Luke 1:23-25 – When his time of service was completed, he returned home. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. "The Lord has done this for me," she said. "In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people."
Is it possible to obtain favor with God? The Scriptures give us many wonderful examples of people who found favor in God’s sight: The Lord looked with favor upon Abel and his offering (Genesis 4:4); Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8); Moses found favor with the Lord (Exodus 33:12); Samuel grew in stature and in favor with the Lord and men (1 Samuel 2:26); In our Scripture focus, Elizabeth received favor from the Lord; Mary found favor with God (Luke 1:30); The angels announced peace on earth and goodwill to those upon whom God’s favor would rest (Luke 2:14); and of course, Jesus Himself grew in wisdom, stature and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52).
The Scriptures also give us some insights into HOW God’s favor is obtained. Proverbs 3:3,4 teaches us that it may be obtained through love and faithfulness. There are many instances where we discover that God shows His favor in answer to the sincere prayers of humble people. Other Scriptures speak of the importance of acting justly and living righteously as precursors to God’s favor. Mostly we discover that God’s nature desires to show favor to people – it’s one of those good gifts He’s more willing to give than we are ready to receive!
Jesus’ earthly ministry began as He read from Isaiah, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18,19). He announced that this Scripture was being fulfilled in the sight of His hearers! The Lord has favored the poor with the message of Good News. He has favored the prisoners with the proclamation of freedom and He has favored the blind by restoring their sight. Amazing Grace and favor!
The Apostle Paul gives further enlightenment on receiving God’s favor in 2 Corinthians 6:1,2. He wants people to know that it’s important to recognize and receive God’s grace and His provision for salvation RIGHT NOW! To delay would be to spurn God’s favor and perhaps ruin any opportunity we may have for ever obtaining such Grace! “As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation. So, since today is a day of God’s favor in saving us from our sins, let’s rejoice with Elizabeth and proclaim, “The Lord has done this for me, in these days He has shown His favor and has taken away my disgrace!!!”
- Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
- Join our 6:00pm Thursday night prayer team.
- Thank God for demonstrating His favor toward humans by sending His Son to save us!
- Pray for the Good News families of the week: Dennis & Sherry Smith, Bob & Alison St.James (Matthew, Kelly, Nate), Steve & Allison Worrall.
- Praise God for His nature of grace and His desire to favor the humble poor, blind and oppressed!
- Worship God for what He has done in taking away our disgrace and showing us favor!
- Pray that you will be careful not to receive God’s grace in vain.
- Attend “In Touch” Prayer meeting at GNCC at 10:30am or join in prayer at that time.
- Praise God that He knows our need and has provided a day of salvation for us!
- Give thanks that TODAY is the day of salvation! TODAY we may experience the blessing of God’s favor!
Prayer Challenge: Meditate on the mystery of God’s favor. Praise Him for the day He fulfilled this wonderful grace in your life – when your blinded eyes were opened, your fetters fell off, and you were released from the oppression of sin and guilt and shame! Pray that you will not receive this wonderful grace of Jesus in vain, but that you will revel in God’s favor every day of this New Year!