Blessed people bless people. We are an incredibly blessed church at FBC Shawnee. We have had a long history (nearly 124 years!) of blessing people in Pottawatomie county, our state, and throughout the world. At one time, more IMB missionaries attended school at OBU than any other school in the US. Many of those missionaries attended church right here. We are part of their story. We have seen countless baptisms, people being released from addictions, and have strived to take care of the poor in our midst. Our children's choir has introduced Jesus through song for 1000s of kids. We are debt free, and we have money in the bank. Our building is used constantly by our community for fundraisers, banquets, and other activities that bless our community. We truly are a blessed church.
In Genesis 12, God calls Abram to a special mission. God tells Abram that through his family, God will bless all nations. All Abram had to do was go and he would carry the blessing. How old was Abram when God told him this? He was 75! How many kids had Abram had at the time? None! This seemed like an impossibility, but with God anything is possible.
Abram of course did go, and he brought the blessing with him. One of his family descendants was a man named Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Jesus' life, teachings, death, and resurrection brings God's ultimate blessing on the world. Before Jesus ascended back to the Father, He calls his disciples and says "Go, make disciples of all nations." When we make disciples, we carry on the blessing that God had given Abram all that long ago.
Our blessing comes not because of all the stuff we have done, or our wonderful history, or that we do not have debt. Why we are blessed is because of Jesus. Jesus blesses us with salvation, joy, and peace. Jesus blesses us with His very own presence. One of the names of Jesus is Immanuel, which literally means the with us God! We are blessed because Jesus is with us everyday, and we have the opportunity to live life with Jesus everyday.
Blessed people bless people. Over the last few weeks, we have seen our church bless people tangibly. Over spring break, we sent a team of 10 people to a small village in Guatemala. They installed water filters, and talked about the living water that Jesus gives. You can hear about their journey this Sunday night, April 10, at 6 PM in the Fellowship Hall. Currently, our music minister Mark Burnett is in Cuba on a mission trip blessing people with music. Your tithe money helped to pay for both of these trips. Over the last few weeks, people have read our sign advertising Dave Ramsey, Single and Parenting, GriefShare, and Women's Bible study, and have walked from the street into our building to take part in these programs. Blessed people bless people.
Our church is located in a strategic place to bless people with the Gospel. You have all kinds of opportunities to bless people this summer. Vacation Bible School is a great opportunity to bless people. Usually we have 60-80 kids that have no connection to our church come to our VBS. Your presence and energy can bless these kids. Many Shawnee schools are 100% free and reduced lunches. Oklahoma does not do a good job of making sure these kids get fed during the summer. Our church has partnered with Mission Shawnee this summer to help with that. Every Tuesday morning in the summer, some people from our church are going to prepare meals for about 200 kids who would not have a meal. Come join them if you can! June 20-24 our church is signed up to distribute meals from 11:30-1:00. You can bless a child by handing out a meal and telling them that Jesus loves them! Every 8-9 weeks, Family Promise comes, and you have the opportunity to bless a homeless family. Blessed people bless people.
Maybe you do not have the time to bless someone through one of our ministries. We understand. One way you can bless someone is through being generous with your giving. The money that you place in the offering plate or give online goes to these ministries. When you give you are blessing other people. We are such a blessed church. Let's continue being a church that blesses people!