WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – Everyone with any sense desires God’s blessing. The most common way of seeking it is wishing for it. There’s no indication in the Bible or in experience that this technique has any effect.
The second most common method is asking him for it. God made us for his blessing, and he loves to bless us, so this approach is more effective than the first. “Jabez called out to the God of Israel: ‘If only you would bless me … And God granted his request” (1 Chr 4:10). However, the asking method is of limited success because, as often as not, “you ask amiss” (James 4:3 NKJV). God knows that most of the favors we request are not best for us and many are harmful, and he wants only what’s best.
There’s a much more effective method. In fact, it’s guaranteed. Rather than pleading with God to send his blessing to us, we find out where his blessing already rests and we go there. And his blessing always rests upon obedience. So, instead of asking God to bless your actions, find out what actions he promises to bless and do them. Today’s passage lists three such actions:
“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep what is written in it” (Revelation 1:3).
These three promises are specific to the Revelation of John, but they also apply to reading, hearing, and doing the entire Word of God.
WONDERFUL THING IN OUR LIVES – Since we truly desire the blessing of God on our lives, let’s take these three promises seriously and then do what it takes to receive them:
God blesses those who read his Word for others to hear – In John’s day, few could read and very few had any of the Bible to read. This blessing was essential then, but it is just as available to you and me now. Make it yours by frequently reading God’s Word to others. Always begin at home. Give your children the same blessing by having them read to the family. Then, when you’re away from home, don’t be too timid to mention what the Bible says when it’s applicable. You’ll receive God’s promised blessing, and others will reap the benefits of wisdom from above.
God blesses those who hear or, in our day, read his Word for themselves – God promises to bless the combination of knowing and doing his Word: “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them” (John 13:17). But you can’t do them unless you know them, and you can’t know them unless you read them. “How happy (lit. blessed) is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked … Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night” (Ps 1:1-2). There is unfailing blessing for those who read God’s Word with a mind to put what they read into practice.
God blesses those who do what his Word says to do – This is where the two previous promises have been going. As Jesus promised repeatedly: “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it” (Luke 11:28).
Beloved friends, your Master follows your wanderings every day with his hands cupped full of blessings, looking for any excuse to release them on your life. Give him lots of opportunities by reading, sharing, and living his Holy Word.