Jesus gives us...
Jesus gives us favour
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Favour is a fickle thing in the world.
In the Lion the witch and the wardrobe, there is a scene where Edmund is betraying his family. He is a King of Narnia, but doesn’t know it. The evil Queen has offered him the chance to be a prince, if he brings the rest of the family to her. She wants to kill them all. So it’s a great picture of the devil’s schemes.
Edmund makes it to the Queen’s castle and is met by Maugrim the chief of the secret police who says “Greetings favoured one of the Queen or not”
Favour in the world is a fickle thing – if you work hard enough for long enough some people will like you some of the time!
Politicians go in and out of favour all the time. The words “He has my complete support” is a kiss of death and the Minister will be sacked within days.
Divine favour is completely different.
It is totally undeserved and unmerited and is therefore not based on our performance at all.
It’s God’s “I’m for you” attitude. Did you know God is for you… God’s for me – say it! Some of you might be feeling like Edmund right now. You are wondering whether you are favoured or not. Don’t listen to Maugrim, the enemy. Listen to God and what He is saying.
Favour is the guarantee of His presence, the promise of His power, to accomplish His special purpose in and through your life.
When the mankind was still pretty new and their every inclination of the heart was evil. Gen 6:8 tells us “But Noah found favour with the Lord.”
Joseph was a young man who went through decades of suffering and trials. Genesis 39:21 tells us “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” Moses was called by God to bring the people of Israel out of slavery and prayed back to God at one of the tough moments “Yet you have said, “I know you by name and you have also found favour in my sight.” The later Samuel, we are told in 1 Sam 2:26, “Now the young man continued to grow both in stature and in favour with the Lord and also with man.” David Acts 7:46 tells “found favour in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob”.
Ruth found favour in Boaz’s field and ended up going from poverty to supply, widowhood to marriage, childless to having a family and being part of the genealogy of Jesus
So there’s a ton of divine favour under the Old Covenant – how much more is there going to be under the New covenant?!
Divine favour is your portion! Say it Divine favour is my portion.
So the angel of the Lord appears to Mary and says “Greeting O favoured on, the Lord is with you!”
She had no idea what that meant, so the angel says again “Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favour with God.”
She was so favoured! The mother of Jesus!
She had no idea what was happening. Didn’t really understand – but she is willing to yield to God’s power.
Interesting – ignorance asks for understanding, unbelief ask for proof.
So Jesus – God in the flesh is born. God and Man in perfect union. Born in the most humblest of circumstances as a boy. When he was twelve He was taken to temple for the Passover and left behind! In Luk 2:52 it tells us this “Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man”
I can understand how Jesus would need to grow in favour with man – but God? But if Jesus needed to grow in favour with God, then boy do I! Amen?
Favour is the grace of God – the greek word for both is the same. So it’s totally an undeserved gift. But just like grace it has measures and we can grow in the measure of favour as we can grow in grace.
God loves everybody the same. He loves… just as much as he loves me.
Grace is available to all who want it. Grace and favour start with ACCESS
We have free unblockable, unmerited access to the favour all ways! The sin barrier is permanently dealt with and we can always approach the throne of heaven with boldness and confidence.
Grace and favour are also about power – power to do the things that God wants us to do. Spiritual gifts are actually grace gifts. Grace given to do us to serve God. Favour is the same.
Eph4:7 tells us the risen Christ gives grace to every one as he apportions it.
So all believers have the same divine favour for access – are you enjoying it.
But there are portions of favour, of grace to serve God and they can grow. Jesus needs to grow in favour, boy do we!
Who wants to grow in the favour of God?
Who wants more of His presence?
Who wants more of His power?
Who wants to bear more fruit?
Jesus started with less favour on earth than he ended with. Its an issue of stewardship like so many things. Proper use of favour gets us more. When we steward well, you get more – and there are so many things people have favour for –
Money – some of you have favour for making money and using it for kingdom purposes.
Wisdom – some of you have such favour with wisdom in your work place and in the church environment
People – some of you are just people people. People want to be with you and God has given you such favour to influence people in your life group, in the market and in work.
Miracles – some of you are growing in favour for miracles. I want to hear stories – Here’s a Bill Johnson quote “when we don’t give testimony, we rob God of the glory”
3 things about God’s favour
1) Favour is God affection for you to encourage you.
He loves you, so He chooses to you to be favoured. You didn’t earn it, so don’t get puffed up!
Sometimes God will test you with praise! Some of you can cope with it at all and some you get puffed up and think your gift is who you are. Both are wrong!
Don’t let God’s favour on you become your identity. It’s just how He uses you.
2) Favour is intended to draw us deeper in relationship
Remember how I said grace and favour are about ACCESS and POWER. God gives you grace and favour because He loves you and wants relationship with you.
Matthew 7:21-23 is an interesting passage – clearly there will be people who have had a revelation of the goodness of God and grabbed hold of His word about grace and favour and will be doing stuff and God uses them. God honour His word about healing in the name of Jesus. BUT they don’t know Him. They didn’t enjoy and pursue more Access, just the power.
He wants you, He wants to know you more. Favour is so we can know Him and enjoy Him more. Paul prays for the Ephesian church in his letter that the may have a spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Him, to be enlightened, to know the hope and riches and the immeasurable greatness of His power.
3) Give it away – the kingdom principle is to give away to get more!
Whatever favour God gives you, give it away! God will give you more. You cannot outgive God!
Eph 4:29 is an interesting scripture “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, bit only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion that it may give grace to those who hear.” – use your words to give grace to others!
So favour is God’s “I’m for you attitude” – it’s a completely undeserved gift, but you can grow in it too! Get your head around that!
Here’s some practical hows for enjoying more of God’s favour
1) You have access to the father – enjoy it! Switch of the goggly box, shut down facebook and enjoy His presence a bit more.
2) Receive God’s favour – it’s a free gift, so receive it and ask for more.
3) Use it to bless others – the measure you have now will increase if you put it to use – just like the parable of the talents.
4) Give generously Prov 18:6 A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great. As you are generouse with God’s favour – money, time, wisdom, friendliness, spiritual gifts – God gives you space for more to be used.
5) Keep company with the favoured – Psalm 1 challenges us to not hang around with those who lead us astray. Joyce Meyer says “If you associate with a person who is visionary, you will soon get a vision. But if you stay around lifeless people who want to do nothing but complain, sit on the couch, eat donuts, and watch soap operas, then soon you will be doing the same things.”
6) Prayer and fasting – Nehemiah prayed and fasted before going before the King and found favour. Jesus said of one particular deliverance – this type comes out by prayer and fasting. As we pray and fast, we cultivate more Access to the Father and he gives us more Power.
7) Forgive others – we talked about unforgiveness the other week – nothing kills favour off faster than being unforgiving, even bitter.
8) Stop grumbling. Some of you moan too much. About silly stuff. A whole generation of Israel missed the promised land because they grumble. They missed the full measure of the favour of God because of moaning. I’m believing that God is drawing us to the promised land – the wave of the Spirit, that will bring revival to this region. Don’t miss by grumbling about stupid stuff.
9) Thankfulness sets your attitude. Stop moaning and Be thankful. God loves to give more to people who are thankful for what they have. He will withold when you moan. so stop it!
Jesus gives us...
Jesus gives us favour
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