Found Favor

January 3, 2014 | 0 comments

    I am hoping that somewhere you are basking in the glow of a great Christmas.  You look at your family, you look at a break from school or work, you look at the wrapping paper (now in garbage bags outside your house and you say), “You know what, Christmas is good.” 
    Whether basking in the glow of great Christmas, or not, I wanted to consider what it is to be favored.  Favored reminds me of my Grandma, who was the consummate spoiler of our clan.  Every awesome, big, lavish gift came from Grandma.  I remember one Christmas as a 6th grade boy she had already given me toys, socks, and underwear (why do Grandma’s give underwear again??) and when all the packages were unwrapped one final package came in.  And it so happened to be the original Nintendo system.  I felt favored that Christmas by Grandma.
    Do you know this whole season, the hubbub of lights in sync with music, presents, carols, food - it’s about the favor God has for us.  It was announced by the angels that first Christmas, “On earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14) It was said of Mary the mother of God,  “You have found favor with God.” (Luke 2:30)  And I’m here to tell you basking in the glow of Christmas, “You too have found favor with God.”
    See here’s why I love being a pastor.  Because I represent a Savior whose whole story is about the gift of love he wants us to have and know.  God’s plan was to prove his favor for us by sending his Son into the world.  We call him Jesus.  And about the sending of Jesus it is written by a disciple named John, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (3:17)  You see God looks down on you seeing all that you have, knowing the good of Christmas, and he is not a rotten curmudgeon, he is the one who wants the very best for you.  Even better than those Beats headphones.
    See Jesus’ story is that he was made just like us in order to sympathize with us and know what it is walk in our moccasins (so to speak).  But he didn’t just come to sympathize, he came to save.  So that baby born at Christmas went through every stage of life, but unlike us had no sin.  At the pinnacle of his time here he bore a cross.  So that you and I - who have no right on our own for God’s favor - would receive it.  He would bear the punishment for all our sins.  For the loveless words, the hurtful actions, and all our evil thoughts.  He would die, but not only die, he would rise so we could know, “We’ve found favor.” 
    There is a Savior born for you this Christmas.  And he’s even better than Grandma.  His gift of love means peace with a holy God.  He wants you to bask in the glow of his goodness and favor this Christmas and every day if you let him.  May God so bless you. 
    On behalf of my family, and the family of believers at Amazing Love we wish you a very Merry Christmas. 

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