Excerpt from Living in Christ's Presence

I’m not sure when I first heard the phrase, “Blessed to be a blessing,” but ever since then I’ve carried that vision of God blessing us with the gifts of His grace and love and then as those who have received His gifts, re-gifting them to bless others on their journey. The source and the giver of the gift is God, and all we, as followers of Jesus, have to do is to accept and receive; then re-distribute to those near to us.

In their book, Living in Christ’s Presence, Dallas Willard and John Ortberg have an entire chapter called, “Blessing.” I think it is a profound message for this season of new beginnings, and indeed for all seasons in life. The chapter begins with The Aaronic Blessing from Numbers 6:24-26, and it is the basis from which their reflections follow: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.”

Following are some brief phrases to stimulate our thinking and perhaps create an opening in our hearts and minds – to receive more of God’s blessing and then to more readily share:

“As followers of Christ, we want to be points of constant blessing moving out to everyone around us. That doesn’t mean we’re talking all the time. Jesus promised that there would flow blessing from him through us. We do need to be able to engage that consciously.”

“What is a blessing? Blessing is the projection of good into the life of another. It isn’t just words. It’s the actual putting forth of your will for the good of another person. It always involves God, because when you will the good of another person, you realize only God is capable of bringing that. So we naturally say, ‘God bless you.’”

“You don’t want to hurry a blessing…. We want to be able to put our whole self into our blessing. That is something we want to be thoughtful about. We don’t just rattle off a blessing. It is a profoundly and personal and powerful act.”

“Blessing is an act of grace. It isn’t an act of indebtedness. We just receive it, but we have to have time to do that. We have to be able to be calm in our soul to receive the blessing.”

“Become a person of blessing: Imagine now becoming a person of blessing; imagine you and others being characterized by the blessing flowing out from you. Our communities would be spotted with points of light from whom blessing flows…. Imagine becoming a person of blessing. That’s how you’re identified. …Who am I? I am a person of blessing. Blessing comes from me because God is living in me…just keep that blessing flowing.”

As I think about their words and the title of their book, I believe John and Dallas are sharing with us a gift, a reminder that we live in the presence of Christ – who has modeled for us what “Blessed to be a blessing” really means. 

Now Underway: The 2018-19 Renovaré Book Club

How do we read for transformation, not just information? First, choose books that stir the soul and have an enduring quality. Then read with God and others at an unhurried pace, attentive to what the Holy Spirit wants to teach. The Renovaré Book Club is designed for transformative reading. It runs October 2018—May 2019.

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