BLESSED To Be A Blessing! * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * Ephesians 4:28-32 * 4/30/17

Memory Verse:  Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

As we continue to learn and grow as followers of Christ, God transforms us by the renewing of our minds. We become more like Christ and our behavior reflects his values and promotes his purposes. We are "Blessed to be a Blessing"

Transformed Form Stealing to SHARING

Ephesians 4:28 "He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 "Lead a quiet life, mind your own business, and work with your hands so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders."

Matthew 20:28 "just as the Son of Man didn't come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many."

Transformed From Unwholesome Talk to UPLIFTING TALK

Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Proverbs 18:21 "The tongue has the power of life and death."

Proverbs 12:18 "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

James 1:26 "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight reign on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless."

James 3:1-12 James also dedicates the better part of chapter 3 to address the damages of the tongue.

1 Peter 4:11 "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God."

Transformed From Grieving the Holy Spirit to PLEASING THE LORD

Ephesians 4:30 "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." Our words and actions can bring grief to the Holy Spirit or they can bless the Lord. Our behavior each day will either hurt God's kingdom or help to further it. There is no neutral ground.

Isaiah 63:10 "They rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned against them and became their enemy and fought against them." Ouch!! If we grieve the Holy Spirit, God will discipline us to teach us the correct behavior just like he disciplined the Israelites.

Transformed From Malice to FORGIVENESS

Ephesians 4:31-32 "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

Colossians 3:8-12 Put off the old self and put on the new self. Paul references the same list of bad behaviors - anger, rage, malice, slander...

Colossians 3:13 "forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another, forgive as the Lord forgave you."

Matthew 6:12, 14 Jesus instructs us to do the same in the Lord's prayer. "Forgive us our trespasses as we have forgiven those who trespass against us."

Colossians 3:17 "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed - do it all in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God."

Hebrews 10:24 "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds."

Digging Deeper: 

(1) How are you living up to God's standard of behavior in your life? What are the areas God is working on to help you change and grow in Him?

(2) How can the Lord help you to change your speech to be more positive, ore compassionate, more encouraging of others?

(3) Check out the life of Barnabas in Acts 4:36-37, Acts 19:27.

(4) Study the life of George Muller - a wonderful example of a life transformed in Christ.