What does it mean to be blessed? What does a blessed life look like? Ask around I’m sure you’ll get a variety of answers. And yet, as I read the New Testament, what constitutes a blessed state is presented in a way that is neither vague nor ambiguous. The way of blessing is, both, clearly described and highly accessible. In other words, a life of blessing is not something reserved for the ‘religious elite’ who successfully navigate a complicated formula of ‘dos and don’ts’. To the contrary, a life of blessing is intended as the normal course for followers of Christ.
Central to getting us on this course, and keeping us on course, is the Word of God. To this end, the Book of James exhorts us to receive and apply the Word in a particular way. John Piper, commenting on text from James, provides a helpful analogy likening our receiving of the Word to receiving oxygen.
I found this analogy to be extremely helpful as I spoke on James 1:19-25 this past Sunday. I, like Piper, am convinced that receiving the Word is like breathing. Without a regular intake of Scripture, we set ourselves up to suffocate spiritually. And, in the process, we choke out the blessings that God intends for us.
I certainly don’t want to experience that! And yet, I have so much room for improvement here. In so many ways I feel that when it comes to appropriately receiving God’s Word, I’m still learning to breathe.
Blessing need not be some abstract concept. Blessing can be your daily reality. Have a listen. I’d be delighted to hear what you think.