Monday, December 26, 2011

Daily Devotional December 25 - Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Can we just bask in His glory for a moment and reflect on all that Jesus has done for us this year.  It is beyond measure.  Jesus still coming and going, sending and praying, answering and performing miracles for you and me. 

"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."  Luke 1:26-28

The provision of God is universal and comes to each and every person that God made.  It is God's way of providing equally for all. The means of this catholic (world-wide) provision of God is through nature, i. e., gravity, biology, physics, ecology, astronomy, physiology and all the other natural provisions.

But the favor of God comes to those who have a personal relationship with God.  All of creation provides beauty and excitement, adventure and mystery to any and all who choose to utilize creations elements. You don't have to be a born again believer to package or repackage creations components. Everyone has the same opportunity to seek, find and use natures ingredients and bake their own cake, so to speak.

But to have assurance that all will be OK in the midst of the storm requires the favor of God.  The favor of God comes with commitment and preservation of a personal and continuous and deep relationship with Jesus.  Anyone can mine for gold or diamonds or start a business and receive the benefits associated with perseverance and hard work, but to receive a nod from God for a job well done requires the favor of God.

You might be thinking, just get on with it, just tell us how to get the favor of God so we can move into that experience quickly, but the truth is that many people want the favor of God without commitment and loyalty, allegiance, constancy, steadfastness, devotion and affection, love and faith toward God.  The favor of God requires that we die to self, lose our life to save it, put others ahead of ourselves, exchange our rights for obedience and trade in our will for God's will, not that popular today.

God shows His favor upon men and women whom God knows will hang in there to the end. God knows you and I that well. God does not distribute His essence without full knowledge of the past, present and future.  If we want the favor of God, we must make up our mind to follow His Son, today and tomorrow and when the bottom falls out and when our ship comes in.
In the up time and in the down time.
In times of health and when our health has left us.
When we are treated fairly and when we are mistreated and maligned.
The favor is evident to the faithful, because it is revealed through relationship.

If God gives you or me favor, so be it. We have a sickness in our society that if someone becomes successful, or receives a blessing, many around them become discontent with them or disappointed with them or in some cases even troublesome toward them.  And in some cases we are fighting against the favor of God.
 
The Lord has called you out and seeks to show Himself worthy to anyone who will prepare a table in his heart for the Lord. 
To anyone who will offer up his life for a better one.
To anyone who will seek the will of the Father over his own.
To anyone who will bow the knee to His Son, hear His voice and follow hard after Him.
To anyone who will build on the name of Jesus and not their own.
To anyone willing to let go of their dream for a better dream.
To anyone who will come to the alter and lay it down, lay it all down: money, children, successes, problems, troubles, religion, finances, everything.

The favor of God comes when we do naturally what God has ordained beforehand.

When we seek His presence and find it.
When we set our heart to serve the Christ.
When we make choices to follow the precepts handed down to us through the scriptures and handed down to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

See, receiving the favor of God is not based on what you've done, where you've been who you've hurt, how you've mismanaged your money or anything else you've done while trying out life outside of the will of God.  The favor of God is based on what you've given God to work with.  What part of yourself have you given God to work with?

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