The Apostle John wrote: “The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father full of grace and truth. From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.” John 1:14,16
Back in the 80’s one of the hymns my home church wore out was entitled “Count Your Blessings”. Count your many blessings, name them one by one…. Count your many blessings see what God has done! We aren’t good at counting our blessings, yet Jesus still came. When we are asked impromptu to name them one by one, we choke. Try it right now without pausing, can you name even three?
John reminds us that “we have all” received one blessing after another. Let me name three of them that Brandon will be reminding us of this weekend. Three blessings you can live with joy, peace and certainty in this Christmas:
1) God chose us first! This should rock our world as we consider all that God created and made. Ephesians Chapter 1 tells us that God has had His sights set us on that we would be the recipient of his love, that we would be His family and this brought Him great pleasure. I never really grasped this until my 2nd child was born. My oldest daughter Olivia was 5 when Emma arrived. One of my hesitations in having a 2nd child was I feared that I wouldn’t have the capacity to love her as I loved my first. I had forgotten that my love for Olivia was inherited from God. The moment Emma arrived, I was overwhelmed by the love God flooded my heart with for her. To know that God loved me that way before I arrived, before I chose Him, is evidence of His grace.
2) We are made alive in Christ! Think about a time in your life when someone validated your
identity, when they showed appreciation for an idea or a gesture. When we feel wanted or
needed, it is invigorating. When we respond to God’s love and grace, there is a validation that occurs deep in our soul that brings new life to a broken heart, a wearied body. Ephesians 2:4-10 reminds us that it is by God’s grace that we have been saved and because of his great love for us we have been made alive. This life giving grace includes discovering our purpose and the many things God had planned for us from the beginning. But it also includes life eternal. We are no longer captured, dying, because of the sinful choices we make. But we are being renewed inwardly in preparation for what is to come.
3) God’s grace can flow from our lives into others! As we choose to show grace and mercy not just at the holidays, but in our everyday living, in direct proportion to the grace shown to us, it is freeing, it is divine. There’s a word we don’t use very often.
I encourage you to name your blessings one by one this week and see just what God has done in showing us such great love through grace. Don’t miss this weekend at MCC as Brandon and our team bring this home to us in a very real way!