I got a new tattoo a few days ago that says "R.8. Blessed. Favored. Loved." Do you know what these 3 things mean? I do and I want to do a little boasting in the Lord and share His glory in my life with you for a minute.
Blessed is defined as "a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness; the invoking of God's favor upon a person; made holy; consecrated; endowed, with divine favor and protection; those who live with God in heaven." When you say you've been blessed, you feel lucky to have something: health, love, fame, fortune, talent, etc. Jesus, in fact, said the opposite of what many Christians profess. I suspect those who sat at His feet when he preached His "Sermon on the Mount" didn't expect Him to define the blessed as "those who mourn, those who are persecuted and those who are poor in spirit." But Christ knew what so many of us often forget. We aren't blessed by what we have, but what we lack; we aren't blessed by all that we do, but in where we fall short. We are blessed by who we have, a God who is always with us; we're blessed by who we are, beloved children of God. I truly experienced His blessing in my brokenness, my failures and shortcomings, in my grief and hardship because He surrounded and encompassed and filled me with His compassion and His love. The blessing is being set free from indwelling sin by His blood. I know that I am a sinner, but I know that I am no longer bound to sin and I am free because the Spirit of God is the seal God has given me to guarentee life forever in the presence of the Father. The Holy Spirit has regenerated my human spirit and bound me to my Father in heaven. I have gotten to experience His forgiveness in my life, His healing and restoration, His true essence of boldness and courage in facing those who I hurt and feel NO CONDEMNATION for any of the past, even when confronted with things that once upon a time were "hard and bitter pills to swallow." His grace is sufficient for me and I have been able to rest in Him and His truth. The indwelling of the Spirit has given me the ability to kill the corrupt deeds that once defined me and enabled me to taste the imperishable life God has given to me. We are actually promised that this life will be filled with suffering, hardships and dying to ourselves and our earthly desires. When we don't reframe our thinking to view our circumstances through the eyes of the incredible blessings and assurance we have in Christ, His goodness and love is quickly questioned when earthly blessings appear to fall on everyone but us. I am blessed because I am a chosen and adopted daughter of the King, I will receive the riches, blessings and very nature of Christ. Ephesians 1:4-6 says "just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." Chosen and loved, I am blessed beyond measure as I have been made holy through His underserved grace. And there is no greater blessing in this life than His holiness and purity dwelling within me.
Favored is defined as "preferred or recommended; endowed with special advantages or gifts; to have the liquidity of thought to be able to let go of what you thought was going to happen, and to embrace what God wants to do in your life; demonstrated delight." To have the Lord's favor means that the Lord is in accord with me and has shown His gracious kindness towards me. There is tangible evidence of God's approval in my life today. His joy gives me confidence in Him. He has filled me with a boldness to declare His truth with Scripture and my testimony. He has made me fearless as He has called me out of the dark and filled me with His Holy Spirit. He shows His favor by connecting with me and being a shield that leads me and protects me. Only those who are in Jesus Christ can experience the favor of God. It is by Jesus's righteousness that I have received forgiveness of sin and become a child of God. Seeking righteousness, humility and wisdom is how I obtain favor from the Lord. RIGHTEOUSNESS: Matthew 6:33 says "But seek first the kindgdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you;" and Psalm 5:12 says, "For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield." HUMBLE: Isaiah 66:2 says, "For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist, says the Lord, 'but on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My Word.'" WISDOM: Proverbs 8:35 says, "For whoever finds Me, finds life and obtains favor from the Lord." I desire to please Him and Him alone, more than I desire to please myself. Hebrews 11:25-26 says "CHOOSING rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt." No long will I settle for less and give in to temptation. Just like Moses, I believe God is promising me a wealth greater than this earth's treasures, so I choose to embrace my faith and my heritage because I have considered the reward that comes from Christ to be far superior to anything the world can offer me. Even these blessings I have been given by God this week don't compare to what He has waiting for me in heaven. His favor is felt in the Spirit. With His favor, I have peace in my spirit. I have confidence that no matter what happens to me in this world, I am within the plan of God and He is always with me. As I continue to walk in His favor, He equips me in any struggle. My devotion and trust in Him will be rewarded and my eyes illuminated to blessings in all situations that have been unseen. "Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation 10 days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10 NKJV).
