Good things come in small packages. We are all familiar with this over-used cliché, and yet, this time of year, we might be pretty excited to see a lovely little package under the tree, gift-wrapped with our name on it. The gist of this cliché reveals that value is not measured by the size of the box, and true treasure is often disguised in small ways.
For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
In this short verse from John 1, rich treasure is wrapped in 12 simple words.
Everything we could ever need is provided for in this one sentence. Every lack, every problem, every resistance, every emptiness we will ever experience is filled in Christ. Let’s back up just a verse or two:
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus is the fullness of God–all that God is and all that God has.
This divine completion is what He offers to us. The fullness of God is given to us through grace upon grace—the favor of God in a cumulative supply—over and over. His offer is to fill us, to level up our empty places and fill our hearts like a net, bulging with so many fish that not one more can be added.
Born as a tiny infant in humble circumstances, the fullness of infinite God, the ultimate good thing came in a small package. That Jesus would empty Himself of his God-glory and choose to contain Himself in the tender skin of an infant should make us catch our breath.
It should stop us short in absolute awe.
Grace upon grace…
You may have read past this phrase many times and not fully considered the wonder of its meaning. Grace is the favor and mercy of God; His blessing, His gift, His joy, His abundance, His pleasure, His forgiveness… One grace-blessing heaped on another grace-provision, heaped on yet another grace-gift.
All of this incredible, lavish grace is what God provides for us. There is only one word in this short phrase that asks anything of us.
Believe and Receive
The gift of grace is given, but our job it to receive it, to reach out and take hold of this treasure so lovingly given. We can only receive by believing.
Faith is the energy that empowers our hearts to take hold of grace.
Unwrap the Gift and Use It
Grace of God given in Christ is a gift to be unwrapped and lived in. How often have we left this precious gift unused on the shelf of our self-sufficiency?
How often have we received the fullness of God with mental belief, but denied the power of the gift in the way we choose to go about our day?
How many times have we simply forgotten, task driven and heart empty, that we have received grace upon grace and the fullness of God?
How little we functionally understand this grace upon grace, the divine multiplier of our soul.
The True Gift Under Your Tree
Take a look at your Christmas tree, covered with lights and cherished memories. More than likely there are a few gifts, beautifully decorated, waiting to be opened on Christmas day.
What if we never opened those gifts?
What if we merely left them decorating the tree?
What would we miss?
Wouldn’t it be a waste?
Wouldn’t it be a shame?
Prayerfully open the gift of God’s fullness with hands tearing at the wrapping of joy, eager to understand more of what is in the box of God’s grace.
How could this Christmas be different if we stay focused on the fulness of God’s grace each day?