The Favor of God

The Favor of God

For You, O Lord, bless the righteous man [the one who is in right standing with You]; You surround him with favor as with a shield.  (Ps 5:2 AMP)

And so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.  (Pro 3:4)

. . . but his favor is like dew on the grass.  (Pro 19:12 b)

Favor is approval of, preference for or goodwill toward one individual bestowed upon them either by another person or by the Lord God.  The verses above all talk about God’s favor.  According to the Bible, God’s favor is upon His people, and actually surrounds us much like a shield.

What does a shield do?  In Bible times, shields were usually “anointed” (Isa 21:5b), in order to preserve them, and at the same time to make the missiles of the enemy glide off of them more readily.  These [Roman] shields were very large; the largest could have been 3-1/2 feet tall by 3 feet wide!  They were rectangular and curved outward, so as to protect the person behind it, and they could repel attacks without transmitting the full force of the assault to the shield-holder.  In the center of the shield, on the side facing the opponent, was a large metal knob or projection [boss].  It was able to deflect even the more vicious blows and operate in a limited offensive capacity as a means of knocking an opponent backwards.

God’s favor upon His people operates in a similar fashion to a shield, except that it is larger, stronger, and imbued with the supernatural power of God.  When the enemy attacks us, the favor of God acts like a boomerang and sends that attack back where it came from!

God’s favor is irresistible, irrefutable, and inexorable—it is God making a way for us when there seems to be no way.  It is when our Savior turns a situation which looks like it will ruin us into an occasion for shouting and rejoicing over God’s deliverance and salvation.  It becomes an opportunity for a testimony of His love, mercy, and goodness.  Glory to God!

Secrets Uncovered

Secrets Uncovered

“For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to the light.”  (Mk 4:22)

The English Standard Version of this verse says it this way:  For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light.

I saw the above verse in a new light recently due to reading it in various versions, which kind of opened my eyes to it.  A verse that is similar to it is Luke 8:17.

“For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, neither hidden that will not be made known and come into the open.”  (Lk 8:17 Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

The Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary has this to say about Mark 4:22:

“I have privately expounded to you these great truths, but only that ye may proclaim them publicly; and if ye will not, others will. For these are not designed for secrecy. They are imparted to be diffused abroad, and they shall be so; yea, a time is coming when the most hidden things shall be brought to light.”

For me, these verses disclose that God, our Savior will reveal things to us.  They may be:  1) facts we need to know in relation to our jobs or business success; 2) information we need concerning our children or our family relationships; 3) wisdom for our marriages; or 4) a book, study or report that shows us an answer to a challenge that we’ve been facing. 

Revelation wisdom and knowledge may come through a friend; an overheard remark; a phone call; or some other unexpected means.  One thing for sure is that we have a Savior who loves us and meets all of our needs.  How privileged we are!

Salvation is Now

Salvation is Now

For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.  (2 Cor 6:2, emphasis added)

As I understand it, this verse is the Lord’s way of encouraging us to have an active, expectant faith for whatever our need may be.  The type of faith this verse encourages is one that says, “Today is the day of salvation!  Hurrah! God has answered me today.  Praise the Lord Most High.”

This verse imparts a wonderful sense of hope and the expectation of the fulfillment of God’s promises—the sort of any-moment-now excitement of receiving a wonderful gift and blessing any moment.  This is a result of a clear understanding of how much God loves each one of us, and how He greatly He loves to answer our prayers, help us, and to meet our needs.

The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I hope [confidently expect] in Him!” (Lam 3:24)

What’s Your Delight?

What’s Your Delight?

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  (Ps 1:2)

Do you find delight in the Bible?  This Psalmist declares that he delights in the word so much that he meditates upon it and thinks about it all of the time—literally!

Most of us can find delight in our children; or in a certain sports team; or a wonderful movie . . . even a favorite meal.  But have we trained our appetite in such a way that we derive great pleasure from reading the word and meditating upon it?

We can prime ourselves to love and rejoice in God’s word by drawing closer to God.  That can be achieved through prayer, praise and worship, and simply quietly listening for His voice and His wisdom to be imparted to us after we have spent time in the word. 

After accustoming ourselves with the word, and receiving answered prayer because of praying according what we know the word says, then we will definitely begin to have a deep appreciation for God’s word.

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  (Ps 37:4)

As for the saints who are on the earth, “They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”  (Ps 16:3)

As Psalm 16:3 says, God delights in His saints and God notices when we delight in His word and in Him!  When we delight in Him, he gives us the desires of our heart.

How to Live In the Word

How to Live In the Word

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”  (John 8:31)

How do you abide IN Jesus’ words?  First of all, the word abide may be defined as heed, acknowledge, or respect.  If our heart’s desire is to abide in His word, then we will depend upon the word as God intended us to do.  To depend on something means to rely upon it for support and help.

That means that whenever we have a concern, a need, or a challenge, we turn to the Scriptures to find a solution to our situation.  We look to the Lord and seek His face to hear what He has to say, and what wisdom He has to share.

Another way to receive God’s wisdom, of course, is to seek wise biblical counsel from a Pastor, an older believer, or a spouse or relative.  All of these advisors will be happy to refer to and to study the Word with you, searching for the help that only God can give. 

Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.  (Ps 25:3)

Keep my soul, and deliver me; let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.  (Ps 25:20)

For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”  (Rom 10:11)

When we rely upon the Lord and His word, we will never be put to shame.  Turning to the Word in our daily lives, and understanding that God has imbued it with His power so that it has active power to impact situations in our lives is living in His word.

Know THE Voice

Know THE Voice

“But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”  (John 10:2-4)

Jesus is our Good Shepherd and we are members of His flock.  This passage of the Bible reminds us that because we are His OWN sheep, we not only HEAR His voice, but we KNOW (are familiar with) His voice. 

It’s our responsibility to familiarize ourselves with the voice of our Shepherd, and the way to do it is to read the Bible and to be very familiar with what it says—from cover to cover.  Scripture memorization is also a key component.  Then when we hear a voice whispering to our hearts, we can know if it has the same spirit as the Word of God does.  If “yes,” then we know that we have heard from the Lord.

It’s also important to know His voice so that He may lead us.  When we KNOW the voice, we (as sheep) will surely follow.  By following Him, we qualify to receive the blessings of obedience.  Listen for His voice today, my friend.

Abide in the Word

Abide in the Word

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”  (John 8:31 NKJV)

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  (John 15:7 NKJV)

According to Jesus, if we abide in His word, then we are His disciples.  What does “abiding in the Word” mean? 

ABIDE means:  accept or act in accordance with; to conform to; bear, take.

My understanding of this is that Jesus wants us to live our lives conformed to His Word, and to base our opinions and actions upon His Word.  He would like us to share His Word with those whom we meet, and those with whom we have influence.

As we carry (bear, take) the Good News of Jesus Christ everywhere with us, and share it generously with all, we will be fulfilling the commission that He has given to every believer.  And according to John 15:7, as we live in this fashion, the Lord will give us the desires of our hearts.  Praise God!