provider, diligent, hard working, thoughtful, etc.”. With your wife this comes in the form of “you are so beautiful I think about you all day long; I can’t wait to see you; I know how hard you work all day and can’t wait to get home to help you; there are so many things I want to talk over with you; I’d rather spend an evening walking and talking with you than anything else even sports, friends, golf, etc.” 


Picture a bright future for them. Paul told Timothy about a “crown” that was awaiting him as he ran the “race” set before him; and that the Lord was going to “reward” him. So we also should express what God can do with them as they follow Him in their life. How they can shape the lives of the children (wife), launch wonderful children into life through their faithful example (husbands), or become the greatest servant of the Lord in what ever field God has gifted them (children). Explain why you think their gifts and character traits will be useful throughout their lives. Avoid negative admonitions; inspire self-confidence.  

Make a commitment to walk through life with them. Stand by your loved one through the months and years ahead to help make your words of blessing become a reality. Express ways you want to be a deeper part of their life (monthly dates, weekly prayer studies, nightly prayer times, on going shared prayer list, etc.) Don’t quit as soon as you miss a scheduled time because of a conflict or your loved one hurts or discourages you, or your child fails in some area.  


What are The Benefits of Meaningful Touch[4] 


Hold your wife’s hand and look into her eyes smiling. Put your arm around your husband, run your hand through his hair (whether he has any left) and stand close to him for a bit. Tousle your son’s hair or wrestle playfully with him. Pat your daughter on the back. Give everyone in your family (even the reluctant 7th-grader) a quick hug when you come home. Such meaningful touch, given appropriately, makes people feel loved and appreciated. Touch offers: 

Symbolic meaning. It sends a message both to the person touched and to anyone who witnesses it.  

·      A father rests his hand on his son’s shoulders and draws him close under the umbrella while they wait for the school bus in the rain. 


Physical health. Many studies have shown that touch provides a significant physiological benefit.  

·      Premature infants who are massaged gain weight faster.

·      Elderly people in nursing homes who are given a pet to touch live longer.

·      Blood pressure decreases among people who get appropriate touch.  


Emotional comfort. Touch is the easiest way to communicate love and acceptance. 

What about when a doctor touches your shoulder as he explains his diagnosis?

What difference does it make when a friend offers a handshake?  


Protection. When children get loving touches from their parents, they are less likely to seek touch from harmful sources later in life.  

Women with repeated unwanted pregnancies have told researchers that they just wanted to be cuddled and held. 


The Bible affirms this concept too. It relates this incident about Jesus:  

People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16) 

One study has shown that it takes eight to ten meaningful touches each day to maintain emotional and physical health. If you can find ways to do that, your wife, husband, and children will be blessed. 


This message will conclude tomorrow August 29th as we start by looking at “Picturing a bright Future”

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