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Finding the Favor of God
October 5, 2007
Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
A young teen came to Craighouse anxious and fearful of death, her own and her father's. She suffered from depression, insomnia, and terrifying dreams. She thought devoting her life to Christ on a mission field would make her acceptable to God, earn His favor. I had good news for her.
Salvation is by grace. It comes without any consideration for someone earning it or doing anything to obtain it. It is not deserved. Salvation is the free gift of God. God sent Jesus Christ, His Son, to be the sacrifice for sin which He would accept. Man as a sinner can do nothing to save himself. God's holiness and justice require payment for sin. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself that those who believe in Jesus might have peace with the Father. There is no salvation apart from Jesus Christ. All one need do is reach out and receive the free gift of eternal life. Only Jesus saves, not mother Church, not angels, not people, not oneself.
This teen received Christ and the free gift of salvation. She was born again at 7:25 p.m. Sunday September 30, 2007. She walked out of Craighouse smiling and covered with the joy of the Lord.
The favor of God can mean the difference between life and death.
For His anger endures but a moment; in His favor is life. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong. You did hide Your face, and I was troubled. Psalm 30.5-7)
"You have granted me life and favor. And Your care has preserved my spirit." (Job 10.12)
Salvation is by grace alone, God's unmerited favor of election. That's up to God; but as children of the covenant of grace, because of Christ's redeeming us, we are to come boldly to the Throne of Grace to obtain mercy and to find grace (and favor) in a timely way, in our time of need. (Hebrews 4.16)
God looked on Abel's offering with favor, but not Cain's. (Genesis 4.3-5) God was with Joseph and Joseph found favor with men. (Genesis 39ff) Samuel grew on, and was in favor both with the LORD and also with men. (1 Samuel 2.26) David found favor with men and with God. (1 Samuel 16.22; Psalm 41.11) Hezekiah feared the LORD and sought the LORD's favor. The LORD relented concerning the doom which He had pronounced. (Jeremiah 26.19) Mary was highly favored and was chosen to be the mother of Jesus. (Luke 1.30) Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. (Luke 2.52)
The favor of God, hen in Hebrew, charis in Greek, means friendly regard, approval, gracious kindness. Hen became a figurative name for an Israelite. The favor of God is unmerited, the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life, including gratitude. Favor connects to benefit, gift, pleasure, liberality, and acceptance. For this grace, God is thanksworthy.
The favor of God rests on a certain nation or person. There is a time of God's favor. (Psalm 102.13) God uses the mystery of His favor to teach us wisdom, increase our faith, and to teach us perseverance.
Who obtains favor from the Covenant Lord? Proverbs 8.35 says that whoever finds wisdom finds life and obtains favor from the LORD. Proverbs 11.27 says that whoever earnestly seeks good finds favor. Proverbs 12.2 says a good man obtains favor from the LORD. Good understanding gains favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard. (Proverbs 13.15) The LORD blesses the righteous by surrounding him with favor as with a shield. (Psalm 5.12)
But let all those that put their trust in You rejoice. Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them. Let them also that love Your name be joyful in You; for You, LORD, will bless the righteous. With favor will You compass him as with a shield. Psalm 5.11, 12
So how do we find favor with God? As believers, we are to seek the favor of God. Entreat God for it.
Remember me, O LORD, with the favor You have toward Your people. Oh, visit me with Your salvation. (Psalm 106.4) I entreated Your favor with my whole heart. Be merciful to me according to Your word. (Psalm 119.58)
We can better position ourselves to receive God's favor by keeping His word, by remaining faithful, by humbling ourselves before the Lord, and by knowing God. (John 14.23; Proverbs 28.20; James 4.6, 10; Psalm 119.58) Sometimes we need to ask for the ability to recognize God's hand of favor in our lives.
For whoso finds me [wisdom] finds life, and shall obtain favor of the LORD, but he that sins against me wrongs his own soul: all they that hate me love death. Proverbs 8.35, 36
The favor of God can mean that our requests are granted, that we are chosen to a position of honor; that we are looked kindly upon, that our enemies do not triumph over us, that others perceive us in a positive light, as good in their sight. The favor of God verifies our relationship with Him. Having received the unmerited favor of God in salvation, we need to continue in the favor of God. Walk as a child of the covenant of grace. Live in the favor of God.
MCM ministers the manifold grace of God. A woman receives food. A family receives toys, clothing, and a Bible. God divinely heals someone's back. Funds go to help girls leave prostitution in Thailand. Orphans receive aid in Madagascar. Help goes to churches suffering persecution. People hear the gospel and find deliverance in Christ. Men and women, boys and girls, receive the touch of the Father's love at Craighouse. Your gifts make a difference. Your gifts help provide people, young and old, with an atmosphere of grace in which to grow and change and become true followers of Jesus Christ.
MCM is growing, and so is our need. Whether your heart leans toward Craighouse®, the Barnabas Project, Craighouse® Support Group, evangelism, MCM media, Home Visitation Ministry, MCM mercy ministries, or MCM world missions, your generous donation advances the kingdom of Christ. Co-labor with us as we preach the gospel here and around the world. Thank you!
May God's favor rest upon you,
P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org. Order books from our Catalog section, using PayPal Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests.
Let not mercy and
truth forsake you.
Bind them about your neck.
Write them upon the table of your heart.
So shall you find favor and good understanding
In the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3.3, 4
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