Why I Wrote Bless-ed!
MAY 27, 2023
by Larry Dixon
Mike’s a really great guy. That’s not his name, but the friend I’m talking about is still a great guy. He would be amused that he has inspired me to write a whole book about him and would probably want a royalty! But this isn’t a book about what Mike has, but about what Mike doesn’t have.
Mike doesn’t have the Savior. I know that because when I asked him if he has believed the gospel, he said something like, “Don’t worry about me, Larry. I’ll be just fine with God. I’m pretty sure my good life will get me into heaven.”
That got me to thinking. I began to ask myself what I have that Mike doesn’t. He doesn’t have forgiveness because of Christ (as far as I can tell). He doesn’t have a place in heaven reserved for him. He doesn’t have his sins forgiven. But what else doesn’t he have?
What do we have as followers of Jesus? Forgiveness is certainly a huge blessing. But what else do we have? And how do we help our lost Mikes sense their lack and want what the Lord has given us?
When I was a wee lad, we often sang the little ditty, “Count your blessings — name them one by one — count your blessings — see what God has done!” This book is my take on 52 blessings which all who are “in Christ” have. But I don’t want to just count my blessings. I want Mike to get those blessings for himself. This book isn’t about hoarding. It’s about developing my appetite so that my friend Mike might get hungry!
Let’s think briefly about three of the 52 blessings I cover in Bless-ed! Blessing #1 is that we have the Blessing of a Final Authority for our Beliefs. G.K. Chesterton once said, “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing. They believe in anything.” God’s Word, the Bible, is the dependable authority for the follower of Jesus. Rightly understood, the Bible teaches us how to be godly husbands, wives, citizens, neighbors, parents, and grandparents. The Bible gives detailed instructions about our priorities, values, and aspirations. It warns us about temptations, distractions, and enemies.
This most fundamental question — what is to be my source for what I believe — is clearly answered by the sixty-six individual books which make up the Bible. For many the Bible is only a place to record weddings and funerals or to display on one’s coffee table for company to see. But God’s Word is so much more than that!
A second blessing which we want to consider is that the believer has the Blessing of a Proper View of Suffering. There’s plenty of suffering in our world — and God’s Word explains, in the words of one author, why a suffering world makes sense. Our world is broken. You are broken. I am broken. Some of our suffering is deserved; much is probably forced upon us by the brokenness of others. But there is purpose in our pain. God will not necessarily explain the reasons for a particular situation, but the believer has the assurance that the Lord will work together for good all that comes into the life of the child of God. Christianity’s explanation of suffering makes more sense than any other religion’s or philosophy’s in our world.
A third blessing which I cover in our book is the Blessing of a Burdened Heart. What I mean is that we come to Christ not only to receive forgiveness, but also to get our marching orders. And our assignment is to “take His yoke upon ourselves” and bear the burdens He gives us. I’ve often said that a broken heart is a healthy heart. If my heart is burdened for the things that grieve the heart of God, that is a blessing. If I am not deeply concerned for the eternal lostness of others, I need to check my spiritual pulse. I might be dead.
These are three of the fifty-two blessings I cover in my book Bless-ed! Forty-Two Blessings You Have As a Believer in Jesus and How to Help Your Lost Friends Find Theirs.