When I was growing up, God was a given. Everyone I knew had parents who taught them at least a little something about God, angels, heaven and hell. In an effort to help us behave, our parents cautioned, “God is always watching.” This ominous warning created a fear of God because it was attached mainly to our disobedient actions. We weren’t exactly sure what God would do, but we understood that whatever He’d mete out when He caught us being bad, would be something we wouldn’t like. On the other hand, to comfort us when we were afraid, we were told, “Angels are always watching over you.” The thought of angels didn’t scare us like the thought of God did, because we understood angels to be “the good guys.”
Our parents had good intentions, but what we caught from what they taught was a little twisted theologically. True, God is always watching, but it’s not to hit us over the head with the hammer of His anger whenever we do wrong. His heart is full of love for us, but since He cannot act contrary to His just nature, He is obligated to get us in line when we are in sin. His heart is summed up in Deuteronomy 5:29 when He says, “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” (NKJ)
God is itching to bless us—to show us favor. He’s excited when His children honor Him with their obedience and He shows it by showering down His goodness. For example, when it came time to introduce Himself into the world in the person of Jesus Christ, He found a woman and Gabriel told her, “Rejoice, highly favored one…” and again “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God” Luke 1:28 and 30 (NKJ). God’s use of Mary was a result of favor.
According to Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, grace and favor are synonymous and mean “kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who receives it and in spite of what that same person deserves.” I am blown away by the idea that God just chooses to bless me regardless of my merit and in spite of what I deserve. How could I not worship and serve Him with my whole heart—with everything that’s within me?
God wants to bless you. God loves you. Favor is amazing! Ponder with me today the fact that God’s favor rests upon you.
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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