The Bible tells us that we need to: "grow in favor with God and man." but to do so, we must first have favor. so what exactly is favor? Webster's Dictionary defines favor as: an attitude of approval or liking ; and act of kindness beyond what is due or usual' to feel or show approval or preference for; often used as a polite request: "to give someone something that they want." I think we are most familiar with the idea that favor is preferential treatment shown to somebody. It denotes acceptance, approval and pleasure. God gives us His grace to empower us to become Like Christ. While the Greek and Hebrew words translated favor in Scripture include these definition, there is a deeper dimension to the Greek word for favor: Charis. almost everywhere in the New Testament, this word is translated "grace." Grace (and favor) is essentially a gift. If we gain favor with people-or, as we might say, get into their "good graces"-we have special access to them and we receive something from them.
The same thing is true about gaining favor with God, although the charis we receive from God is obviously different from favor we receive from men. At our conversion, we learn that God's grace is His unmerited favor toward men through the blood of His Son. This unmerited favor includes not only being forgiven of sin but also receiving access to the very presence of God in the same way Jesus has access to Him. Every believer receives this favor from God, but we don't all recognize the additional dimension of the charis we receive. God's grace is also His operational power, the force of His nature. He gives us this grace to empower us to become like Christ. The Bible says, "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue." 2 Peter 1:3).
There are two aspects of God's grace- access and power-set us up to understand what it means to grow in favor with God. At the heart of growing in favor are two aspects:
1. the pursuit of God, the practice of coming before God through the "new and living way' (Hebrews 10:20) that Christ has made available to us, and
2. receiving in God's presence, measures of His own nature that empower us to be conformed into the image of the Son He loves. Considering the fact that it takes favor to get more favor and that we have all been given a measure of favor with God through our conversion, the issue of growing in favor is an issue of stewardship. The real question is, What have I done with the favor God has given to me?( See the parable of the talents in (Matthew 25:14-30). I believe the failure to understand and pursue the journey of stewarding the favor of God has led so many people to die in the unnecessary tragedy of never having their God=given dreams and desires fulfilled.
Often those same individuals blame others around them for not supporting them in the pursuit of their dreams. The sober reality is that most dreams go unfulfilled because of a lack of favor with God and man. Where favor is increasing, we witness the power of exponential increase that comes through agreement. That is the byproduct of favor. Our authentic dreams from God cannot be accomplished on our own; that is a sure sign that a dream is too small. We must dream so big that without the support that comes through favor with God and man, we could never accomplish what is in our hearts.
While God loves everyone the same, not everyone has the same measure of favor. Yet everyone is positioned to increase in favor if each one of us effectively stewards what we have. In other words, when we seek His face with the favor we have, we increase in favor itself. (Bill Johnson, Senior Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, Calf.)
See Devotional Reading Today May 7, 2015 (Kindness returns)
Don't Forget To Say Your Prayers.