The other day I had some pastors pray for me. And what they prayed for in particular was that God would bless our church and that God’s favor would be upon me. I’ve somewhat wrestled biblically with what exactly we mean when use those phrases.
Of course I desire to be blessed by God, and who wouldn’t want God’s favor upon one’s life? And when we pray those types of prayers of blessing and favor, what do we want blessed and what do we desire to be favored?
So often it’s a blessing of bigger and better, much and more, new and improved. We say things like “God has blessed me with a big church and big numbers!” “God has favored me with a new house!” “God has blessed me with a better job!” “God has favored me with great health!” God has blessed us with funding for adding a new wing to our sanctuary!”
Should we not thank and praise our most glorious Lord for such blessings and favor? By all means we should. But the problem we run into is when we automatically think that when the opposite is happening to you or me then God must not be blessing us or favoring us.
Because I have an old house that needs a lot of work I’m not being blessed by God. Because my health is poor and the cancer has returned I’m not being favored by God. Because I’ve been working the same old job for the last 19 years God’s favor must not be resting upon me. Because our church is small in numbers and we can’t pay for much-needed building maintenance God surely has removed His blessing upon our church.
The problem with the above examples is that all of them are focused on the material and physical. Yet the majority of the blessings and favor that the Bible speaks towards are spiritual blessings and favor.
To be favored by God is first and foremost in importance. And the only way in which anyone anywhere can be favored by God or blessed by God is to first be favored by and through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the great blessing of all blessings. Jesus Christ is the ultimate favorite who bestows all other favors. God’s favorite Son is the one and only blessing Giver. And because of Him and all that He has done by means of His death, burial and resurrection, by means of His saving gospel message, by means of His indwelling Spirit, we are eternally and infinitely blessed and favored far beyond what our finite minds can possibly comprehend.
And as we are privileged to study His living Word and reflect upon these divine spiritual blessings, we have but one primary and obvious response, and that is to praise, glorify, worship and thank our most glorious triune God for all that we have in and through Him, all because of Him!
May our prayers this season be seasoned with thanksgiving, may our petitions be constantly sprinkled with praise, may we always remember all that Christ has done and will continue to do in and through His church of Common Ground! Thank You Jesus! Thank You Jesus for all Your blessings and favor upon undeserving sinners like us!