Do you truly know what Jesus Christ did for you? Jesus came to earth to pave the way for you to have favor with God. Your Heavenly Father looks at you with grace, acceptance, kindness, pleasure, beauty and pleasantness, desiring to generously give you gifts. That’s the biblical definition of “favor.” And it’s available for you, your family, your friends and your co-workers, along with everyone else. It’s personal as well as stunning. You can do nothing to deserve or earn it. It’s a free gift to be received by choice and by faith.
As we celebrate 2016 as the year of God’s favor for everyone at Shoreline Church, we recognize that one of the greatest gifts emerging out of God’s goodness toward us is redemptive favor. As you wipe away any misconceptions of God caused by the cloudy lens of circumstances, you can behold the magnificence of His favor and love.
“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.” — Luke 4:18,19
What does “redemptive” mean? The cultural definition differs from the biblical definition. In society, people often think of “redeeming” as atoning for a fault or mistake. If a football player drops a pass in a game but then catches the next pass, the sports announcer is apt to say, “He redeemed himself.” Furthermore, redemption can also mean taking possession of something in exchange for payment. For example, you have probably used a coupon to “redeem” it for something of value.
However, the Bible defines “redemption” as a gift paid for by God Himself. It literally means a ransoming, a debt paid for and a rescue that was purchased. It’s like having a judge declaring his son or daughter guilty as charged but then stepping down from the bench to pay the penalty to set his child free. Just think of the favor of God who sent His only Son into the world to die on a cross to pay for your sins – to redeem you. Jesus would have come to redeem you no matter what, even if you were the only person on earth.
“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows… He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” — Isaiah 53:4 – 6
People engage in bad behavior because they don’t know how much God loves them. When you understand how much God loves you, passion arises inside you to live right, honor God and live a life that truly honors the Lord. The death and resurrection of Jesus unleashed unmerited, unearned favor pouring out into your life with no strings attached.
See God as He really is. Join us to declare 2016 as the year of the Lord’s favor. The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.