God’s favor is what I am looking for.
“The luck of the Irish to ye.” This is something you might hear in Chicago around March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. The city celebrates this day by turning the Chicago River green, having parades, wearing green, eating corned beef ‘n cabbage and drinking beer. When I was growing up I was one of the only kids that was not Irish, so my friends made me an honorary Irishman for the day.
While thinking about what to write for this month, I began to think about St. Patrick’s Day and the “luck of the Irish”. I don’t’ know if they have luck, but as a Christian I realized that luck was not a part of my life. God’s favor was what I was looking for. Our success, prosperity and good fortune all come out of our relationship with the Lord. It’s not a chance thing. It is something God promises to us as we walk with him.
Have you ever seen someone who is extended mercy and grace in situations that you have been trying for, but things haven’t worked out for you? It’s because that person has favor. Favor isn’t something we work for or earn. It is something that comes to us as we walk with the Lord. It comes by faith. We don’t do something to get favor, but as we walk in the principles of God’s word, favor will come.
There are a few different ways I’d like to address concerning how we come into favor with God and people. Proverbs 3:3-4 instructs that as we are loyal and kind we win favor with God and people and gain a good reputation. Favor is a byproduct of being loyal and kind. Generally speaking, people who are unkind and disloyal will not experience favor from God or people. Keep in mind that this doesn’t happen because of works. It occurs because of our faith in God. Why are we kind or loyal? …because God is. It’s no longer us who live, but Christ living in us.
Proverbs 8:35 tells us that when we find wisdom we find life and obtain favor from the Lord. Where do we find wisdom? We discover wisdom as we put our trust in God. Proverbs 1 tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. To fear the Lord means to respect, honor, and trust him. As we do this we find wisdom, life and obtain favor from God. Jesus is our example. Luke 2:52 states, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” How was he able to do this? He sought God. If he was able to as a man, we are able to, because “as he is so are we in this world.”
When we earnestly seek good, we will find favor. (Pr. 11:27) Again, we must keep in mind that we seek good out of our relationship with the Lord. We desire good for ourselves and others, so we look for it earnestly. Earnest means “resulting from or showing sincere and intense conviction.” It is out of our faith in God that we have a sincere, intense conviction about finding good. When we seek good, we are actually seeking God because God is good!
Proverbs 5:12 says that God surrounds the righteous with favor. When we make Jesus the Lord of our lives, we become righteous. Jesus became sin so we could be made righteous. (2 Cor. 5:21) Therefore, God surrounds us with favor like a shield surrounded a soldier in days of old. The shields were so big the soldiers stood behind them so fiery arrows could not hit them. God surrounds us with his favor. He protects us with it. He’s done it all for us.
I hope you can see out of this little teaching that we have favor because of our relationship with God. We do what he wants because of who he made us to be in Christ. Never try to strive at becoming something you already are. Think about the fact that “as Jesus is so are you in this world.” The more you meditate on it, the more you’ll look like him, you’ll seek God and obtain favor from him.
I earnestly seek good and because of it, I find favor.
He who earnestly seeks good finds favor,
But trouble will come to him who seeks evil. Prov. 11:27 NKJV
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• Prayer Devotional •
We serve the CREATOR, the REDEEMER, the TRUE and LIVING GOD. Beside Him there is no other. None can compare to GOD’S MAJESTY or STRENGTH, His HEALING and DELIVERING POWER. There is SALVATION in no other name, but in the NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES ... the name of JESUS.
What a privilege to serve Jesus. I encourage you to keep LOOKING AT JESUS by looking at His WORD. Fellowship with Christians who truly are pursuing Him, who believe in Him, pray to Him, talk about His FAITHFULNESS and testify about His GOODNESS. Commit to worshiping the LORD with His people at Church ... regularly ... where you can keep your focus on the Lord and WHO HE IS. As you decide to pursue the Lord, worship Him, fellowship with Jesus’ body at Church; receive His infallible Word and DO it. You will be hidden under His mighty wing, you will receive His wisdom and strength in the situations you face. Something is influencing you now ... what is it?
Recently I was praying about a situation and the Lord reminded me of Mark chapter 16:
"Afterward He appeared to the Eleven [apostles themselves] as they reclined at table; and He reproved and reproached them for their unbelief (their lack of faith) and their hardness of heart, because they had refused to believe those who had seen Him and looked at Him attentively after He had risen [from death]." (Mark 16:14-20, AMP)
Do you BELIEVE in JESUS, that He did walk on the earth, died and rose again from the dead? This is where faith begins. Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to PLEASE GOD!
And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]. (Mark 16:15)
Jesus is addressing the apostles - those who have witnessed His mighty acts of love. They were to go out into ALL THE WORLD and bring the GOOD NEWS to EVERYONE.
He who believes [who adheres to and trusts in and relies on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] and is baptized will be saved [from the penalty of eternal death]; but he who does not believe [who does not adhere to and trust in and rely on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] will be condemned. (Mark 16:16)
I was impressed to read verse 16 a few times and noted that this next portion is talking to THOSE who BELIEVE. To believe (Greek 4100 pisteuo) means: to have faith (in, upon or with respect to, a person or thing), to entrust one’s spiritual well-being to Christ, to commit, to trust, put in trust with. Are you a BELIEVER in JESUS CHRIST the MESSIAH? This is not only for the disciples, but for YOU AND ME, for your parents and your children, for your neighbors and co-workers ... anyone who BELIEVES anywhere in the WORLD. You have a message to give the world that is relevant TODAY!
(17) And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; (18) They will pick up serpents; and [even] if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well. (Mark 16:17-18)
Jesus wants to manifest His power through YOU right now. Pray to Him, call on His Name. Say, “Lord Jesus, take my life and do something with it!” Commit to being His, to yielding your life and will to Him today. People need to know that JESUS IS ALIVE, He has come to bring reconciliation with the Father, to stop the pain of rejection and abandonment, to give your life meaning and purpose! YOU ARE VALUABLE!
So then the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and He sat down at the right hand of God. (Mark 16:19)
JESUS, our VICTORIOUS KING has conquered death and hell. He has made a way!
And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord kept working with them and confirming the message by the attesting signs and miracles that closely accompanied [it]. Amen (so be it). (Mark 16:20)
As you seek the Lord today, as you pray, be reminded that you are a BELIEVER in the RISEN SON OF GOD. As you pray, remember that SIGNS will follow you because you believe, demons will flee when YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS. YOU will SPEAK in new languages. YOU will do great exploits for the Lord, His SPIRIT working in and through you. Ask the LORD every morning in prayer what He wants you to do. Say what He says, do what He tells you to do. Be an AMBASSADOR for JESUS CHRIST! My husband, Mark prays numerous times a day for the will of the Lord to be fulfilled in our lives. Pray ... pray ... pray! Be a light in this world, bring hope to the hopeless, joy to the depressed. Pray for people where ever you are as the Lord shows you. Our world is falling further from the LORD, so bring His light and salvation! You are a carrier of HIS LOVE ... it has been shed abroad in your heart to love people and be a witness for Him.
I learned a new song a few weeks ago ...
Every hour, every minute, I will ask the Holy Spirit
Where to go, what to say, I will lean on Him all day ... EVERY DAY ... EVERY DAY ...
DO YOU BELIEVE? ... THEN BELIEVE MARK 16 and DO IT!
*Written by Colleen Aitkenhead…