A BLESSING OR A CURSE?
1. Both of these words are used frequently in the Bible.
2. We will be considering them as nouns in our study.
3. The word "blessing" means: "A benefit bestowed." Rom. 15:29; Gal. 3:14; Eph. 1:3; Heb. 6:7,8.
4. The word "curse" means "In the disfavor of God." Gal. 1:8,9.
5. Both words are used in Deut. 11:26-28.
6. So, with these thoughts in mind, I believe we can pretty well know how to distinguish between a blessing and a curse.
7. But, do you realize that there are blessings that can become curses to us?
I. OUR EYES.
A. Shut your eyes tight for just a moment!
1. Aren't you glad that you were able to open them and see again?
2. Aren't you glad that you have been able to see the glories of God's creation?
3. What if you had never been able to see your family, your relatives, your friends, your brethren?
B. We read of two blind men in the Bible. Matt. 20:29-34.
1. Did you note what they requested of Jesus, when He asked them what they wanted of Him?
2. How wonderful it must have been for them to now be blessed with sight.
C. But how sad it is for us to use these eyes with which we have been blessed for the wrong purpose.
1. When we do such, our eyes become a curse to us. Gen. 3:6; 19:26; Matt. 5: 27,28; 2 Pet. 2:14; 1 Jno. 2:15-17.
D. So, if we allow our eyes to become a curse, it would have been better if we had been born blind.
II. OUR TONGUE.
A. Have you ever tried to hold a conversation with a deaf-mute?
1. I have preached to them through an interpreter.
a. But even then, we are told, much is left to be desired in understanding.
B. Have you ever had a bad case of laryngitus or some other problem that prevented you from talking?
1. No doubt, under such conditions, you wrote out what you wanted to say.
2. I knew a dear old brother in the Lord that lost his voice entirely.
a. To make matters worse, he could neither read nor write.
b. I have spent hours trying to determine what he wanted to tell me. So did his children. No doubt, he went to his grave not being able to communicate what he wanted so desparately to tell me.
C. I would consider it a very great tragedy in my life if I could not speak to my loved ones.
1. But especially if I could not pray, talk to others about the Lord, nor sing praises to His matchless Name.
2. David said: "My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all day long." Psa. 71: 24.
D. But this same tongue, a blessing from God, used to praise God, can become a curse.
1. It can do so by: speaking evil -- cursing -- slandering -- lying -- using vulgarity, etc.
2. James warns about the tongue in Jas. 3:1-12.
III. OUR LIFE.
A. God has given us life -- it is a blessing. Gen. 2:7; Acts 17:25.
1. Even when we pray, we thank the Lord for our life.
2. I believe that all of us want to live as long as we possibly can.
a. Peter speaks of a good life. 1 Pet. 3:10-12.
b. Paul says something about how to have long life. Eph. 6:1-3. Also note: Psa. 55:23.
3. We are very sad whenever our loved ones are taken from us in their youth.
a. But whether we live a long time or not, our lives can be a blessing.
B. But, on the other hand, if our lives are misused and thereby become a curse, it would have been better if we had not been born or if we had died as a baby.
1. Look at the life of Jereboam, the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin.
a. He was an influence also on many other kings of Israel that followed in his steps.
1) Many times the statement: "They followed in the steps of Jereboam, the son of Nebat that caused Israel to sin," is said concerning kings that followed him.
2. It is left up to us what our lives will turn out to be.
3. The Lord tells His people that they have good and they have evil before them and that they should choose the good life and live eternally.
IV. THIS WORLD'S GOODS.
A. I am sure that we are thankful for the great abundance of physical blessing in this land in which we have been permitted to be born and live as citizens.
1. Many hundreds of thousands of people are living in lands where their loved ones are starving to death.
2. What a blessing to live in the good old USA. But, will we always be blessed with such abundance?
3. Jesus tells us about praying for our needs. "Give us this day our daily bread..." Matt. 6:11.
a. He does not tell us to pray: "Give us this day all of our luxurious desires."
4. He also tells uf that we "do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God." Matt. 4:4.
5. He further tells us where our priorities should be: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." Matt. 6:33.
6. John tells us not to love the world nor the things that are in the world. 1 Jno. 2:15- 17.
B. But in our quest for much of this world's goods, and our desire to enjoy them to the fullest, such might just become a curse rather than a blessing. 1 Tim. 6:7-10, 17-19.
1. Yes, many souls have gone on to torment because of turning this blessing into a curse.
V. CHURCH BUILDINGS.
A. Modest and comfortable ones can be a blessing to any congregation.
1. They can highly facilitate the Lord's work if used right.
2. Sometimes the Lord's work can be hampered by the lack of adequate facilities in which to meet.
B. But, church buildings have become albatrosses around many a neck of congregations throughout the land.
1. The Lord's money has been wasted on needless appendages and annexes.
a. Things which have nothing whatsoever to do with serving the Lord.
2. Too much attention has been given to creature comforts rather than to spreading the gospel.
VI. BROTHERHOOD PAPERS, MAGAZINES, AND PERIODICALS.
A. Such can be a tremendous blessing if used right.
1. Much good teaching can be disseminated through the written page.
B. But such can also become a curse upon the brotherhood if allowed.
1. When such is looked to for authority rather than to the Bible.
2. When people put more stock in the editors and staff writers of such papers than they should.
3. When lines are drawn on the strength of which paper you read.
4. When false teaching is done in such papers.
5. When such papers begin to meddle in the affairs of a congregation.
VII. SCHOOLS RUN BY BRETHREN.
A. What a wonderful blessing, especially in this day and time, to be able to send our children to schools where everything is done by Christians.
1. Where God is reverenced and His word respected.
B. But such schools can also become a curse.
1. By trying to legislate policy for churches.
2. By accepting and soliciting funds from churches.
3. By suggesting that all preachers should have a degree from such schools.
1. Yes, there are many blessings in this life that can, by abuse and misuse, be made into curses.
2. Actually, all that the Lord has ever done for us, through His manifold blessings, can become a curse to us if we fail to accept and use such blessings in the right way.
3. What is your life? -- a blessing or a curse?
4. Why not make it a blessing for yourself and for others?
By Jim Sasser
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