Friday, September 9, 2011

LIVING IN THE FAVOR OF GOD

God promises wonderful favor to the blameless believer. “ Keep my commands . . . let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man” (Proverbs 3:1-4). God is saying if you set your sights to walk blameless before Him, you will walk in His favor and be pleasing to Him.

But that is not all. God’s favor also includes power! Paul said, “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance” (1 Thessalonians 1:5). His favor brings the power of the Holy Spirit to all you say and do. Your words will not fall to the ground, because they will have Holy Spirit power.

Paul said those Holy Spirit-empowered words produce great results: “And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit” (1:6).

Why were Paul’s words so powerful, so effective? Because, he says, “[We] became examples to all . . . who believe” (v. 7). It was not Paul’s preaching nor his praying that won people to the Lord. It was his exemplary life! God had found in Paul a clean heart—one that He could favor with the power of the Holy Spirit!

God’s divine favor also brings high esteem among men. It is written of David: “David behaved more wisely than all the servants of Saul, so that his name became highly esteemed” (1 Samuel 18:30).

The man who protects the name of Jesus by living holy before others will be given a good name before them—by God Himself!

Some Christians say, “I don’t care about my name. It doesn’t matter what people think of me. I just want to be an unknown, a nobody. Let the Lord have all the glory.” That may sound humble but according to Scripture, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1). God gives the righteous a good name so they can use it to glorify Him in greater measure!