Photo Credit: Mikaela Hamilton
This month I want to help us prepare for Christmas by reflecting on God’s Grace. If you want an overview of what I’m trying to accomplish, read the first post in this blog series called A Month To Remember God’s Grace.
Below is the reflection for today.
DECEMBER 17 – GRACE MEANS WE ARE BLESSED
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
- Ephesians 1:3 – 6
You don’t need to manipulate God into blessing you. As a matter of fact any attempt you make to get God to bless you is as unnecessary as trying to make snow cold. You see, grace means God wants to bless you. To say it more strongly, God is bent on blessing you.
Jesus explained God’s desire to bless us like this in Matthew 7:11, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him.”
God the Father explained his desire to bless Abraham like this in Genesis 15:1, “Do not fear, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”
When you look through the Bible God’s desire to bless is undeniable. He throws parties for prodigals, fills empty vats with wedding wine, pays debts that are astronomical, pardons prostitutes, and welcomes thieves into paradise.
Sometimes though, like Abraham we fear that God will be stingy with us. When this happens we get tight fisted, and we stop stunning people with generosity.
So today I want you to reflect on the various ways God has blessed you. To get started, read through Ephesians 1 and list the various ways Paul says that God has blessed us in Jesus. Here are two to prime the pump.
First, Paul says God blessed us by predestining us. This means God actually chose us to receive his love, grace, kindness and mercy. He did this not because he knew we would one day choose him, but because he is bent on blessing people.
Second, Paul says God blessed us by sealing us with the Holy Spirit. This means the Holy Spirit actually lives in the people who believe in Jesus as the beginning and the guarantee of all the blessings that are coming for us.
Now it’s your turn. Grab a pencil, and jot down all the ways God has blessed us in Jesus from Ephesians 1. After that spend some time listing how God has blessed you throughout this past year. Write these things down as a record of God’s grace to you. Keep this record handy and add to it over this coming year. In times of struggling, look through this list and use it as a reminder of God’s desire to bless you. This Christmas, share this list with your family and friends as a testimony of God’s goodness to you.
The good news of grace is that in Jesus we are richly blessed!!