To Bless Others

Have you thought of your influence in society as being one of mending and healing and tying up and putting together things that have been broken? You'll find so many people, almost everybody you'll ever meet is hurting somewhere. And if you can be of help and blessing and encouragement in easing just the pain of living, you will be such a blessing

Scripture: Ephesians 4:12-13


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? Doing alright? Well, bless your heart. I trust everything’s Alright at your house, and I’m glad to be back with you. It’s my joy to share something from the Word of God day by day on these broadcasts. Just about 14 minutes or so, but man, I enjoy it, don’t you? I guess some of you do, ’cause you’ve told me so. [chuckle] Thank you for that. But what it does, it helps to put a handle on the truth of God so you can get hold of it. My one gift, I guess, if I have any, is to make it practical, what to do about it. So that’s what we try, each time we go on the air to accomplish. Put a handle on the Word of God so that you can get hold of it for yourself. We’re in Ephesians chapter 4, and we were talking about the gifts that God has given to the church. He gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors, and teachers.

We talked about those different words the last time we got together. Now, let’s go on to the next verse, the 12th verse of Ephesians chapter 4, “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,” verse 13, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Now, the perfecting of the saints, that’s one Greek word, and unto a perfect man, that’s another one, we’ll talk about that when we get there. I will give you a little word study. What is the purpose of these gifts, the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors, the teachers? What’s the purpose of all that? Well, he says it’s for the perfecting of the saints. Now that’s the Greek word katartismos, and that comes from a verb, a Greek verb katartizo.

Do you know that there are 10 different shades of meaning to that one Greek verb? Look it up in your own Greek lexicon, if you have one, you’ll find that what I’m telling you is true. Let me just mention some of the different shades of meaning that you have in that one Greek verb that is translated here, perfecting of the saints. The first meaning is to mend something, to mend something. Now, how does that apply to a pastor or to a teacher or to evangelist? When you find people whose hearts and lives are broken and the only thing that will mend them, of course, is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus and the working of the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit after they make the Lord Jesus Lord of their lives, and savior of the souls by faith, to mend the broken-hearted. Isaiah spoke of that commission, he said, “I’ve sent you to bind up the broken-hearted,” same thing, mend. Have you thought of your influence in society as being one of mending and healing and tying up and putting together things that have been broken?

You find so many people almost everybody you ever meet is hurting somewhere, and if you can be of help and blessing and encouragement and easing just the pain of living, you will be such a blessing. That’s one shade of meaning of that Greek verb that is translated perfecting. Another one is to repair, and when you repair something, you put it back in shape so it can be used. I sat down too hard on a rocking chair one time, and the rocker on one side split, it was made of very thin wood. I never should have sat in it in the first place. Some chairs are made to be looked at only, as you ladies know, but there it was, I did it. Now, how do you repair a rocking chair, one side of which is split? Well, what I did was to get some woodcrafter’s glue, real good glue and I got a clamp, and put the glue onto both sides of that split rocker and then clamped them together, and then I took a very small drill and drilled a hole through there, and put a wood screw right straight through. So that it would hold and hold and hold. Well, I’ve sat in that chair different times since, and nothing is broken. So I guess it must be repaired.

See? Now your job, as a Christian, is to repair things in people’s lives and in situations. Put the situation back so it’ll work again, put that life back in shape so it will work again to glorify God. That’s part of your job, repair. And then there’s another meaning, that means to complete, to bring to completion. Many a person could be so much more for God, if somebody would only encourage him or her to complete what has been begun, a letter that came through, not too long ago, from someone who had won a prize and in writing said, “At last, I’ve done a little something in writing.” Well, that’s good. And I was glad to see that there was another statement that said, “I’m going to enroll in a course so that I can do this better.” Well, that’s fine. You bring things to completion. If you’ve started, go on, complete it. And your job now, pastor, evangelist, teacher, whoever you may be, Sunday school teacher, and in the larger sense, mother and dad, your mission field is your home and those kids of yours, isn’t it true? Wherever you’re dealing with other human beings, for the glory of the Lord Jesus, your job is to bring to completion what God may have helped the individual start.

