Category Archives: Favor

Favor In God’s House – Intertwined

Tangled up and twisted all around but finding strength. Travel to Northern California and visit Redwood National Park to see the power of togetherness brilliantly illustrated in the Giant Sequoia. These enormous trees are the largest living thing on earth and the tallest trees in the world, stretching as high as a thirty story building and expanding over hundreds of years to a three story width. They are indeed giants. You might assume their massive above ground structure would be anchored by an equally impressive taproot, but that is not the case. Redwood root systems are shockingly shallow, reaching a depth of – get this – four to five feet.

How can a shallow root system support the substantial mass of these colossal trees? Here’s the secret – instead of diving deep into the earth’s crust, they have expansive lateral root systems that reach OUT over 100-150 feet from the trunk. They only grow in groves and derive their strength and longevity from the complex intertwining and even fusing of their lateral roots.  They hold each other up. They depend on each other for support.  Each tree is vitally important to every other tree in the grove.

They need each other. We need each other.

Storms of life will come. Winds will blow. But our lives will flourish and grow when we are planted, doing life together with our roots intertwined.

We’ve been talking about God’s favor and one of the most important paths to finding favor is being planted like a tree in God’s house.  In that safe arbor you won’t be afraid when storms come because you are not alone. You’ll enjoy the nutrient rich environment of community. And you’ll learn how to live a life that never stops yielding fruit.

Affirmation:I will find the favor of being planted in God’s house

Comment: We want to hear from you, use the comments below. What is the most powerful benefit of being planted in a community of believers?

 Jeremiah 17:7-8 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Acts 2:46-47 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Favor with Man – Get noticed

The path took a sharp turn for Ruth when she was widowed. She left her family and her homeland to support her mother–in-law, who was also a widow. (Proof that mother-in-laws can be really wonderful people!) Now life today would be difficult for two women grieving the loss of the men in their lives but back in Bible times they faced a whole ‘nother level of difficulty. They came home empty handed to assume a life of poverty.

Never the less, Ruth went right to work.

There was a provision in the law of the land that allowed widows to follow harvesters in the fields and pick up the scraps that were left behind. So Ruth humbled herself. She worked diligently. She didn’t dawdle. She knew her mother-in-law was depending on her. And when someone shows up like that, they get noticed!

The owner of the field couldn’t help but take notice. And when he saw her humility, her faithfulness and the kindness she had shown to her dear mother-in-law he poured out favor on her.  He offered his protection. He invited her to lunch. He even told his workers to drop extra grain on purpose. Ruth did more than eke out a few handfuls of existence. She brought home a basketful of bounty. She returned to her mother-in-law with the fruit of favor.

Last week we learned about living with an awareness of favor with God. God looks on you with grace, acceptance and a desire to benefit. Isn’t that amazing? This week we see an example from the Bible of favor with man. And Ruth is not the only example. Joseph, Esther, Daniel and Jesus also found favor with man. It’s a good thing.

Guess what? You can experience the benefits of favor with man in your life too!

Affirmation: I will look for favor on the paths of humility, faithfulness, kindness and living for a cause larger than myself.

CommentWe want to hear from you, use the comment feature below.Where do you need to experience favor with man in 2014?

Scriptures for reflection:

Ruth 2:10-12 Ruth fell at his feet and thanked him warmly. “What have I done to deserve such kindness?” she asked.“I am only a foreigner.” “Yes, I know,” Boaz replied. “But I also know about everything you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers. May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.”Proverbs 3:4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.Luke 2:52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Favor With God – The best gift ever

Happy New Year and welcome to the Shoreline Devotional. It will be delivered to you every Wednesday – right here where you already are – on Facebook. How convenient is that? We’ll reinforce Pastor Rob’s challenge from Sunday’s message, offer a weekly affirmation and include passages from the Bible for you to study on your own. Please enjoy today’s devotional and visit our Facebook page NOTES whenever you need inspiration.

The Best Gift Ever
So tell me, did you get what you were hoping for this Christmas? Or have you been standing in line to exchange that itchy sweater, stinky candle or tacky tie? I’d suggest you allow returns and exchanges to be a way of letting the holiday season last a little longer, but who am I kidding?

You could store those unwanted things and re-gift them later in the year. You know if I’m talking to you! Or just pack them away and try to forget about the gift that was two sizes too small, the gift that made you realize the giver really doesn’t know you at all.

There is one gift that fits just right, like it was custom made for you. It’s exactly what you need when you didn’t know you needed it. Would you revel in a gift like that? Well here it is. The tag has your name on it and all you have to do is receive – the gift of God’s favor.

God looks on you with grace, acceptance and a desire to benefit. He wants to bless your life in this new year with pleasantness, kindness and beauty.

2014 is full of possibility because you are full of potential and God’s favor is bound to open doors of opportunity. Yes, his favor was there in 2013 but maybe you weren’t aware of it. So at the beginning of this fresh new year:

  • Pray for an awareness of God’s favor
  • Proclaim his favor over your life through positive confession
  • Live with a sense of wonder and hopeful expectation

Affirmation: I will live with a daily awareness of God’s favor.

Comment: We want to hear from you! What do YOU think? Use the comments below.  Tell us about a time when you were aware of God’s favor in your life.

Scriptures for reflection:

Exodus 11:3 The Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, Moses himself was a man of great importance in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s officials and in the sight of the people.

Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. ”

Ephesians 3:17-19 …And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.