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God’s favor

It’s true! God has favorites!
It’s also true that He offers all of us the opportunity to become one of His favorites. And, it’s not that difficult, either. “Good people,” wrote Solomon, “obtain favor from the Lord.” It’s rather obvious that those who want “His favor,” as well as those who receive “His favor” are those who are “good people.”
Since most of us have our own definition of “good,” it is important to understand God’s definition of “good.” If we know His definition of “good,” we then have a choice: we can either meet His requirements and receive “His favor” or decide that “His favor” is not worth the effort.
Throughout the Old Testament “good people” are the ones who are motivated by a Godly-love to do Godly-things. They willingly set their own needs and desires to the side while they serve the needs of others. Doing “God-things” is the driving force in their lives. The “good” are those who are able and willing when they see someone in need, to do something about it - even if it means they willingly sacrifice something. The “good” are those who work with God to bring honor to His name when one of His children is being treated unfairly or unjustly, is in need or is suffering. The “good” are those who follow the examples of Jesus: His life was about doing “good.” The “good” have God’s “seal of approval” on their lives.
“Those who devise wicked schemes” are the opposite of the “good people.” Their lives are about self, not sacrifice; their “schemes” are unfair, unjust, unholy; they lack decency, honesty, integrity or kindness. God’s wrath awaits them. Live well, and receive God’s favor!
Prayer: Lord, convict me, challenge me, discipline me, and burden me through Your Holy Spirit, until I become one of Your “good people.” And revive Your favor! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Good people obtain favor from the LORD, but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes. Proverbs 12:2

Some time ago a clergyman shouted with all of his might, “God, damn America!” Standing behind his pulpit with his colorful clerical robe and embroidered stole, his rant and rage shocked many who saw him on television.
The longer I watched and wondered, the more his words confused and disturbed me. I could not help but think about the impact this would have on those who were in his congregation or watching him on television or read his words in newspapers and magazines. Surely some would be as disturbed as I was. But, there would be others who would agree with him and cheer for him.
Most often when we and others call on God it is for a favor or something we cannot do. It could be for healing, a financial need, a loved one who has wandered from God, or insight or wisdom. Then there are others who call on God because they want Him to use His power to do things that are destructive - like “God, I hate America so much that I want You to use Your power to hurt people I can’t.”
David spoke of them: “They speak of You with evil intent; Your adversaries misuse Your name.” We need to remind ourselves that God will only answer our prayers if our requests are consistent with His name or in keeping with His character. He is not available to hurt or harm His children or His creation or to satisfy our anger or do our “dirty work” or evil intentions.
God is always there, willing to hear our requests and answer them in the way that will bring honor and glory to Him. If we call on Him “with evil intent,” He will not hear us.

Prayer: 
Lord, grant us purity of heart and mind when we approach You in prayer. May our requests honor You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 139:20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
There’s not much “middle ground” when it comes to feelings about “teachers’ pets” in the classroom or those who are “the bosses most trusted friends.” If a student has found “special favor” with a teacher or an employee has gained “special recognition” by someone in authority at work, the rest of the class or work force often resent the attention they receive. And why not?

Often there appear to be “secret” or “hidden” paths to such status. How they got there or what they did is not always obvious. At one time it was an “apple” or “box of candy” for the teacher. Perhaps it was a “cup of coffee” to begin the day or a “special gift” on a holiday. But the way to gain this status is not published in a student handbook or organization policy manual.

With God it’s different. He has no favorites. There are no hidden secrets if anyone wants Him to recognize them. He is always there waiting for us to call upon Him. His ears are always open. His eyes are constantly looking for those who need Him. His heart is full of love for each of us.

But, Solomon made a statement that stands out: “A good man obtains favor from the Lord; but the Lord condemns a crafty man.” A “good man” in the eyes of the Lord is one who lives a self-sacrificing life; one who does what he does because he is motivated by God to serve Him and help others. A man who is “crafty” is one who “devises evil” or hides the facts, is not open and honest nor truthful in his dealings with or service to others.

Want God’s favor? Follow Solomon’s advice!

Prayer:  Lord, Your instructions are always clear and easy to understand. Give me Your strength to be obedient. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 12:2 The good obtain favor from the Lord, but those who devise evil he condemns.

It’s true. God does have favorites!

It’s also true that He offers all of us the opportunity to become “one” of His favorites. And, it’s not that difficult, either. “Good people,” wrote Solomon, “obtain favor from the Lord.” It’s rather obvious that those who want “His favor,” as well as those who receive “His favor” are those who are “good people.”

Since most of us have our own definition of “good,” it is important to understand God’s definition of “good.” If we know His definition of “good” we then have a choice: we can either meet His requirements and receive “His favor” or decide that “His favor” is not worth the effort.

Throughout the Old Testament “good people” are the ones who are motivated by a Godly-love to do Godly-things. They willingly set their own needs and desires to the side while they serve the needs of others. Doing “God-things” is the driving force in their lives. The “good” are those who are able and willing, when they see someone in need, to do something about it - even if it causes a sacrifice. The “good” are those who work with God to bring honor to His name when one of His children is being treated unfairly or unjustly. The “good” are those who follow the example of Jesus: His life was about doing “good.” The “good” have God’s “seal of approval” on their lives.

“Those who devise wicked schemes” are the opposites of the “good people.” Their lives are about self, not sacrifice; their “schemes” are unfair, unjust, unholy; they lack decency, honesty, integrity or kindness. God’s wrath awaits them.

Prayer:  Lord, convict me, challenge me, discipline me and burden me until I become one of Your “good people.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 12:2 Good people obtain favor from the Lord, but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.