Monday, January 9, 2017

FAVOR FOR A LIFETIME by Gary Wilkerson

Does God give favor, bless abundantly, and lavish His grace on hungry, waiting hearts? The answer is yes — and we find this illustrated in the story of Christ’s birth.
An angel appeared to Mary announcing the amazing event about to take place in her life: “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’ But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be” (Luke 1:26-29, emphasis mine).
Bible scholars say that Mary was very young, a teenager, at the time. Imagine how strange this encounter must have been for her. Here was a simple girl from an obscure village and family, being approached by a massive, fearsome angel standing before her exclaiming, “Greetings, O favored one!”
Then he made an incredible announcement: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” (1:30-32, emphasis mine).
Often people trembled in fear when an angel appeared to them but Mary was not afraid, although it is true that she was “greatly troubled” by what the angel said about favor. She lived in a male-dominated society and her life had no real evidence of favor — but a transformation was about to take place in her life and in the world!
You may want to see your circumstances transformed. You may face sickness, a tense marriage, a wayward child, a crushing financial need. Like Mary, you can receive God’s favor, and testify as she did in her song of praise, “I am blessed by the Lord because He sees me at all times, in all my circumstances. He can conceive things I could never imagine.” 
“And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation” (Luke 1:50). That includes you!