Have you ever gone into a grocery store for one item but
come out with $20 worth of product and still didn’t get the item you originally
went into the store for in the first place?
Well, that’s what happened when we went into Aldi’s
hoping to get some decent strawberries for Valentine’s Day.When the woman at the checkout asked if we
found everything we wanted she smiled when I told her we only came in for
strawberries, and they were sold out of them.
Grabbing the few items in the cart, we were greeted by
dog that was patiently standing by the entrance doors.He was so focused; nothing or no one swayed
him from taking his eyes off the passageway into the building.
God gave us favor in a parking space next to the
building, and I kept turning around looking at the pup all the way back to the
car.Was he hungry? Had someone dumped him off there, after all
that’s how we got rescue kitty Izzy?He
didn’t have a collar … maybe he was lost.All these things ran through my mind while hubby opened my car
How could this super dog lover not do anything?He didn’t seem concerned at all, but went to the
driver’s side and got in the vehicle.Just as he was about to turn on the ignition I looked at him with
“wifey” eyes, not saying a word but quite verbal if you know what I mean … “you
can’t seriously think we’re going anywhere?”
Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list.
New on DFB – Suriname; Nigeria; Uganda; South Africa;
Germany; United Kingdom; Canada; Guyana; Hong Kong; Italy; Mazabuka, Southern
Province, Zambia; Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain.
– Timberlake, NC; Jay, OK; Clovis & Texico, NM;
Sebewaing & Owendale, MI; Iona, ID; Davie & Summerfield, FL; Morgan
City, LA; Athens, Habersham & Sandy Springs, GA; Cumberland, Elmer, Malaga,
Olivet & Glassboro, NJ; Cornville & Oro Valley, AZ; Alma, AR.
I am so thankful for your visit and hope that you come
back each week to participate in the weekly challenges.Join us in our new series as we spend time in
the study of Daily Favor Prayers.
You are welcome to leave comments or prayer requests below.All are private. I would love to hear from you
and how Daily Favor has worked in your life.Contact me by leaving a message in the box at the bottom of this week’s
For the next ten minutes we sat in the car with my eyes
fixated on the stray pup that no one seemed to care about him being there.Almost every person that left the store
acknowledged him with a friendly hello along with a stroke or two across the
head.No one seemed bothered that this
little fellow was all alone.Was I the
only sane one in the bunch?
“He’s probably waiting for his owner.” My husband repeated
as I continually tuned him out thinking he was wrong. “I can’t take this any
longer.” I informed my husband and popped the car open to go rescue the sweet
dog that was intently watching the inside of the store.Following behind me like an obedient puppy once
more he said, “Honey, his owner is probably inside and he’s just waiting for
Not willing to give up on my new canine friend I
continued questioning this situation, “If that’s true why doesn’t he have a
collar or any tags?” By now the dog had gotten inside the exit part of the store
and was out of sight.
Man’s Best Friend
I was almost to the exit door when I heard a man say,
“You shouldn’t be in here.”Right then the
pup’s tail began to wag fiercely as a woman came out of the store, “Come on
Jake.”Jumping up and down he ran
circles around the couple following them back to their car.Apparently the man who corrected old Jake was
also his owner.
As they were loading their car another woman and her
daughter were parked next to them. The daughter kept begging the mom to take
the pup home.When she saw
Jake with the owner she said, “He’s so sweet. I’d love to take him home with
With a smug giggle she stopped what she was doing and
said, “Go ahead, take him. Open your car door.”So the woman did.“Jake get in
the car.”Jake didn’t move a muscle but
stayed by the lady who was giving the directions.
The couple finished putting their groceries in the car
and headed back to the store. As they
walked by us hubby called out, “Is he your dog?” Not breaking her stride the
woman replied, “Yep, he’s a good friend and dog. He even goes to nursing homes and
Disappearing into the store Jake resumed his position
faithfully waiting outside the doors for his owners to return.What a great dog I thought.Would ours have done that?Anyone could tell how the phrase “man’s best
friend” applied here.