Loved is being able to maintain my individuality, despite the feeling of passion. I am able to love without applying any rules to anyone - unconditional love. Love for God is associated with worship and devotion towards God. True love is a strong and lasting affection between people who are happy, passionate and fulfilling the relationship. The love of God purifies human hearts and through that love, humans become transformed and self-sacrificing, as they reflect more and more the attributes and qualities of God. There is NOTHING greater or more blessed than the LOVE OF GOD. And here is where the boasting in the Lord comes into play... I boast in God's love for me, not in my love for God; my confidence is in His love for me, not my love for Him. God's love for us is unchanging, eternal, everlasting; my love for Him has its ups and downs, its not always going to be consistent. If my foundation and focus in life is on my love for Him, then I will become depressed, unworthy and condemned. John 17:26 says "And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." When we operate on the same agenda as Jesus we can understand the things we encounter with His heartbeat; He longs that the Father be glorified, that His followers be sanctified, and that the church be unified to reach the world for Him. The power of Christian unity is God's love within His people!
In Exodus 3, Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, or that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" His humility was profound, knowing that in all his humanness he wasn't anything and surely not worthy to do God's work. But the Lord said to Moses, "Surely I will be with you, and this will be the sign to you that I have sent you: When you bring the people out of Egypt, you and they will serve God on this mountain." One of the revelations of my identity in Christ, is that "I AM God's beloved."
I am going to leave you with a beautiful promise of His Truth in worship...
I'm my Beloved's and He is mine
His banner over me is love
He brought me to His banqueting table
His banner over me is love
He lifted me up to the heavenly places
His banner over me is love
I'm my Beloved's and He is mine
His banner over me is love
And a beautiful promise of His truth in Scripture...
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous Light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy." 1 Peter 2:9-10
Monica Hill Trejo and Jasmine Bardales sing a song called Broken and Chosen. Here's a piece of the song I find so very powerful and conformation for my beliefs:
They say that broken crayons still color the same
Sometimes we just wanna cover up all of the pain
But if God gave me a story then I'll give Him all the glory
Glory glory hallelujah thank You Jesus You restore me
Cuz You fill me with Your peace
And in my weakness You're my strength
More of You and less of me
Cuz there is power in Your name
It doesn't matter if we're broken, if we're damaged, if we're flawed
Cuz You don't call the qualified, but You qualify the called
And there is power in Your purpose
There is purpose in the process
You'll never leave me nor forsake me
There's redemption in Your promise
Turn my mess into a message
Let my life be a reflection
Of Your goodness and Your mercy
You perfect my imperfections
Cuz You made me in Your image
You took all my broken pieces
Turning beauty from my ashes just to show me there's no limits
Lord direct my steps and lead me even when I'm feeling hopeless
And remind me there is hope because THE BROKEN ARE THE CHOSEN
I AM and YOU ARE greatly BLESSED, highly FAVORED & deeply LOVED. Romans 8:28-30.
"THE CHOSEN walk in the excellence of God's power. THE CHOSEN carry a mantle of humility. THE CHOSEN are people of revelation. THE CHOSEN are worshipping warriors. THE CHOSEN are persecuted but not forsaken. THE CHOSEN are defended by God. THE CHOSEN know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. THE CHOSEN realm is attainable, but it is up to you to answer that call to go higher in God. MANY ARE CALLED, FEW ARE CHOSEN. It is your response to God that determines your ability to dwell in this realm and take on this identity. The life of THE CHOSEN is HOLY, RIGHTEOUS & SET APART. If you want to be one of His CHOSEN ONES, you can't think you can just come to God any kind of way. You must give Him what He wants: glory, holiness, righteousness, purity, love and adoration. THE CHOSEN are those who have unwaveringly made the choice to follow God and live in the heavenly realm." ("Chosen." Michelle McClain-Walters. 2019.)
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