Day 1 — Sunday, March 5th
Today I began our 40 Days of God’s Favor by teaching the first of six Sunday messages on the subject. In the upcoming daily devotionals I will not typically redo the Sunday messages, but on Sundays I will in order to summarize in writing what I covered in the message. As a result, I expect that these Sunday posts will typically be longer than the weekday posts. —Pastor Brian
Scripture reading: Matthew 7:7–11
“7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (ESV)
Main idea: God’s default attitude toward his children is favor.
Because God is your Father, he is predisposed to answer your prayers and do you good. God has a positive bias toward you. God has fatherly goodwill, generosity, favor, beneficence. God has a loving, fatherly desire to show you kindness, a loving, fatherly desire for your highest good, a loving, fatherly desire to bless you. This is the heart of God.
Our Father has a desire to say yes, versus a desire to say no. God is not like an insurance company that is looking for reasons to deny your request.
For many of us, this is hard to believe. Why?
- Because circumstances have taught us to believe the opposite. We may have suffered. Our prayers may not have been answered. We may have suffered through lack. We may have painful, unfulfilled desires. We may have come to expect the worst.
- You may compare yourself to others who appear to be more blessed.
- You may be judging God’s favor in worldly ways. This is the whole point of the Beatitudes of Jesus. In the Beatitudes, Jesus turns favor upside down (see Matthew 5:1–11).
- You may be taking God’s blessings for granted by not giving thanks for them.
- Sinful thought patterns such as envy, greed, coveting, and selfish ambition can lead to the belief that God is not doing you good.
- You may feel that you have to earn God’s favor by being perfect. When you sin, you feel that you lose God’s favor.
But which will you believe: your experience and past, or God’s Word? God’s Word says God loves you as a good father loves his child. God has infinite, perfect favor toward you! His favor is constant and unwavering, just as you remain his child through ups and downs, through good living and failure.
Declarations: God has infinite favor toward me. God is predisposed to answer my prayers. God wants to do me good. God loves me as a good father loves his precious child.
Click below to hear the full audio of Pastor Brian’s March 5th message on God’s Favor. This is the first message in the 40-Day series.