What a Woman Should Not Say to Her Husband
It wasn’t until a few days later during lunch that I mentioned
to my husband about how faithful Jake was and how it reminded me of Job in the
Old Testament of the Bible.After all Job went through with
the death of his ten kids, losing the majority of his farm and animals, he
remained faithful to the Lord even when his body was covered with boils.
I began re-reading the account of what happened and
thought about how close Job’s relationship was with God.It was miles different than the one his wife
had with the Almighty.
In all the messages I’ve heard on Job no one ever talks
about how his wife experienced the same thing.Her method of dealing with it wasn't what we'd call “Christian,” but we can probably relate to how she responded.
You can almost picture the argument the two
of them had when these disasters happened.
scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as
he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him,
you still trying to maintain your integrity?
God and die.” (Job 2:8-9 NLT)
Not exactly the kind of “help mate” God intended do you
think?Men, how would you like to have
her for a wife?Hmmm …
Scriptures record how in prayer Job wasn’t afraid to
voice his opinion, and was upfront about how he felt.Even in all that he experienced, the Lord
said Job didn’t sin. What does this tell
us about the relationship God wants with us, and how He wants us to be honest
in how we feel?
With Friends Like That
Thinking about the pup I thought God was teaching me a lesson on faithfulness, but it was more than that.Jake was demonstrating something that didn’t
dawn on me until later in the week when I was reading the book of Philemon.It’s true that Jake certainly was faithful
and obedient like Job, but he was also a loyal and valued friend.
When we take a look at what happened in the books of Job
and Philemon there is one major thing they have in common – friends.However, the way that the friends respond to
one another is entirely different.
Job’s friends believed that he had sinned and that’s why
all these terrible things happened to him.Do you have any friends like that?They are quick to throw accusations listing all the things
“you’ve done wrong.”
His so called “friends” didn’t encourage or uplift him
and got all the facts wrong.They didn’t
know Job was being tested, and certainly had no idea of the level of intimacy
he had with God.
Their understanding of the relationship Job had with the
Lord was nothing like the one they had with God, therefore judging him was
conceived to be the accurate method of “helping out their brother” in the
faith.Job felt bad enough without having
his friends come down on him; with friends like that who needs enemies?
A Friendly Favor
Taking a look at the Apostle Paul’s relationship with his
dear friend Philemon, we see a much different approach to the way he handles a
situation.At the time of the writing of
the letter to Philemon, Paul was in prison.Paul begins his letter assuring his friend that he is continually in his
prayers.I wonder … how often do we pray
for our faithful friends who are loyal to the duties in the church or ministry?
He carries on in praise and encouragement as a way of
correction rather than embarrassing his friend for making a rather harsh
decision concerning his runaway slave.Paul makes his plea before the church leader knowing that his
correspondence will be read in front of the entire house congregation.
Now how did he and Onesimus come to have a relationship
anyway?We’re not told, but do find out
that along his escape path he received salvation through the message that Paul
Something strange was about to happen when the Apostle
asked for “favor” to be shown on someone that society would deem as a
traitor.No longer did Paul think of his
friend’s servant as a slave, but he considered Onesimus a friend, brother in Christ and
a valuable servant in ministry.
Unlike Job’s friends who brushed up on their game of word
darts, Paul and Philemon are on common ground in their relationship with the
Lord.Everything changes when Paul
demonstrates “Christ-like” behavior willing to redeem the servant’s debts to
his beloved friend Philemon, asking that he show favor (mercy) in forgiveness
and treat Onesimus as the brethren in the Lord.
“I am sending him back. You
therefore receive him, that is, my own heart,whom I wished to
keep with me, that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the
gospel. But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be
by compulsion, as it
were, but voluntary.
For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him
forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave — a beloved brother,
especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in
the Lord.” (Philemon verse 12-16 NLT)
When God’s Friends Pray
There is something else the two leaders in
faith had in common.Although the two
men were thousands of years apart in time, Job and Paul were prayer warriors.
Prayer is an integral part of our
relationship in understanding the heart of God, especially in times of
trouble.We can gather that Job’s
friends believed in God, but they didn’t “know” His heart, and it infuriated
the Lord so much that He refused to listen to their prayers.
