Tuesday, January 15, 2008

blessed to be a blessing

We're blessed in Jesus to be a blessing to each other, and to the world. The good news or gospel was announced to Abraham, that all nations would be blessed through him! Abraham was part of what God is all about. Blessing others. We're here in Jesus to bless others.

As Miroslav Volf reminds us, we need the outpouring of blessing on ourselves in order to be a blessing to others, and we also need to be sure that blessing is flowing out to others, lest it become a trickle and weak in our own lives. Not that we're in this to be blessed ourselves, but we're in it to be in a reciprocal relationship with others, and the channel of God's blessing in the love of Jesus to all people.

How can I be a blessing today- and everyday? At home, work, school, everywhere. An important and exciting question. It can involve what is unpleasant. After all, part of it is taking up our crosses in following Jesus by the Spirit in our lives and circumstances, even now, becoming like Jesus in his death, in God's love for the world. Of course we're just little christs, Jesus alone is the Christ, the God-human whose work of salvation is a finished work for all. We follow in his train, and in the way of Jesus, to bring that salvation in Jesus to everyone. Let's not forget the important work of prayer. That can make a true difference in people's live, as we keep at it. And to be zealous for good works, a large part of what the book of Titus is all about.

What would you like to share with us here?


preacherman said...

I believe we can be blessing by encouraging and praising our children. Showing them the way of the Lord.

I believe we can encourage the church by Spuring one another on towards love and good works. Hebrews 10:26.

I believe we can be a blessing to our wives by listening, praising them, meeting their needs. Proverbs 31.

I believe wives you can be a blessing to your husband by being submisive as you are to Christ. Col. 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1.

I believe as we are blessings to others by our tongues. As we shower praise on others. Whether it is in our families, co-workers, strangers on the street. We will recieve the same in return. Ted, you did such an excellent post on this brother. Keep up the great work. You have been such a blessing to my life in just the short time that I have known you.

Ted M. Gossard said...

You are a blessing. Your constant encouragement in the things of the Lord, and to us in the Lord is a blessing to me.

I hope we're known in our lives as blessings to our families and to others- in the end, and more and more throughout.


Allan R. Bevere said...


Good thoughts here. This is a big theme, not only in my preaching on Sunday morning, but in my "preaching" to my children.

Interestingly enough, the emphasis on blessed to be a blessing makes complaining more difficult. When I get in one of my "woe is me" moods, it isn't too long before I am reminded of how blessed my life is, and how I have no place to complain, but instead use what God has given me for others in order that they too might be a blessing.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Allan. Yes, it must become a way of life, that we share this "life" with others.

Anonymous said...

hi there...not much time for the blogs today...but, wanted to say hi and this is a good post ...good question to think on.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, I guess I need to look more and more at life that way. Not what I can't do with limitations of life, but what can I actually do. Not the least of which is prayer. And always good things we can do.


Andrew said...

Have you read a lot of Volf? I see his name everywhere now. So far your blog says that you're pretty orthodox and evangelical. Any idea how Volf lines up? So many ethics-heavy European theologians intrigue me for some reason--Volf, Moltmann, Barth, Bonhoeffer.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Andrew, me too, on the latter. I love Bonhoeffer, want to read Moltmann (great on Trinity and on theology of hope- on eschatology), LeRon Shults is excellent, of course- Barth, who I am weak on, though we're all influenced by him, or many of us- even if we don't know that.

I've read Free of Charge, Exclusion and Embrace, and The End of Memory by Mirolslav Volf. All are excellent: Exclusion and Embrace along with End of Memory are the scholarly works, and in a certain way are more challenging working through some of the pertinent work of scholars. Free of Charge is good for nonscholars and scholars alike. Really, I'm sure you'd enjoy all three. The two scholarly works have breathtaking sections indeed. If I were to recommend one, I'd pick Free of Charge.

Volf is the best defender of Christian Pacifism I've read so far, I think. I lean towards a Christian Pacifist view, not easy to take in the first place, though I believe there is a solid Scriptural argument for it, or else I wouldn't hold to it. I was raised in that tradition (Mennonite). But not easy to hold on to when I'm around no other Christian now, who holds to that.

Volf is orthodox- I heard him on the Internet and at that time he was attending both an Episcopalian church, and Christian and Missionary Alliance church (Ravi Zacharias at least used to be a member of them, A.W. Tozer). He is very much a free thinker which you might expect from someone as brilliant as he is. But when you study Historical Theology what he is propounding as possible or hopeful (and just one thing comes to mind- and you'd see that clearly in the two scholarly books, I believe, but not in the other) does not mean he is outside the sphere of Christian orthodoxy. He certainly holds to Scripture as the word of God, and to the major creeds of Christian orthodoxy.

So I might advise you to purchase "Free of Charge" and borrow the other two if you can. Read all three, but realize it will likely take some time.

Ted M. Gossard said...

One other thing, Andrew, as a Lutheran you will like "Free of Charge" as he quotes Martin Luther a number of times in that book. An excellent, down to earth, practical, Biblical read.