Tuesday, July 25, 2017

IMAGINE WHAT THE WORLD WOULD BE LIKE IF ALL MEN GREW IN FAVOR WITH GOD, THERE WOULD BE SO MANY WOMEN WHO WOULD BE PLEASED. Instead, We See People Doing What Invites The Wrath Of God Rather Than His Favor. Yet the Bible tells us that if we serve Lord Jesus Christ in the manner that brings glory to His Name, we will find favor with both men and God.

Harry Riches

Happy RichesAnswer requested by Diane Shatto

Does the Bible really state that we need to grow in favor of God and man?

Unlike words such as “want” or “desire” the word, which express a personal origin, the word “need” connotes ideas of necessity and requirement, even if this is not quite the same connotation that comes with being obligated to do something or having to meet demands that have been made.

Needs are regarded as essential requirements necessary for survival. Demands are external requirements that are usually placed upon us, but our body can demand that we seek the needs that are essential for our survival. Likewise, we are obligated ourselves to seek the needs essential for our survival as a matter of self-preservation.

God desires that all men come to salvation and understand the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). This is not a need or a demand. This is a desire of God. If anybody rejects God, even though He will be grieved by the rejection, our Heavenly Father will survive, as He is not dependent upon mere mortals for His existence—for in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). Nevertheless, this does not mean that God was not obligated to provide a means by which we can secure our relationship with Him (1 John 2:12; Romans 3:26), having been separated from our Heavenly Father when being born into a world taken captive by sin (Ephesians 2:12 Ephesians 4:18).
What we do find in the Bible is that Jesus grew in favor with God and man. The Apostles also grew in favor with men, having found favor with God and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
  • And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man. (Luke 2:52)
  • And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:46-47)
One thing that is very clear in the Bible is that we are not to seek the favor of men, rather we are to seek the favor of God by being a servant of Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
Interestingly, the account of Jacob has much to teach us, for we read that the Israelites forsook the statutes that he kept, which enabled him to find favor in God (Malachi 3:6–12). The most intriguing fact about Jacob is his reception by Esau, when he meets up with him after having being a fugitive for some twenty years. We read:
  • But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” Jacob said, “No, I pray you, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand; for truly to see your face is like seeing the face of God, with such favor have you received me. Accept, I pray you, my gift that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” Thus he urged him, and he took it. (Genesis 33:9-11)
Jacob found favor with the man who was going to kill him. Now it is true, in this respect, we need to find favor with those who are going to kill us, if we are to live. The only thing we know that changed in relation to Jacob is that he was once poor but he is rich when he meets up with Esau. Time could have played a factor in the relationship between Esau and Jacob. Esau having forgotten about his vow to kill his brother; even if Jacob had not. More importantly, though, the element of favor suggests more than merely forgetting about a vow. The gift that Jacob gave Esau could have been the difference.

Christians who serve Christ are generally approved by non-Christians; even if there are those who detest Christians and seek to behead them for identifying with Lord Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, we read:
  • The kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit; he who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. (Romans 14:17-18)
We know that not all men will approve of those who walk in righteousness, peace and joy. However, in order to do so, we will have to walk in the same way that Jesus walked. In which case, we can expect to grow in favor with both God and men, because we will be taking the speck out of people’s eyes as we let our light shine. For we read:
  • “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14–16)
While there may be no demand made of us to grow in the favor of God and man within the pages of the Bible, there is every encouragement to make us realize that it is to our advantage that we do. For not to do so is to deny ourselves of the benefits associated with overcoming evil and discovering the fulfillment that is ours in the Holy Spirit, as we bear fruit that brings glory to God.

Unless You Know What Is Required To Succeed How Can You Expect To Enjoy Success?

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