Unmerited Favor

We spent ten days in an RV going up and down the East Coast. From the beaches of Charleston to the rivers of West Virginia, onwards to the Great Lake Erie, over to the biggest zoo in Ohio, and lastly to the Pisgah Mountains in NC, and back home again. Seeing God’s beauty and power at work in nature was incredible. 

As we traveled, our greatest challenge was not the swarms of bees on the NC trail, the treacherous potholes of the WV interstate, or pumping out the RV’s disgusting grey and black water. It was our incredibly unreliable internet connection! RV parks and campsites are not for small business owners who seldom take vacations and rarely put their phones away. So there were several days that we had no signal. None. Zip. Nada. No connection. What began as a frustration turned into a gift. I loved the time without the distraction of the world!

When I returned home, I caught up with a friend about his job interview he went through last week. He said it was good but not his best. However, instead of worrying about it, he told me he would rely on the “unmerited favor of God.” What an excellent reminder! 

What is the unmerited favor of God? It’s the amazing gift of God’s grace and blessing that we did not earn and do not deserve. Here is a longer but much better description from the Bible:

“May grace (God’s unmerited favor) and spiritual peace [which means peace with God and harmony, unity, and undisturbedness] be yours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm! Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.” Ephesians 1:2-4 (amp)

We didn’t do anything to gain God’s favor. It’s part of being His children. Yet I know many who feel they have fallen out of God’s favor because of sin. Admittedly, I know I’ve felt that way, and it feels like I have no Holy Spirit reception – No “God Bars” of Connection. 

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..” Romans 3:23

Yep, that’s me. A sinner. Not good enough to be used by God. Well, at least that’s the lie I have positioned front and center of my thoughts and a choice I often selected. Then, I read the very next verse, and I remember that GRACE is the part of the equation that changes everything.

“Yet all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood – to be received by faith.” Romans 3:24-25

If I never did anything to achieve God’s favor (Jesus did), how can I lose it? Simply put, I can’t lose it, but I can forfeit it or choose not to walk in it.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.

Nothing can separate us from God but my attitude, my posture of receiving, my belief in who I am, and how He sees me. As it turns out, this receiving favor thing is on me. Not to produce it by my actions, but to receive it by faith.

Do you see yourself as a favored daughter or son of the King? Are you living it out? What areas trip you up? Please leave some tips or experiences you have had in the comments. We are all better when you share!

In His service and at yours 

~Shawn

Published by Shawn McCarthy

While serving as the Weekend Experience Pastor at Seacoast Church, I felt God prompting me to share the moments when He would speak His truth into my life through scripture in a way that made sense to me, giving me tangible ways to learn, grow and lead. These promptings turned into weekly emails that I would send my small groups and volunteer teams. I found myself enjoying the process of digging deeper into God’s Word, being stretched by the writing process, and encouraging others in the faith. My lovely wife, Anna, challenged me to begin this blog, so these moments that I have come to call, my “Red-Letter Moments,” can find a home. My prayer is that you will find hope, comfort, and inspiration here, and above all, you will come to know that the God of the universe loves you and desires a personal relationship with you.”

One thought on “Unmerited Favor

  1. Thank you, so much for food for thought, and so pleased you had such a memorable and delightful holday. Yes, I do feel I am a favored daughter of our King, and I work most wholeheartdely to being worthy of the gfts He bestows upon me.We never stop growing in His presence and appreciating the gifts He sends to us daily.

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