Nested blessings

Five wooden dolls from Ukraine are all stair-stepped copies of the same, plump peasant woman with white apron, yellow dress, and polka-dotted kerchief. The one-inch midget fits snugly inside the halves of its neighbor, and she in hers, until all are concealed within the four-inch largest. They form a harmonious unity. Such is the design.

Investing a look, I notice the peasant woman gazing at me from the end of the row. Instantly I think of a verse I studied yesterday: "From the fullness of His grace we all have received one blessing after another” (John 1:16). That last phrase speaks of an exchange: one thing is traded for another, in an endless chain, each trade better than the one before.

The superabundance of our Lord goes unappreciated. All of the good packed into Jesus Christ just has to burst out, revealing itself in successive layers the more closely you look.

When you first learn of His sacrificial 'love, something c'ticks inside, and you have to say to yourself, "That's what God ought to be like." Coming closer, you observe His goodness and His holiness and accept Him as the model for your character and your conduct. That opens up His strength bound to an astonishing gentleness, which comforts and reassures. Inside that is a holy boldness to defend righteousness, teaching us when and how to channel our anger against Satan and sin. And deeper still you discover even more.

It just never stops. John spoke the truth: Jesus does bring us one blessing after another, another, and another. In fact, when He packs us full of blessings, we ourselves burst open in front of amazed, watching eyes. The more closely people examine a Christian, the more blessings they ought to find, forming a harmonious unity. Such is the design.

—Steve Singleton