December, Day 18: Grace

923256_10153674499848260_323941106443188240_n“Grace is the very opposite of merit…Grace is not only undeserved favor, but it is favor shown to the one who has deserved the very opposite.”- Harry Ironside

How is your holiday season progressing along? As we reach the final week before Christmas are you exhausted, worn out, worried?

Are you lying in bed at night, unable to turn off your mind?

Worried you have forgotten someone or something on your Christmas to do list?

Imagine being Mary. A young girl of approximately fourteen years of age and being visited by the angel Gabriel, and told:

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,

And you shall call His name Jesus.

He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;

And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father, David,

And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever;

And of His kingdom there will be no end.”

(Luke 1:31-33)

But…. you’re a virgin, betrothed and now you are going to have a child. You have to tell your fiancé. You have to face your family. Your community, the gossip, the whispers.

Talk about overwhelm.

Imagine Mary in bed at night thinking this all through and the words that must have been playing over and over in her head:

Probably she must have been thinking “Why me” most of all.

When we read those passages we often get confused. Thinking that she had done something to earn God’s favor.

In fact, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). The word translated “favored” means to receive grace. 2 Later, Gabriel will add, “Mary, you have found favor with God” (v. 30), or “you have become the recipient of God’s grace.”

We have been under the impression that Mary was chosen by God to bear his Son because of something righteous in Mary. Gabriel makes it clear, however, that Mary was chosen by God as an act of grace. Mary’s blessedness derived from God’s grace, not from some inherent goodness of her own. Mary will confirm with her own testimony that she, like every other human being, needed a Savior.” from “Mary, What the Bible Really Says” by Douglas Connelly

That’s the grace of God. We have done nothing to earn in, in fact “…

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:9 (ESV)

We just have to accept and believe in the gift of Christmas – that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.

Now that is overwhelming Grace.

May your holiday season be filled with moments to see His grace.

 

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