The family of God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — is a family that has never been in need. However, more than simply being in a state of neutral needlessness, it is a family that is overflowing in extravagant joy, contentedness, love, and blessing.
It is out of that abundance that the Trinity created the universe for his own pleasure and creative expression.
Then his creatures broke ties with him and they became needy. Profound brokenness became the norm in families — husbands ruled aggressively over their wives, wives sought to undermine their husbands, childbirth became painful instead of only joyful, and work became difficult instead of a joyful expression of productivity.
It wasn’t until Jesus, the Son of God, left his Father’s presence in the form of a creature that this brokenness would be fixed. Instead of putting his creatures to death and be done with it, God killed his own son in their place so that the creatures could be brought into his abundantly needless family. When Jesus died, God blessed us out of his abundance by forgiving — simply erasing — all of our screw-ups. When Jesus rose from the dead, the door was opened for his creatures to be adopted, reborn, and married into the perfect family of God.
In Acts 4:34, it is said of the church (those creatures folded into the family of God) that “there was not a needy person among them.”
This reality, though convoluted and distorted, can be said of the church today, when blessing is a rhythm of family life.
Blessing as a rhythm
It became a rhythm, in the first expression of church, to integrate everyone’s resources into a common fund that would meet the financial needs of everyone. When a family member had a need, it would swiftly be met out of the family wealth. Not only were the family members’ needs being met, but early Christians became known for caring even for the non-Christian needy of their cities.
This is the rhythm of blessing that adorns the family of God on earth, and is the historical pattern of the Trinity.
How to bless
- All of your needs are met in Jesus through the gospel, and all of your resources, skills, and time belong to the family of God (Acts 4:32).
- Listen for the needs of others — both expressed needs and implied.
- Ask frequently, “What do you need?” or “Who knows someone in need right now?”
- Sometimes you need to skip the ask and just go for the offer
- Know the resources, skills, and time capabilities of your brothers and sisters, and coordinate meeting the need
- Are you in need?
God did not simply meet our need, but brought us into an extravangly needless family. Be known for not only meeting needs, but lavishing blessings on people and the city.
- Celebrate momentous (or petty) occassions in people’s lives
- Complement others with sincerity often
- Give spontaneous and thoughtful (or perhaps fun and dumb) gifts
- How are you lavishly blessed?
God lavished blessings on us while we were still his enemies. Jesus took our sin upon himself and died as a result. Be prepared to sacrifice when you bless, and bless those whom you would love nothing more than to curse. In that, the gospel is truly dramatized.