Wednesday 1, May 2013
Bible Passage(s): Luke 1:26 - 33
Memory Verse: “The angel went to her and said, \"Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you. Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, \"Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God.'' Luke 1:28-31
The Macmillan English Dictionary defined favour as 'behaviour that helps someone and gives them advantage in an 'unfair' way.
It is also described as God's grace. That is the love and kindness that God gives His people, without their actually meriting it. Hence it is being referred to as unfair advantage; the help you did not merit.
In the Bible passage above, Mary had a visitation from angel Gabriel with a message from God that she had found favour with God. This caused Mary to worry because she did not understand why God was favouring her. But let's examine what the Bible said about Mary. She was an innocent teenager who had genuine and profound faith in God. A virgin, who kept herself holy, chaste and pure, without sin and not defiled. She was betrothed to be married to Joseph, that is she was committed to a man, not wayward, going from one man to another. No wonder she found God's favour!
Finding God's favour means that God will be with you (Luke 1:28). You will be blessed amongst all men and women. As Mary, you will conceive in your womb; that is you will have a vision, and you will bring forth. Your vision will not be aborted, it will produce fruits and bountiful harvest. Just as Abram found favour with God and God pronounced upon him (Genesis 12:2-3); God will in like manner make pronouncements on you; that He will make you into a great nation and bless you; your name will be great and you will be a blessing. God will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. In you all the people of the earth will be blessed. These are the attributes of someone who finds God's favour.
However to find God's favour, you need to bring yourself into the family of God and become born again. That is, you have absolute and unwavering faith in God. John 1:12 says you will earn the right to become a child of God, if you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and believe in His name.
Obedience is another requirement for finding God's favour. Same as living a righteous life, like Mary and repenting of your sins. Last month we defined repentance as ' a complete reversal of one's attitude and values and turning towards God. It is a show of remorse for our sins and wicked ways and coming to God for release and reprieve.' Finally you need to live a life of giving. It is a demonstration of love, just as Jesus Christ gave himself for humanity as a sacrifice for our sins, giving unconditionally.
You have to give yourself unconditionally to bless mankind with all that the Lord has put into your life. Your possession, money and time are to be put to the service of others and not just for yourself alone. Your vision and purpose have to be about giving selflessly. When you give yourself to giving, you will not fall into the trap of greed, graft and corruption, which are the bane of our nation today. People stealing and plundering the nation blind!
Therefore, I pray for you that, as we enter the month of Grace, the Lord will find you worthy to be favored. The Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace, now and forevermore. Amen.
Have a glorious and great month.
Prayers for the month
1. Come to God and confess your sins to Him, repenting of them. Ask Him to forgive you and assure Him that you will make a total turnaround and will not go back to your sins again.
2. Ask the Lord that throughout this month of grace, by His mighty power, you will not fall prey to the evil ones who go around wasting peoples' lives.
3. Pray that the Lord will deliver you from group sin in terms of corruption as a result of your employment or your position.
4. Pray that the Lord will make you a shining light and that He will support and protect you from the wickedness of men. Pray that He will help you to stand perfect and complete in him.
5. Ask the Lord to remember you this month and visit you with His favor. That you will receive favor from all men and women so that you will enjoy the prosperity of His chosen ones.
6. Pray that you will not be hard of hearing, but that the Lord will grant you open eyes and ears to see and hear what He is saying to you this month.