Then you’ve got the idea of equipping, this is all from one verb, one Greek verb that’s used in Ephesians 4:12, that is translated perfecting, Alright? To mend, to repair, to bring to completion, and now you got to equip, to equip a person. I suppose looking back in my own life, that I owe to different individuals, some of the techniques and procedures that I now follow almost automatically. For example, when Dr. Ted Engstrom came to work with me in Youth for Christ back in the 1950s, he left Zondervan where he was in charge of editing and I don’t know what else, they told me they had to hire three men to take his place when he left. [chuckle] Monumental intellect and ability that he had and still has, but when he came to Youth for Christ, we were talking one day and he brought up the subject of personal efficiency, dynamics and so on. We were talking about that, he said, “Did you ever read such and such a book?” The title of it was “The Technique of Getting Things Done.” I said, “No, I never did.” Well, he said “I’m gonna loan you my copy, you’d take a look at it. I think you’ll enjoy it.”

Well, bless your soul. I got so much out of that book and I immediately began to follow some of the principles that the man wrote about. One of them, as I recall, is something that I have done ever since. He said “Never pick up a piece of mail without doing something about it. If you can’t answer it right away, scratch the idea of the answer on the margin of the letter. So the next time you pick it up, you won’t have to go through that process.” And so, I formed that habit of doing something about a document every time you pick it up, so that you’re not just shuffling papers, you’re doing something. Now I owe that to Ted Engstrom. He helped to equip Bob Cook at that point. No question about that in my mind. I think that I owe to Peter Deyneka, the idea of protracted prayer meetings, spending nights in prayer, praying toward an objective. I first started that, of course, when I was just out of Bible Institute, Moody Bible Institute, graduate of the institute and now saving up money to go to Wheaton College and in the meantime leading a choir and doing the best I could to learn to preach in Gospel missions in Chicago.

And Russell McNamara, of course, was the superintendent of that mission, and we had some all-nights of prayer that we literally prayed some bootleggers out from up above us so there wouldn’t be so much noise. [chuckle] And so I got started then, back in 19, what it would be 31, but really the technique of protracted prayer meetings where you waited before God with an objective was reinforced in my mind by Peter Deyneka, who of course is now with the Lord a number of years, and he and I would lead these all-night prayer meetings in the Youth for Christ conventions. And that became then a procedure that to me simply is just the way you do things. You don’t call a committee meeting, you call a prayer meeting, you pray first, then plan, pray first, then decide. This is the sort of thing that helps to equip a person. You see what I’m talking about? Now, look about you, and see what you can do with the gifts God has given you in terms of equipping somebody else for a better ministry. God gave you the gifts, so that you might equip someone else. You follow that? Now what else is there? It says to put in order.

Do you realize that God has given you some gifts that would help you to rearrange, to encourage the rearrangement of priorities in somebody else’s life? Not that you’re going around and saying pompously, “Now, I’m going to help you my brother.” No, don’t do that. People will stay away from you by the thousands. What you do is look for a chance to encourage a person who knows he needs help and who asks for it, encourage a person in rearranging his priorities. This is something that we oftentimes need a little help in, because we’re so close to our own circumstances that we fail to see them. And so someone else needs to help us in this matter, the gifts God has given you are to enable you to help someone else to prioritize his schedule so that he’ll be accomplishing something worthwhile for God.

Then of course, now this is all out of one verb form, and it’s translated perfecting. The gift that God has given you was for the perfecting of other Christians. And then we looked up that word and found that it came from a verb which means 10 different things in 10 different settings, to mend, to repair, to complete, to equip, to put in order to adjust. Now, here’s one, to strengthen. You can bring strength to other people as you contact their lives in the power of the Holy Spirit. Time has gone, we’ll come back to this the next time we get together, God willing.

Gracious Father, today, may we use the gifts you gave us to help other people along the way in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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