135. The Channel of His Blessings

Today’s reading: “The Ministry of Healing” pp. 256b–257.

God answers prayer for those who place themselves in the channel of His blessings.

Another mind-bending, mind-cure principle appears in our reading today, (as well as the powerplant for church-planters and medical missionaries.)

Not only are you to sing God’s praises and,

Express gratitude for the blessings you have; show appreciation of the attentions you receive.

But you are to,

Let it be your aim to bless those around you, and you will find ways of being helpful, both to the members of your own family and to others.

Because,

Good deeds are twice a blessing, benefiting both the giver and the receiver of the kindness. The consciousness of right-doing is one of the best medicines for diseased bodies and minds.

Which brings us back to the reason we are reading this chapter,.. to find a way to open the whole being to Christ’s “mind-cure.”

One of the surest hindrances to the recovery of the sick is the centering of attention upon themselves.

So to recover health, the sick are to,

  1. think of and care for others
  2. ensure prayers are answered by becoming channels of God’s blessing
  3. help those more needy than themselves
  4. seek to comfort others
  5. follow the rules of Isaiah 58 (practical help before health)
  6. give happiness to others
  7. constantly seek to impart sympathy
  8. cast the burden of weakness, sorrow and pain on the Saviour
  9. open their heart to the Saviour’s love and let it flow out to others
  10. remember others have trials and temptations and do something to lighten these burdens
  11. express gratitude for blessings, appreciation for attention received
  12. keep the heart full of God’s precious promises, and share them
  13. aim to bless, find ways to be helpful to family and those around

This applies especially to those who are sorrowful and discouraged, those requiring a mind-cure. The process is twice recommended as a prescription for, the best medicine for “diseases of body” as well. But step 5 (Isaiah 58) is particularly a prescription for maladies of the soul. That got me thinking…

Perfection-of-character is the “soul” of complete restoration (p.17) It seems that,

Christlike characters are built by acting like Christ.

Look at the 13 points listed above, isn’t that a picture of Christ’s ministry? Do you think that is why He was so full of light and joy, why His prayers were answered, why He was so healthy, why He was so free, happy and cheerful, why He was surrounded by a helpful, uplifting atmosphere?

Would you like to be like that? I would love to be a person like that. A medical missionary like that!

Then there is the bigger picture. How about your church? If it is like mine, interminable diagnostic tests (and soul-searching) throw up all sorts of possible pathologies, but interventions lead only to incremental, temporary improvements in the refractory, chronic diseases of soul. Decades of prayers for the Holy Spirit go unanswered. Youth leave, elders die, pastors and their programs move on, but the process grinds grimly on. Do you think the 13 steps listed above may offer some promise of cure?

Then there is an even bigger picture; church planting the way to “finish the work”. “Failure to thrive”, would be my description of most of the church plants that I have seen. Imagine church planters that only did those 13 steps. Having the mission statement,

Let it be (our) aim to bless those around (us),… (to) find ways of being helpful…

Imagine building a joyful, healthy church using the same method Jesus did.

He imparted earthly blessings, that He might incline the hearts of men to receive the gospel of His grace. p. 20.
Wherever He went, He carried blessing. p. 24
With unwearying patience and sympathetic helpfulness He met men in their necessities. p. 25.

That would be interesting wouldn’t it.

I encourage you,

Open your heart to His love, and let it flow out to others.

Index to “The Ministry of Healing” readings.

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