I am journaling through the book titled The Essential Jesus: 100 Readings Through the Bible's Greatest Story written by Whitney T. Kuniholm. I am on the 31st passage reading.
the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God..." (Luke 1:30)The second definition in The American Heritage Dictionary for the word favor states "Friendly or favorable regard; approval or support: won the favor of the monarch; looked with favor on the plan."
This announcement made to Mary was the beginning of a new era. The era of favor. A time period marked by the mercy and grace of God. This new era would begin with a pregnant unwed teenager in Galilee. Just as God found favor with Mary, God would find favor with us through the baby Mary would give birth to in Bethlehem: Jesus. Because of Jesus God finds favor with us.
As God's co-workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:1-2)I have heard grace defined as "undeserved favor". It is a free gift from the Creator of everything. We have not earned this favor or done anything to deserve it. In fact, according to the Bible, we have fallen way short of the favor of God.
...There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:22-24)Why would God give us something that we simply don't deserve. Why would God desire to find favor with us?
..when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)Why? Because of God's kindness and love. God is love (1 John 4:16) and mercy flows from true love. So what is your response today, what is my response, to this undeserved gift of grace, the favor of God? Is it similar to Mary's response as recorded by Luke?
My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.God has done incredible things for us, for me. My soul and my spirit rejoice today in my Savior!
| More on the Essential Jesus journey. |Photo credit: The photo in this post is titled "Grace Came Down". It was uploaded to flickr.com by sarowen on June 30, 2008.