Welcome back to our August Blog Series on Favor! Last week, I gave you a two-part definition of the word favor. Favor is excessive kindness, and it is unfair partiality. These next two weeks, I want to spend some extra time unpacking each part of that definition. Our time together today will be spent on the first half of that definition: excessive kindness.
What do you think of when you hear the word kindness? What comes to mind? Who comes to mind? Do you know someone who you would describe as kind? There are many things that come to my mind when I hear the word kindness. I think of my husband. He is incredibly kind. I think of the times when someone in front of me in the drive-thru at Starbucks decided to purchase my drink for me. Random acts of kindness are the best, aren’t they? I think of the times when my two year old decides to share his toys with other kids, unprompted by me.
Now, add the word excessive in front of kindness. What comes to mind now? I think of those random acts of kindness that go above and beyond the normal expectation. I think of the times when forgiveness has been extended to me. Forgiving someone who hurt you is much harder than purchasing a coffee for a stranger behind you in line. I think of some of the best gifts I’ve ever received from family and friends.
Several years ago, I received a check in the mail from a close friend. The amount of the check was enough to almost knock me off my feet, but what really blew my mind was the instructions that came with the check. She simply wanted me to spend the money on some new clothes for myself. At the time, my public speaking engagements had begun to increase, and I was starting to travel around the country to teach at different events. Her financial gift came with just one intention: she wanted to bless me. I didn’t need new clothes. I had plenty in my closet at home, but sometimes it’s nice to get something new. She just wanted to bless me.
I can’t help but connect that excessively kind act to the excessive kindness of our God. God gives good gifts to His children. He just does. It’s who He is. He is excessively kind toward us. He knows that we have needs, and He is gracious and faithful to meet those needs, but often, He goes above and beyond to bless us in ways that we simply could not fathom. That is FAVOR. That is His excessive kindness.
Grab your Bible and turn to Ephesians 1:3-14. Take a few minutes to read through those verses. As you read, take note of each blessing that is listed in this passage that we have received if we are in Christ, and write as many down as you can.
I love verse three! Anybody else? If we are ever in doubt about all that we have access to in Christ, perhaps we should read verse three again. Jesus has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” Did you catch that? EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING has been given to us. Every single one. Not one spiritual blessing has been withheld. What does that mean? Well, it means we have been favored, but what else does it mean? It means that in Christ, we lack NOTHING.
Someone needs this word today. Someone needs to hear this truth. Because God loves you, He blesses you with every good thing in Christ. He withholds no good thing from you. He seats you at the place of honor at His table. Favor. He showers you with His kindness and lavishes His love on you. Favor. He has given you wisdom and understanding when the world is starved for it. Favor. In Christ, you have been given all that you need and an abundance more. Favor. This is your heritage. This is your identity. In Christ, you are not who you once were. In Christ, you are not what has been done to you. In Christ, you are not the mistakes of your past. In Christ, you are favored, even though you don’t deserve it, even though you haven’t earned it, even though you can’t afford it. It has been afforded to you by the cross of Jesus Christ.
Live in it. Walk in it. Be who you are in Christ.
Jesus, you are a good God who gives such good gifts to your children. Thank you for every spiritual blessing that you have given me—You have given me wisdom, forgiveness, redemption, and countless other blessings. Remind me of who I am in You every time I forget.