December 29th
The Favor of God

The first area of England we lived in was called Mill Lane Estate in Stockton-on-Tees. A friend of ours who also lived in the neighborhood felt God leading him to develop an outreach called “Mill Lane” Mission. Every Thursday night he hosted a neighborhood Q&A where anyone with questions about God, the Bible, Christianity, etc. was welcome.

On the first night, a seventeen-year-old girl raised her hand and asked, ‘Why did God choose Mary?’

After a short period of silence, another friend of ours said something brilliant: ‘I ask myself the same thing—why did God choose ME? …Why am I favored?’

These are such beautiful and profound questions. ‘Why do I hear from God and others do not?’

“But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.” Luke 1:30 … “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor you will surround him as with a shield.” Psalm 5:12

‘Me? Favored by God? Me? Righteous?’ “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Before we could decide for or against God, before we could ask forgiveness for our first sin, before we could show him how “devout” we are, before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), God favored us. God’s favor did not find us because he knew we would become great Christians someday or raise good children or give to charity… God favored us because He’s a good God. God’s favor was an act of grace to Mary and it is an act of grace to us.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

I think about this kind of grace within the context of my job as a youth worker. I did not live a perfect life. I’ve done bad things. I’ve failed miserably in so many ways and so many times…. yet, God still wanted to use me. He never gave up on me. He continued to pursue me. He showed me undeserved favor. Nothing qualifies me (or you… or anyone) except Jesus Christ.

I’m reminded of John the Baptist when he said, “the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” Luke 1:30 I am unworthy, nevertheless God has anointed me to preach the good news… me… sometimes fearful, doubting, anxious, stubborn, insecure me.

What a good God we serve! He has given us everything we need for life and godliness. I may be in vocational ministry, but the Lord has commissioned every single one of us to make disciples. Don’t let your past mistakes or your feelings of inadequacy keep you from serving God with your whole being and from doing something of eternal significance.

“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

Recommended Reading: 2 Peter 1:2-3, I Peter 2:9, John 15:16

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