Where do you go to get God’s Favor?

This gives me nightmares.

Mark Twain said, “Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”   Notice he said “dog,” not “cat!” Cats are evil and would only get into heaven through God’s favor like you and me (and even then it’s an iffy proposition.)

God’s Favor: His promise to lead, feed, and protect me, for His special purpose in my life.
God’s favor is all over the Bible, and especially prominent in the Exodus (God’s Rescue.)
You can do more in one second of God’s favor, than you can in a lifetime of your labor. 
Here’s a remarkably absurd verse (absurd if you don’t understand God’s favor): 
“Moses, thank you for the boils and gnats and flies and
 bloody Nile and frogs! But especially the BOILS!
It’s like puberty times a thousand! 
How could we NOT favor you
and your awesomeness?”

Now the LORD had caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the people of Israel. And Moses was considered a very great man in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh’s officials and the Egyptian people alike.  Exodus 11:3 (NLT)

“The Egyptians look favorably.” That’s pretty remarkable, because right before the plagues, Moses was a man hated by his people, by Pharaoh, and by Egypt. He showed upon the scene to deliver the Hebrews from 400 years of slavery, and instead Pharaoh began to crush the people under a heavier work load than ever before. In fact, in Exodus 6 the Israelites were so discouraged by Moses’ performance as a deliverer, that they quit listening to him!

But now – God’s favor shines on Moses and the Israelites.

So after all the plagues (boils and gnats and bloody Nile and first born dead) brought on Egypt by Moses (and by extension the Hebrews), the Egyptians now favor Moses and the Hebrews? That’s crazy! And in Exodus 12:36 the Hebrews ask for the gold and silver and the Egyptians just turn their pockets inside out loading them up!  How is that? It defies logic! Unless God’s favor brings it about.

God’s favor is a powerful thing. You don’t need anything else in the world if you have God’s favor.
You can do more in one second of God’s favor, than you can in a lifetime of your labor. 

Believe in God’s favor. Easter is proof that. If you are in Christ, you have found favor with God. Not a prosperity Gospel kind of favor that says that God wants you rich and healthy all the time. That’s pure rubbish. Sell that to a man or woman sitting in Mozambique dying of AIDS. ”You just have enough faith brother, have enough faith sister –you’ll be healed AND rich!”  Rubbish.

His favor – is not for my glory. It’s for His purpose.

Psalm 23 is my favorite “found favor” chapter in the Bible. I love the last verse that our extravagant God pours out to us: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6 (ESV)

The Apostle Paul said of God’s favor:
 But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out His special favor on me-and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by His grace (unmerited favor.) 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NLT)

God’s favor can find you anywhere. It’s not based on your circumstances. God’s favor found the Hebrews in four centuries of slavery.
God’s favor can be upon you:
in the unemployment line,
in a painful marriage,
in a hospital bed,
in a gulag,
in the middle of your greatest depression.

God’s favor is not bounded by circumstances. Because God is outside of time. Our circumstances may look like an awful now, God knows the end of the story. God’s favor found Joseph in the dungeon (Genesis 40) long before Joseph was found in Pharaoh’s palace.

Wake up every single morning, knowing that all those things on your plate, that worry you and stress you and keep you up all night and wear you out; He’s going to lead you through all that stuff, and He’s going to provide  the way, and He’s even going to protect you in the midst of it all.

Here’s the truth: God’s favor found Moses and the Hebrews and God’s favor finds everyone who is in Christ. That’s why God says: And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 (NLT)

God’s rescue brings His favor. His rescue brought favor on Moses and the Israelites at they fled 400 years of slavery. His rescue at the cross brought His favor to you. In Christ, you can have this confidence: “  I’ve got no claim other than God is ridiculously good to me and He FAVORS me.”

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