Gleanings from the Lectionary (12/05/11) – Favor Please!

Revelation 1:1-8

“Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come.”

Such power in a few words! Grace is God’s greeting to us. Sure John is writing but he is communicating on behalf of God to his people and the word from God to us is grace. Ok John but what is the big deal? Grace is rather ordinary isn’t it? No, not grace as unmerited favor! Favor isn’t a sure thing from people you have treated well. When has someone you’ve egregiously wronged granted you favor? It doesn’t happen among men. It does happen with God.

Grace changes everything. The guilty are acquitted. Those in bondage are released. Death no longer has the last word. Without grace, thinking men would be driven to despair. But now, in this roller coaster ride we call life, we can have hope and this hope does not disappoint.

And the grace keeps coming. God transforms into the likeness of His Son through grace. He favors us into being like Jesus. He loves (unmerited favor) us into the image. He initiates and brings to fruition the change he requires. To the extent that I am less selfish than I was yesterday (we are talking something that may require a microscope to determine), it is because He has animated my life by unmerited favor such that it comes out in my interactions with others.

Grace changes everything, our standing before God and the content of our character. Grace transforms.

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