Summary: A sermon on how to realize favor with God.
The T-shirt I have in my hand was a gift and I love what it says, “Jesus Loves You, But I’m His favorite.” You know it’s true, but I’m not saying that in an arrogant or prideful way, no I’m saying that in a very practical matter of fact way.
What did I do to make that statement true? Same thing you can do, there are four phrases that reoccur in the Word of God, “favor of the Lord,” “favor of the Lord,” “favor of the Lord,” “favor of the Lord.” Favor?
It’s the root to the word, “favorite,” and if in fact, you’re wondering, “Could I be God’s favorite?” Let’s define it. Interesting, in the original language, “favorite” is both an adjective and a noun. As an adjective, listen, the way the dictionary reads, “You’re preferred before all others of the same kind. Preferred?
Listen, ice cream, there are a lot of different flavors and vanilla has its place you’ll agree, but it’s not my favorite.
No my favorite, oh man, my favorite ice cream has chunks of brownie. It has pieces of cherry…it’s got… “Bob, not now! I’m only one day into my commitment to lose weight. Get behind me Satan!” Wait, wait, wait, don’t call me Satan. That’s not the way to treat your pastor as the New Year begins. Using the word to describe your “favorite” ice cream is its adjective form.
The word “favorite,” used in the form of a noun reads a little different. Listen to this, “It’s a person or a thing that is especially popular or particularly liked by someone.” And the two word phrase you’ve heard said, “teacher’s pet” means a teacher’s favorite student.
Listen, in first grade, I was Mrs. Myers pet, truly, truly, truly. She told the class at the beginning of the year began that she was going to give a special American flag kite the student who was the most special at the end of the year. And, yes, I got it. I got the flag. Mrs. Myers teacher’s pet, yeah, you know what I did to get it? I positioned myself as a favorite.
Now don’t miss the point, favorite, you can become God’s favorite? Yes, it’s something you can chose to do in the same way I chose to in order to win the American flag in first grade.
Christian, tune in. According to 1st Samuel 2 and 26, and Luke 2 and 52, both Samuel and Jesus listen to this, “Grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” They grew?
You mean there is something they did and something we can do that will would cause God to say, “I favor that man.” Or to say, “I favor you, Bob.” “Bob, I’m confused.” I thought Scripture teaches that God shows no favoritism.
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah and please know that there is a difference, because if you’re a note taker or a student of the Word and you say, “Hey, Acts 10, 34, 35, Romans 2 and 11, no partially. There is no favoritism with God. He doesn’t do that.” Well, not in that way.
You see, sometimes favoritism or partiality may be extended to someone for no good reason. It’s the practice of giving unfair, preferential treatment to one person at the expense of another. So, in that sense, you are right. God doesn’t do that, but He will reward and honor for good reason. He does that all the time.
You can position yourself today to be bless-able. You can position yourself today to be His favorite. You can position yourself today to be rewarded. If you look back at your past, even last year and say, “Man, I certainly didn’t feel like I was God’s favorite. What could I do this next year to really see his Hand over and working in my life?”
I’ve got four points we’ll work our way through the Word. If you’re a note taker, they all begin with: “Become His favorite by…”
Number one, “Become His favorite by doing what He asks how He asks.” What do you mean?
Genesis chapter 4 starting in the first verse we read: now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I’ve acquired a man from the Lord.” Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of the sheep, but Cain was tiller of the ground.
And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected (we’ll come back to that word) Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.