“Now God has caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel” (Dan 1:9)
It can be said with certainty everyone in life would like to be favored- especially from God. Favor brings opportunity and comes with blessings. The Bible has many people who were indeed favored and the blessings on their life is clearly evident.
We have Joseph who had favor upon him whether working for Potiphar ( Gen 39:5); down in jail ( Gen 39:21); and finally being elevated as prime minister of great Egypt. When Abraham was 99 the Lord appeared to him and blessed him, “I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly” (Gen 17:1-8). Mary was selected among all women as the mother of Jesus ( Luke 1:28-33).
Perhaps here one may ask, but how does one receive favor from God? If we may look at the above and other examples of those who were greatly favored by God, like Noah from the Great flood ( Genesis 6:8), or Moses to lead the people of Israel (Exodus 33: 12-17), it was not because there was anything remarkably good in these people. Neither was perfect yet God showed favor upon them. The reason is, “For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (Romans 9:15).
A clear characteristic of those who receive favor is humility. Isaiah 66:2, says, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and those who tremble at my word.” As the preacher Charles Spurgeon once wrote, “ God shows favor to those who seek his favor by loving Him, respecting Him, honoring Him, and by taking delight in His word.”
We can receive favor by asking God. Psalm 119 says, “I entreat your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise” (Psalm 119:58). And God is calling us to have our hearts in tune with Him, for, “the Lord bestows favor and honor, no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless” ( Psalm 84:11).
Today, pray and walk in that assurance of being favored by the Lord Almighty.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I come to you in humility to ask of your favor to bless me in all that I do, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!