It is easy for one to look on the dark and negative side of life and forget to think about all the good things of life. The song “Count Your Blessings” exhorts us to think about all the blessings that God has given us "and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”
“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm103:1-5).
We are blessed in many, many ways. How many people are in poor health in countries because they do not have the medicines and technology available to them. What if we had to take one of our loved ones to a doctor only to learn that the needed medication is not available. Truly, we are blessed. Again, think of the opportunities with which we are blessed. There are all types of educational and job opportunities open to us and our children. All these basically have been handed to us.
Think of the spiritual opportunities that are ours. We are privileged to go to worship service several times a week and meet in a nice dry building. We are privileged to study under someone who has diligently studied the Bible probably for years. Yet in some countries many congregations have to rent a place for an hour or so a week and do not have the teachers and/or resources that is available to many.
However, there can be a danger in our blessings. In the long ago, God warned Israel; “And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage” (Deut. 6:10-12). We too need to beware lest we forget God.
Indeed, we have been blessed. The greatest blessing of all is Jesus Christ. He is greater than any material blessing.
Salt or stumbling block? Which one is it? Ideally, the Christian is the salt of the earth, the light of the world. He is one who has an Influence for good to save souls, to lead them from darkness into the light of Christ. Unfortunately, some who profess to be a Christian are not that salt, light, influence for good and salvation. Some are stumbling blocks, obstacles in the paths of others. Paul admonished “that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way” (Rom. 14:13). There were those in the church at Pergamos who, like Balaam of old, were stumbling blocks to the children of God (Rev. 2:14). The Christian is created “unto good works, which God hath before ordained.” Certainly, God did not create him for the destructive work of causing others to be lost or making their salvation more difficult!
As salt or as a stumbling stone you, by now, have caused someone to become a Christian -- or become lost. The power of influence cannot be minimized. Good influence radiates into far places and affects many people. Bad influence does the same. No living soul is without influence. He influences someone somewhere.
Many Christians refuse to face the reality of their own lives as the effects it has on the lives of others. Some women wonder why their husbands do not become Christians. The answer, in too m any instances, is that the wife is a stumbling stone before her husband. This is also true of the husband toward his wife. Many children, as they mature, see the hypocrisy of their parents, yes parents who profess to be Christians, and later turn away from Christianity to the perplexity and confusion of their parents. Why so? Because the parents were stumbling stones rather than salt and light
Many souls have been won to Christ by Christians who were not gifted teachers, who never preached a sermon or taught a class, but who showed the way to Christ to those who observed their life. Edgar Guest put it this way:
“I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I’d rather one walk with me than merely tell the way.”
There is more to Christianity than merely telling the way. There is the showing of the way. Are there those in the world today who are not faithful to Christ -- because you aren’t? Are you a stumbling block to someone who would follow Christ -- but for you?
Today -- someone is saved because of you...or someone is lost because of you. What will it be tomorrow?
“We were cleaning the church building one evening and our three-year-old son was ‘helping’ us. We walked up to the baptistry to make sure nothing was in the water that shouldn't be and our son said, ‘You can't drink that water.’ I asked him, ‘Why can't we drink the water?’ He replied, ‘Because it has sins in it.’” (from, “A Sunday Afternoon with the Preachers’ Wives”).
It does seem to make sense, doesn’t it? If all our sins are washed away at the point of baptism (Acts 22:16), it’s easy to see how a child could mistakenly think they just collect there in the water. If that were really true, it would be important to drain the baptistry frequently!
I’m thankful, though, that those sins don’t collect in the bottom of a pool of water. They don't get piled up in a closet somewhere ready to be pulled out at a later time like a load of dirty laundry. They don’t get stored on a hard drive in case a “search” needs to be made to find them. No! Thank God, they are removed, blotted out, wiped clean by the blood of Jesus Christ, and we are able to rise from the water a new creature!
“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).