Blessed To Be a Blessing
The Bible in its entirety ascribes the primary intention of God; it is to save mankind. From the fall of Adam in Genesis 3 and continuing through Revelation 20, the harmful stain of SIN is written in big letters across the pages of God’s Word. From the time of the first satanic seduction until the time whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire along with the devil that deceived them, the Bible is a record of divine intervention bringing about salvation to whosoever will.
From the foundation of the world, a plan was set in motion and a fascinating formula was soon introduced. The Lord God blessed His chosen ones so that they in turn might be a blessing to every nation. His simple plan of “blessed to be a blessing” is the foundation of world missions. HIS mission to seek and to save that which was lost – soon evolved into the great CO mission, which is the heartbeat of our mission to this day.
God’s mandate to bring salvation to all people groups is clearly seen by his words to Abraham in Genesis 12:2, “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
There are over 300 declarative passages in the Old Testament that magnify God’s purpose to bless all nations. “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, Selah, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations” (Psalms 67:2). This verse is from what has aptly been called the “Missionary Psalm” because of its worldwide perspectives.
The blessings promised to Abraham eventually made their way to us through Jesus Christ, but the cycle must not stop at the door of the local church; it is meant to continue, for we are blessed to be a blessing.
Reaching every nation with Bible salvation is still God’s plan and we ought to be personally involved with the things that touch the heart of God. The consummation of his desire is seen in Rev 7:9 – “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.” It is a recorded fact; it will happen!
The central theme of the book of Acts is the expansion of God’s kingdom to the ends of the earth. The word “witness” is its key word, being mentioned 39 times. Church tradition tells us that most of the apostles became martyrs while serving on missionary fields.
On the day of Pentecost, people from more than 15 regions assembled in Jerusalem. They came from every nation under heaven in fulfillment of what the Lord God had moved upon his prophet Joel to write – “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh”. What a fitting time, for Pentecost was the feast of first-fruits – a harvest festival. “Harvest” is a metaphor used in Scripture to speak of a last day event and the urgency of evangelism.
One day, as masses of Samaritans moved toward him, Jesus questioned his disciples, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35).
Every farmer knows the importance of bringing in the harvest in a timely manner. An elderly pioneer preacher was sitting beside a young pastor in a church service when the above verse was quoted. With his huge hand he slapped the young man on the leg and said in a loud voice, “Young man, do you understand what that scripture means? I’ll tell you. The crop is so ripe that unless someone gets to it immediately, it will spoil.”
The first day of the twentieth century marked the birth of the modern Pentecostal movement. That evening, Agnes Ozman received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. A few days later, Charles Parham, his wife, and twelve of his students received their personal Pentecost.
It was not long before a spark ignited in the hearts of a small group of 15 people when they started a prayer meeting in Los Angeles. On April 9, 1906 the fire fell as people began to speak with other tongues. For three years the fire blazed in the lives of thousands of people from around the globe as they visited “the heart of revival.” By December 1906, the Azusa Street Mission sent out at least thirteen missionaries to Africa. With the growing realization that it was blessed to be a blessing, the church grew with unprecedented speed and was aggressively evangelistic. That was the birth of the global Pentecostal missions program.
At the time of the merger establishing the UPCI, Foreign Missions had 40 missionaries working among 9 nations. Recent annual reports show we now have over 891 North American missionaries and 39 regional missionaries working in 192 nations. We have about 2 million constituents overseas, with over 100,000 people receiving the Holy Ghost every year. That’s not bad for a group once ostracized and considered to be on the wrong side of the religious track!
Joseph had a clear understanding that he was blessed to be a blessing. His father, with great spiritual insight, said of him, “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall” (Genesis 49:22).
It would be wonderful if every church in our great district would release its blessings “over the wall” by being witnesses unto Jesus “both in Jerusalem (local city), and in all Judaea (Oregon), and in Samaria (North America), and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Those who have the revelation that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35), are getting personally involved by participating in each of the various fund-raising departments of our organization. I encourage you to go online to www.faithpromiseworks.com and listen to the thrilling testimonies of pastors and saints who discovered that the concept of Blessed to Be a Blessing, when put into action, brings great blessings in return.
Rev. James Bigelow
PASTORS: Missionaries coming through Oregon on deputation can now be scheduled
Online by clicking on the Foreign Missions Department link at www.orupc.com
This article “Blessed to Be a Blessing” written by Rev. James Bigelow, was excerpted from the magazine Oregon District Apostolic Accent magazine. June 2010. It may be used for study & research purposes only.