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Tag Archives: the favor of God

You Can’t Have Favor Without the But

The idea of taking a short cut is enticing, saving time and effort.  However, if this risk doesn’t pay off, unfortunate souls are left to swim in a pool of disappointment.  When success becomes a distant memory, blame is often shifted to the big Guy upstairs.  Nonetheless, you can’t experience the favor of God until you display the but.

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. – Daniel 1:8

For those of you have who been disenfranchised by faith, you need to draw your attention toward a teenager from Israel.  Despite living through the fall of Judah to Babylon, Daniel remained faithful to the values instilled in him by his parents.  When encouraged to abandon the practices of his youth, Daniel resolved not to defile himself.  God did not bless this young man until the but prompted Daniel to take a stand.

Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel – Daniel 1:9.

Years prior to this event, one of the forefathers of faith helped connect the dots to the hand of God.  According to Moses, obedience is the first step to obtaining the Lord’s favor, Deuteronomy 28:1.   Yet, unless the commands of the Bible are carefully followed, favor will be unattainable.  In modern times, developing a Matthew 6:33 mindset is a great starting point, opening the door for one to receive God’s daily bread.  May this blog help you see the but comes first before God’s favor.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Power of Grace

Grace is a dying word in most cultures as bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness harbors in the hearts of hurt people.  Instead of experiencing the unmerited favor of God, guilt is preventing individuals from accepting this free gift, Romans 5:8.  Meanwhile, the condition of forgiveness introduced by Jesus in Matthew 6:15 isn’t being met by followers, revoking the power of grace upon their lives.

While serving as a youth pastor in Indiana, one student was placed into my life to teach me about grace.  Despite my attempts to reach out to this high school junior, I was her enemy, the adult who took the job of the person who led her to faith, Romans 10:9-10.  On one occasion, her mother approached me, giving me a hug with tears in her eyes, confessing, “I’m sorry my daughter hates you!”  This trial tested me, putting my faith into a spiritual  fire, 1 Peter 1:6-7.  Without this encounter, I might not understand the power of Grace today.

On Sunday, I attended a friend’s church, needing to be showered in God’s grace.  In the middle of singing for 30 minutes, the lyrics struck a cord with my soul.  Usually stoic and reserved, especially the older  I get, the Holy Spirit moved me to tears.  Lifting my hands up toward heaven, I sensed my disappointment, stress and worries being washed away, swept clean by the power of grace.

If you’ve been touched by God, please share your story in the comment section below.

by Jay Mankus

Receiving Your Father’s Blessing

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In the past week, I have had several requests to write more about yearning for the favor of God.  I’ve had a few ideas, yet each stalled quickly, causing me to go back to the drawing board.  Then I read Genesis 49 yesterday, inspiring today’s title and prayer, that each of my readers may receive their father’s blessing.

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Not long after moving to Egypt, Jacob, the father of the 12 tribes of Israel, gathered his sons to be in his presence prior to his death.  Beginning in Genesis 49:2, Jacob gives a verbal last will and testament in the form of blessings and curses.  Ending 26 verses later in Genesis 49:27, this is one of the most fascinating passages in the Bible, a foreshadowing of the good, bad and ugly future Israelites will experience.

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After the dust settled, there was probably several heart broken men.  Reuben was cursed, Simeon and Levi criticized for their tempers, Issachar had slavery to look forward to and Benjamin is projected to be a wolf.  Meanwhile, 5 others were given compliments per say as Zebulun’s descendants were promised the seaside, Dan people of justice, Gad a resilient fighter, Asher food fit for a king and Naphalti good looking children.  Judah and Joseph are the only 2 boys who received what I call a full blessing, each detailed in several verses compared to 1 or 2.

Unfortunately, the negativity of this current generation can be attributed somewhat due to a lack of father figures and or not hearing compliments from their father.  Anger, frustration and a spirit of perfectionism often keeps me and many other dads from taking time to praise their children.  Yes, kids do let parent’s down, but young people do need to be lifted up to restore what little confidence they possess.  As the apostle Paul urges believers in Galatians 6:9-10, share a word of encouragement while there is still time.  By doing this, may you receive your heavenly Father’s blessings.

by Jay Mankus

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