“Greetings favored one! The Lord is with you” These are the words that the Angel Gabriel said to Mary when he came to bring her the news that she would be the mother of Jesus, and the Bible says she was perplexed at this greeting. I imagine so, it’s not every day an Angel shows up to say hello and tells you you’re going to have a baby and oh wait, you’re a virgin! (most of us would probably want to go in hiding or have our heads examined) And a few verses later the angel follows with “do not be afraid Mary, for you have found FAVOR with God”.

 That word FAVOR is very important , it comes from the word “chairo” which means to rejoice, be glad, be well, rejoice exceedingly. Favor used by the angel Gabriel is “charis” and means filled with Grace, that which brings joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, grace of speech, and loveliness.

 Mary being filled with Grace, chosen by God to bring His son to this earth, sets a good example for us, to be joyful, be a delight, be sweet, be charming and lovely, from the inside out. As women, in the culture we live in today we don’t have very good examples of what favor, or being filled with Grace would look like. We are pounded from every direction with the things we are told in ads or commercials of what things will bring us joy, or pleasures, clothes, makeup, hair that would make us look lovely… temporary things that we can delight in.. and when was the last time you saw a leading lady in a movie, or TV show that was the example of sweetness, charm or loveliness? (only on the Hallmark channel) it will not happen because culture teaches us “it’s all about me”, “things” make me happy, I want what I want any way I can get it. But being filled with Grace, Grace from the inside out, is the opposite of that and will make people question why you are different. And it should be noted, that in Luke 1 : 46-55 in Mary’s great poem, sometimes called The Magnificat it is obvious that Mary knew who God was, her King and Father, and knew His scriptures. This is our tool for living like grace, living with bestowed favor.

 Can you imagine being greeted “oh favored one”? Guess what, if you have trusted Jesus for your salvation, as daughters of the King… you are His favored ones. But the thing is, being favored… having been shown Grace, the unmerited favor of God, we just can’t keep it for ourselves. Jesus was born for it, Grace was costly, Jesus gave His life for it, God gave His Son for it and we must Give Grace Away, extend it to others.

 Now, don’t go greeting anyone with “greetings favored one”, yes… they will think you have lost your mind! But live with Grace on your face, Give Grace Away… live joyfully, be a delight, have your speech full of grace. 1 Peter 3:3-4, teaches “let your adornment be.. a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”

 And finally, practice these things, In Philippians 4:8 Paul wrote ..”whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, what is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. “

 So go share Grace, bestow unmerited favor on your children, your hubby, your coworkers, your family, your neighbors, and so on and when you do, you put skin on Jesus. Give the gift of Grace away, move people, give it away freely, because you understand the cost baby Jesus paid, because it’s been bestowed on you with love unimaginable at the greatest price … you are not alone, “the Lord is with you” and You Are Loved.

                                                               Giving is the beginning of Grace.