PULPIT TODAY SERMONS
Robert D. Pace
(Definition) In its simplest terms, divine favor involves the bestowal of God’s goodness, blessing, spiritual enrichment, or promotion. Favor enhances the welfare of your life whether it involves bestowing something of value or removing something that hinders.
As we begin this lesson on favor I want to note the difference between (1) God’s sovereign grace/favor and (2) the grace/favor that man can entreat from God. Favor is similar to grace but there is a difference. Perhaps the easiest way to differentiate between grace and favor is to recognize that grace is always a free, undeserved gift. Favor, on the other hand, can be deserved or gained. Here’s what we must admit about God’s sovereign grace: No one fully understands it! There is no way to explain why God chooses a less qualified person for an assignment when someone much brighter and “seasoned” is available for the task. It’s impossible to explain why God chooses “the basest of men” (Daniel 4:17) to govern a nation, when a more righteous one is available.
But God doesn’t demand that we comprehend his sovereign selection process. He commands us to trust him! He wants us to understand that He operates from a system of infinite wisdom. Since that’s the case, let’s note that:
A. God’s sovereign grace flows from his infinite wisdom.
- Note Paul’s words in Romans 11:33, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and unfathomable his ways! (34) for who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became his counselor?”
- Romans 9:14-21 (Comment)
Always remember this about God’s sovereign choosing. God’s determinations are perfect and just. He never errs in his judgments. And when Christians appear before God’s throne, every voice will rise in unified acclamation and declare the testimony of Revelation 15:3. “Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! (4) Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For all the nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
B. Next, notice that God’s favor can be “entreated.”
While God is free to impart his favor apart from human solicitation, God also dispenses favor when men entreat him for it. This is what the main portion of today’s message deals with. It deals with How Christians can entreat God for favor. And there is Biblical support for our responsibility to seek God for his favor. Psalm 119:58 says, “I entreated Your favor with all my heart; Be gracious to me according to Your word.” And Exodus 32:11 says, “Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God.”
Finally, as part of the introduction, I want you to notice what God’s favor can accomplish:
- It can contravene an oppressive situation.
- It can reverse misfortune.
- It can claim healing.
- It can enact deliverance.
- It can secure spiritual or financial blessing.
- It can supply for our inadequacies and make us equal to a task.
- And it can set you in a place of privilege and service.
We need God’s favor in all we do. People of every strata need God’s favor. It doesn’t matter if you’re a businessperson, pastor, parent, or grandparent, everyone needs God’s favor! We need that special divine “something” that causes us to rise and thrive.
Securing God’s Favor
1. God grants favor to those who entreat him and intercede for his favor.
I cannot overstate the importance of “seeking” God for his favor. It is absolutely necessary!
(Illustration) Some years ago, the Lord began dealing with me to pray for grace and favor. During that time I had a dream about God’s willingness to bestow an increased measure of his grace. During the dream, I found myself in a large sanctuary listening to someone preach. The preacher chose me from the audience and asked me to read a passage of Scripture. I had my Bible open to Exodus but didn’t know what to read. The minister said: “You know what to read!” I said, “No, I don’t.” He replied, “Yes, it’s verse eleven.” When I awoke, I opened my Bible to Exodus and began searching through each chapter in hopes of finding something significant about a verse 11. When I finally arrived at chapter 32, the 11th verse nearly jumped off the page. It said: “But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God…” Instantly, I knew that God wanted me to seek his favor and to intercede for his favor to rest upon the congregation I was pastoring.
Through the years, I have memorized Scriptures that pertain to God’s favor. And during my times of prayer I claim verses of Scripture pertaining to God’s favor. I want to share some Scriptures that can be beneficial to transforming your life:
In Exodus 33:12 Moses prayed: ““See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ (13) Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.”
Deuteronomy 33:13 says: “And of Joseph he said, “Blessed by the LORD be his land, with the choicest gifts of heaven above, and of the deep that crouches beneath, (14) with the choicest fruits of the sun and the rich yield of the months, (15) with the finest produce of the ancient mountains and the abundance of the everlasting hills, (16) with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness and the favor of him who dwells in the bush. May these rest on the head of Joseph, on the head of him who is prince among his brothers.”
I have especially enjoyed praying verse 16. “Lord, give me the “favor of him who dwelled in the bush.””
Acts 4:33 says, “With great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.” Pray for “great grace” to rest upon you.
Genesis 6:8 says that “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” Thus, pray to find favor in God’s eyes!
David said: “Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me” (Psalm 86:17).
Psalm 90:17 “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands.”
Psalm 119:58 says, “I entreat your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.”
Psalm 106:4 says, “Remember me, O LORD, when you show favor to your people; help me when you save them.”
The Bible is replete with verses regarding God’s favor and I encourage you to pray these verses.
2. God grants favor to those who boldly persevere.
Another word for persevere is patience. Thus, when we endure the test of patience it often results in God’s favor resting upon us. Notice several Bible examples:
The perseverance of the Syrophoenician Woman (Matthew 15:21-28).
The undaunted perseverance of Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52).
Notice the most patient of all men in the Bible, Job. James 5:11 says, “Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”
3. God grants favor to those who seek his wisdom.
Circumstances can baffle the most brilliant of people. Th