Bisi from the Nigerian state of Lagos asked a wonderful question; “What is God’s favor?”
Earning God’s Favor
To many people, receiving God’s favor is something that they think must be earned by them. These people believe that they have to do something in order to receive God’s favor… that they have to do lots of good deeds and good works in order to receive God’s favor.
Mormons for example fall into this category. Mormonism is based on earning righteousness for salvation. In 2 Nephi 25:23, a verse in the Book of Mormon which was written by Joseph Smith when he created Mormonism, Mormons are told that “it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” Note that Joseph Smith said, “after all we can do.”
In reading the Holy Bible though, we discover that God’s favor is something that no one can earn on their own… no matter how much a person can do, no one can earn God’s favor.
You may have heard it said that mercy is when God doesn’t give us what we deserve, but grace, on the other hand, is when God gives us favor we don’t deserve. In other words, mercy is when God doesn’t give us the punishment that we deserve for our sins, but when He grants us grace, He gives us abundant blessings in spite of our sins, flaws, imperfections, and shortcomings.
Even when we don’t deserve it, God showers immense blessings upon our lives. God blesses us as a dear father who loves his children.
“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 90:17
As God lavishes His grace on us we (including me) ought to follow God’s example and be gracious toward those around us. And to the people who believe in Christ Jesus, the Bible makes it clear that they should follow God’s example and be gracious (Ephesians 1:7–8; Matthew 18:21–35). Yes, we are to be gracious even to those people who show no grace to us and even to those people with sins, flaws, imperfections, and shortcomings.
Yet if you are like me (and be honest with yourself now), I find myself not being gracious to everyone and at times not being gracious to anyone (and this is just a small fraction of the totality of my sins, flaws, imperfections, and shortcomings). Although I do at times better than others, I never (not because I don’t want to but because I just fall short) always do what I should do, especially when it comes to always being gracious to others. It basically comes to be that I’m mostly thinking of only myself when I’m not gracious to others. Thankfully God is not like me!
Having God’s Favor
Thus, due to my sins, flaws, imperfections, and shortcomings, I do not deserve God’s favor (God’s grace) and due to my continued sins, flaws, imperfections, and shortcomings I cannot earn God’s grace (God’s favor). Yet, God showers immense blessings upon my life (and yours) AND, God blesses me (and you) as a dear Father who loves me (and you) as His child.
Yes, even people who chose to not believe in God can receive God’s favor… just as I who do believe in God receive God’s favor here on Earth and don’t deserve it. Absolutely everything that you and I have on earth comes to us through God’s favor. It is God’s grace that you have how little or how much you have of anything and everything.
The only difference between those people who don’t believe in Christ Jesus and those who do is, is that those people who chose to not believe in God’s only begotten Son Christ Jesus, God withholds His ultimate favor. God’s ultimate favor goes exclusively to those who believe in His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
The Gospel (Good News)
God’s ultimate favor is His allowing those who believe in Christ Jesus to have eternal life with Him in Heaven forever and ever. I cannot think of anything more wonderful and more gracious than God, (who created everything including you and me), allowing me (someone who doesn’t deserve it) to be with Him forever and ever in Heaven.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8–10
Note that it is “by grace” (God’s favor) that one can be saved and that “it is the gift of God” which one is saved AND “not of works, lest anyone (including you and me) should boast.”
God’s grace is good news indeed to me because contrary to me being able to boast; per my sins, flaws, imperfections, and shortcomings, I could never earn my salvation. Thank you God, for the ultimate favor you gave me and offer to everyone!
Have you received God’s ultimate favor? If not, why not receive God’s ultimate favor today?