Job was not only a believer he was a favored
friend of God, and that’s why he was shown favor throughout his entire life.God knew that Job’s love and friendship was
genuine, and not because of the “stuff” he received.
“After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, He
said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “I am angry with you and your two friends, for
you have not spoken accurately about Me, as My servant Job has.
So take seven bulls and seven rams
and go to My servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant
Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf.
I will not treat you as you deserve
show you grace, mercy – unmerited favor),
for you have not
spoken accurately about Me,
servant Job has.”So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did as the Lord commanded them, and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.
When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!
(Job 42: 7-10 NLT)
Paul on the other hand, shared how he prayed
for his friends as did Job.He
intervenes for him in Philemon 4-7 and realizes that their ministry in the Lord was
just as important as his.The Apostle
sees how God is using a runaway slave and a man of means (Philemon) in
different ways, because both men have a relationship with the Lord.
He says Philemon is really generous in his
church giving, and Paul prays he will step up his game and more forward with
God. This will mean including the man who blackened his family name (when he ran
away), by letting Onesimus become a part of the vision God had for them.
When Paul prayed, he wasn’t just directing
his prayers toward those in the current age, but for all generations God will
need to fulfill His ultimate vision and plan. In reality, Paul prayed for us, his future
friends and brethren in ministry.
The favor Paul requested of his friend was
one of compassion and forgiveness so that the gospel message could go further,
beyond what he could do.Through prayer
Jesus made requests before the Heavenly Father for His friends - us. He used that term, not me.
Christ also said that “we” His Body, the
Church, would do greater things NOT more important things.Greater things need greater favor and that is
why He gave us spiritual gifts and one another to accomplish the vision of God.
You’ve Got a Friend in Me
It’s hard to think of some fellow believers
as “friends” isn’t it, especially when their way of going about sharing their
faith is a little out of this world. I can attest to some people I thought were
friends in the faith … they moved and didn’t leave a forwarding address!This didn’t happen just once, but twice!Was it something I said?
How do we pray for our fellow believers or those
in ministry? Are we praying that their
vision be accomplished even if we don’t quite get what it is?Do we pray that God sends favor into
ministries in the form of gifted people so that the vision of the Church can be
accomplished?Just wondering ...
When friends of God pray He listens; when
they pray for one another Heavenly things begin to happen among the Body of
Christ and it’s usually accompanied with God’s favor.
This Week’s Challenge:
Pray for Friends in Christ
The Bible tells us that Philemon “refreshed
the hearts” of his fellow brethren as did Paul, while Job’s buds added to his
Paul deemed Onesimus, his new brother in Christ, as
“profitable to ministry” … I wouldn’t exactly say that for the friends of Job
God has shown us that we need one another
for His will and ministry to be accomplished here on Earth.His way of doing that is through VISION.
Although not all vision looks alike, we are
to pray for our brothers and sisters in the Lord so that God’s vision is being
Our challenge this week is to pray for the
Body of Christ as each of us carry out our part in the overall plan and vision
for the Lord, without judging one another on how it is being done.
Pray these specific things:
1 – Pray that each member of the Body of
Christ enters into the “friend” relationship with the Lord, so they can boldly
go before the Throne of Grace and have their prayers accepted as God did with
2 – Pray that the vision is
made clear in their mind so it can be carried out correctly.
3 – Pray that God opens doors
of favor for friends to expand the vision.
4 – Pray that brothers and sisters in
Christ would truly know what it means to be a friend of God through the way
they treat one another.
The take away is that ultimately as
believers in Christ the Lord, Jesus is our Master, role model and best friend who
wants to be included in every aspect of our lives.He hears the prayers of the Saints, is loyal
to forgive, faithful to finish what He began, and encourages us to love one
another as He has loved.
When I first saw Jake I realized there was
something different about this creation of God.Witnessing his relationship with his masters I can only wonder, are we
as focused on our Master as Jake was on his?
Can we call God our friend?Can He call us His?Just asking …
“No longer do I call you servants, for a
servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends,
for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”