We’ve had some birthdays in our family in the last couple of weeks. Our older son turned 23, our twin sons turned 17 and my wife turned … a year older. I recall the excitement of my birthdays growing up. I couldn’t wait to unwrap my gifts–perhaps a model, a basketball, a game… My interest was the gifts! However, as adults, we usually value a gift as an expression of the love of the giver. Similarly, as we grow in Christ, we need to appreciate more and more how God is our ultimate Blessing. His gifts–as wonderful as they are–reveal dimensions of His measureless love and grace.
C. A. Coates commented on the significance of the LORD as our ultimate Blessing.
“Do we think of, and rejoice in, our blessings more than in the Person in whom we have them? As to even our doctrinal blessings, there is a wonderful charm about them when they are new to us, and they sustain the soul for a certain time; but when the first joy of them passes away, a settling-down process commences. Every new bit of blessing may seem to put a new bit of life into us, but it gradually loses its lustre and power, and we become just ordinary Christians—we make very little progress.
“It is as we take the Lord Jesus by faith into the affections of our hearts that we make spiritual progress. It is as He occupies an enlarged place in our affections that we go on. The head may be filled with general theological information without producing one spark of heart-affection for the Lord Jesus, and the soul remains in a state of spiritual emaciation.
“Many have been misled by thinking that by reading the Bible you become like Christ–transformed; but you will find diligent students of the Word, who may never say anything incorrect in doctrine, yet who never seem to grow in grace and walk in spiritual reality.
“All blessings of this dispensation of grace are wrapped up in a Person, and, by means of the Word of God, we make spiritual progress as our hearts learn to find everything in Him–the Son of God who loves us and gave Himself for us.”
May we fully appreciate God as our Ultimate Blessing. We respond in grateful prayer as Paul did, “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height–to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen”(Eph. 3:14-21).
 C. A. Coates (1865-1945) was a Brethren writer. This quotation is from His Victorious Indwelling, ed. Nick Harrison (Zondervan).
For more on this topic see the Grace Notes: The Main Person, and Renewing Your Affections.