7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in whatever way Christ allotted it. -Ephesians 4:7
Merry Christmas! As one of three boys, I remember Christmas morning always had a bit of competitiveness to it. I would excitedly open my gifts while keeping a running count of the number and quality of gifts my brothers received in comparison to my own. I used Christmas as an unofficial referendum upon my parents’ love.
As I read this verse during the Christmas season, I found myself wondering if I do the same counting in life. Do I measure the gifts that others receive as if they are a measure of God’s favor? Does this outlook make Christmas another unofficial referendum, but this time on God’s love for me and my family?
Just speaking those questions aloud steal their power. That is not the way God’s favor works. Our text this morning contends that God bestows his favor in the way that Jesus allots it. This allotment is not done competitively with a limited supply of love. Rather it is done with an awareness of the ways he binds us in one. Together we are bound together in and filled with Christ’s love to bring glory to God’s name.
As with every Scriptural truth, the blessing is not in rational understanding but in spiritual transformation. Here are the steps to allowing that recognition to transform us. First, let us allow the magnificence that God bestows his favor upon us to humble us in thanksgiving. That is enough. Second, let us confess the ways we measure and set up referendums in our competitiveness. Tell God that we are satisfied to be part of his favor! Finally, we must ask God to help us live in this new freedom in ways that glory his name, build his Kingdom, and bless the people he has created and loves.
Let us stop counting gifs this Christmas! Instead, let us rest in his favor given to us, for us, and for the world. Thus, we can gladly say, “Merry Christmas!”
Jesus, thank you for choosing me as the recipient of your favor! I am humbled and upon bended knee I declare that I trust you. Teach me to live in your favor in ways that bless you, bless the Church, and bless the world around me! In Jesus’ name, amen.