Highly Favored

Laura as "Gabriel"
Laura as “Gabriel”

Driving around the city this past week, I passed several churches with signs on their front lawns advertising their annual Christmas plays. I couldn’t help but think back on my childhood and the many productions I participated in as a girl. Ours was a small church of about 200 people, so more often than not I just donned a new bathrobe from Belk’s and made my appearance as one the small band of shepherds visiting Christ on the night of his birth.

Leia as "Mary"
Leia as “Mary”

Once I got to play a wiseman… due mainly to the lack of boys in the program that year. But my favorite role was the time I got to wear a white choir robe and a tinsel halo to be part of the angel chorus. Unfortunately, I aged out of the children’s program before I ever got picked for the coveted role of Mary.

 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women! (Luke 1:26-28)

There are times that we’re tempted to assess the value of our existence based solely on the roles we play in life. Sadly unsatisfied with our part, we often miss the manifold blessings that are ours to enjoy. However, the good news of Christmas is the same for us as it was for Mary long ago:

You are blessed and highly favored!

Mary was elevated above all women because she was chosen by God to be the mother of the Messiah, Jesus. Obviously, there will never be another like her, but the truth is that all followers of Christ have the favor of God bestowed on their lives because His grace is theirs through faith (Eph 2:8-9), and like Mary, they too have been chosen by Him. (1 Pet. 2:9) As a believer, pause and breath in this marvelous truth: Christ has been birthed into your life, you have been adopted into His family, and God’s full blessing rests on you through the power His Spirit!

1 John 3:1 says, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!

The word ‘lavished’ doesn’t create a picture of stingy, miserly gifts, but ones that are overflowing to the point of abundant excess. God cascades His love on you. It is pure and perfect. It is accepting and forgiving. It is unending, and it will never fail you. He is gentle and patient. He offers His love freely and waits with open arms for you to draw close to Him.

Once you grasp even a small measure of how blessed and highly favored you are as a recipient of His love, then you should with your lips and your life joyfully respond to anything He says in humble surrender just as Mary did:

“I am the Lord’s servant.”
“May it be to me as You have said.”
~ Luke 1:38


12 thoughts on “Highly Favored

  1. I love the idea that we are highly favored, Karen! As we start a new year, we need to remember that we are blessed and chosen by God. He has a great purpose for each of us to have an impact on the world and to bring Him glory. Mary was a great example to us. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

  2. I remember when I participated in those Christmas cantatas as a kid. It was a BIG deal to be part of the program. Over the years, I moved from the nativity narrative, to hand bells, to full on choir! Lots of great memories. 🙂

    You are so right when you said, “There are times that we’re tempted to assess the value of our existence based solely on the roles we play in life. ” We all fall prey to feeling that we aren’t making a difference in this life or we aren’t where we think God wants us to be. But, I am learning that God wants to use me where he had me… today. We need to remember WE ARE highly favored by God and He wants us to continue to pursue our purpose to worship Him and give Him glory no matter what role we play.

    Thank you for your post!

  3. WHAT CAN I SAY? Good word Karen, and the Scripture used is certainly powerful any day, but especially during the Christmas Season.

    I just want to add to the message, not all people are the children of God. John 1:12 makes that very clear: “But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in His name.”

    THANKS AGAIN for your contributions to Blogging For God.

  4. Hi,
    I love this comparison. We are highly favoured because we have said “yes” to Him. Mary did too.
    I would love you to link to Word of God Speak.

  5. It is good to remember that we are all chosen and blessed by God’s love–if we receive His gift. I’m visiting from Titus 2sday. Have a blessed Christmas!

  6. Thanks Karen for a wonderful and beautiful way of sharing the truth about Christ. We are really blessed to find favor with God through abiding in Christ. Loved the way you highlighted Mary’s faith in God and God’s choosing her to deliver His Son Jesus. It’s always good to reflect back to childhood in connection with Christmas. GBY

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