No Favorites – Just Favored

God is always showing favor, but never favoritism.

Text for Today – Luke 2:52 – And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

I suppose you could say that the time from which our Text for Today was cited, Jesus was God’s favorite.  After all, at that moment, He was God’s “only begotten Son.”  When you’re an only child, it stands to reason that your are the parent’s favorite child.  However, when you’re NOT an only child, things may be different.  Truly loving parents will not have a favorite child, though different children in the same family may obtain more favor than the others.

Now there’s a thought.  And herein lies a fact that for too many believers is so difficult to grasp.  They mistake treatment as an indicator of how much God loves them.  Oh, how wrong they are.  Why did God choose Noah?  Why did God choose Moses?  Why did God choose Gideon?  Why did God choose Mary?  Was it because He loved them more than other of their era?  Absolutely NOT!  He shoes them because they found favor in His sight.  There was something in them that made them more desirable than their peers.  What was that something?  It was faith.

Hebrews 11:6 is such a powerful statement to the fact of what I am writing to you.  “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”  It could be stated this way.  “Without faith it is impossible to receive necessary favor from the Lord.”  However, with faith, all things are possible, or the necessary favor of God is present to accomplish anything.

Read Luke 1 closely.  Mary was favored of the Lord.  Her own words and attitude reveal why she was favored.  She had faith.  If God said it, that settled it with Mary.  How about you?  If God says it, does that settle it with you?  If it does, you are favored, too.  I know I am favored with by my Father.  I believe His Word.  I obey His Word.  I act upon His Word.  I have favor with God.  And like Jesus, I am continually growing in that favor.  Please know that this is a place into which one grows.  You don’t suddenly leap into a position of high favor with God.  Psalm 5 tells us that we are surrounded with favor as with a shield.  Ephesians 6 tells us to take the shield of faith “above all.”  Never think because you see someone having great favor with God that such a person is God’s favorite, or that God loves them more than you.  when you see someone having great favor with God, it is a matter of faith.  When you see that, you should seek to follow, or imitate, that example of how that favor was gained.  So, for favor, go to the Word, my friend, go to the Word.

Manna for Today – Psalm 5; Luke 1:30; Hebrews 11:1-6; Ephesians 6:10-18; Romans 10:6-17

He’ll Lead You to It

God will only lead you where He has a plan for your victory already in place.

Text for Today – John 16:13 – Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all truth . . .

How often during the passing of a day do you come to a place where you must make a choice?  Do you turn right or left?  (You may be able  to get where you’re going by turning either way.)  Do you have a soup or salad, or both?  Which brand of a particular product do you purchase?  Do you call this person or wait for her to call you?  Do you wear a suit, or shall you go casual?  And these are the decisions about which we so often give little, if any, real attention.

Then there are the more serious questions.  Which of the applicants do you hire for the new position?  Should you pursue a business (or any other kind of) relationship with a certain person?  Into which ministry shall I sow this seed?  Should you have that surgery?  Should you see a doctor about a certain situation?

These and myriads of other questions flood our minds daily.  I want you to understand today that God is personally interested in every decision you make, regardless of how small you may think it to be.  I have had occasions of driving mindlessly (yes, I said mindlessly) along.  Coming to a familiar intersection, waiting for the light, Holy Spirit would speak softly to my heart to take a different route to my destination.  When I have ignored those leadings, not only did I have to repent for not yielding, but lost time due to some circumstance I did not know I would encounter.  But Holy Ghost knew.  When I have obeyed His leadings, I have often learned later what I avoided by simply yielding to His gentle promptings.

I know, so often we read our Text for Today and reference the word “truth” to mean the truth of Scripture, but when we do, we ignore the little three-letter word that precedes the word “truth.”  That word is “all.”  Yes, He will guide us into “all” Bibilical truth, but it doesn’t stop there.  As I have already stated, our God is intimately interested in every decision we make.  If w will determine to let Him lead, He will be faithful.  When He indicates a choice we should make, and then we make that choice, life will be so much more pleasant and free from entanglements, especially in the more critical decisions of life.

Oh, and one more thing.  God will indeed lead you to valleys where battles await, or to mountaintops where temptations await.  But He will NEVER lead you to those places to train you.  If God leads you to a place where temptations or battles await, it is because He wants to work through you, His champion, to conquer the enemy and take his head.  And always know, God will NEVER lead you there unprepared or ill-equipped.

Manna for Today – Romans 8:14; Matthew 4:1