Greetings in Christ!
Recently, a host of memes appeared on Facebook and Twitter that intrigued me. Set on a background of Jesus teaching discipleships, the text said, “Stop sharing memes that say ‘share and you’ll be blessed.’ God is not your fairy godmother and that isn’t how it works.”
I have to admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for this sentiment. Too often we seem to think that we can manipulate God into doing exactly what we want. Sharing hashtags or forwarding a viral image that magically garner blessings from God.
But we’re still left with a much larger question: How does it work? How does faith work? How is Jesus involved in our lives? If we can’t cast a social media spell, then how do we garner God’s favor? Here’s how: When we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). That’s how it works. Jesus gets involved in our lives by making us righteous despite our unrighteousness.
We don’t accrue favor from God. We don’t earn blessings. Instead, God offered us favor on the cross and in the empty tomb. We find our blessings in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
But that’s not where it ends. Faith works when that blessing becomes active in our lives, where our behavior becomes a gracious response to our gracious God. In the words of James 1, where we become “doers of the word.”
Posting memes isn’t doing the word of God. Feeding the hungry, giving to those who ask, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, visiting prisoners, embracing outcasts, forgiving offenders, actively seeking justice, loving our enemies,
and a host of other countercultural behaviors? That is how it works. That is how faith works. We don’t garner God’s blessings with those actions. Instead, we point to God’s blessings every time we live the word of God, showing others the active love of God at work on their behalf.
The next time someone invites you to share a meme and be blessed, remember that you’re already blessed, and to perform works of mercy in the name of Jesus Christ who blessed you. That’s how it works, and that’s how God is working to bring the Kingdom of God to this place.
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