Friday, August 8, 2014

UFO Sighting

Recently there have been reports of UFO sightings in the Body of Christ, and because of that it makes this teaching one of the most important in this series. What are these unfamiliar occurrences? 
Experiences of Unidentified Favor Outpourings that have slipped by believers.
Unless we understand the differences between mercy, grace, blessings and favor we are not going to receive all that God has set apart for His children.

To help comprehend this better I’d like to share with you some situations, and then have you discern what they are. With more people logging on it’s important that I maintain the purpose of this blog, and that is living in the favor of God on a daily basis.

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Please Redefine for Us
Making it brief, this is how we recognize the differences between mercy, grace, blessings and favor.

Mercy – is not getting the punishment we deserve.

Grace – is receiving a gift we haven’t earned or deserve.

Blessings – are gifts based on faith, obedience and generosity.

Favor – is a specific gift to an individual to fulfill the plan of God.

Unidentified Favor Outpouring                                                      

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to get all the breaks and have it all? There is a reason. God often blesses others and causes them to show favor, because He needs them to be in position for favoring us. 

Not everyone realizes this, but the Bible does give examples, one through Jacob’s father-in-law.

Laban recognized who was buttering his bread and he didn’t want the gravy train to leave.

“And Laban said to him (Jacob), “Please stay, if I have found favor in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that the LORD has blessed me for your sake.” (Genesis 30:27 (NKJV)

Even though Laban knew of God, he wasn’t following the LORD with all his practices.  Frankly neither was Jacob at first, but God had a plan far beyond what either of the men could see. Jacob needed the favor of God on his life so that the line of Jesus would come into this world four thousand years later. 

Jacob didn’t ask for the favor and didn’t deserve it.  God saw a man who was willing to trust everything to the LORD and pursue righteousness.  That’s why he was a candidate for continuing favor.

Do you recognize the difference between blessings and favor?  Blessings and random favor is not always seen by others, but continuing favor is always visible.  With that in mind can you tell me which of these scenarios are blessings or favor?

Tell me if it’s Blessing or Favor?

- You have a job.

- Someone buys lunch for you.

- What is an open parking lot space near the front door of a store?

- Is rain a blessing or favor?

- An employee washes the boss’s car.

- A basket of fruits and vegetables left on your front porch.

- Your boss gives you five pounds of meat cleanly wrapped and marked for the freezer.

- A stranger gave instruction to store employees to “Give that woman my discount.”

- You receive over 20 pounds of potatoes.

- You are a believer in Christ Jesus.

Blessings can come on all who will follow the laws and principles of God. That means even the unsaved can be blessed it they do what the law states, because it is universal.

Favor on the other hand is not universal or given based on the law or principles of God. They may include them, but favor is a specific gift on a certain individual for a purpose.

Do You See It?

We are favored all the time and don’t realize it.  If you are employed, only you have that job.  Do you have a business, ministry, talent, program, family, home, pets …

God gave them to you, not your neighbor or anyone else – you alone are blessed with these things or people.

Think about what God has done for you and no one else in your family or life.  There is an unidentified favor outpouring that is being missed or going unrecognized. 

Until we start seeing these blessings and favor outpourings we won’t receive the overflow of them. How can you receive or benefit from what you don’t know exists?

God’s gives grace to those who understand that all gifts come from Him and that they are not deserved or earned in any way.  Not everyone receives favor, you know it’s true.

They Bible specifically points out those who were blessed, favored or both.  It was no secret that Job was blessed before and after the tragic accident.  Abram, Daniel, David, Mary and Jesus were blessed followers of the Lord and God made sure to let us know they were favored by Him.

Each one of these individuals shared similar blessings, but all were favored by God differently.  No one receives exactly the same favor; it is a gift from God to and through a certain person. Continual favor is lasting, visible for all to see and is life changing.

We truly don’t understand the depth of favor, because it looks different to each person.  All people of faith in Jesus Christ will be blessed to some degree, but not all will find favor with and from God.  The scripture points us to this truth.

It’s Greek to Me

There has to be something that goes beyond our thinking that describes grace and the favor of God.

In the New Testament of the Bible, the Greek word for grace is charis.  We get the word charismatic from it, meaning a person is spiritually religious or extremely gifted.

Charis is a gift, the undeserved favor of God, so grace is God's gift to us who are undeserving.  God's gift to us is Jesus; in a way Jesus is charis (undeserved gift from God to the sinner). 

Until Jesus came to save us, people didn't understand grace.  It came through Jesus, (John 1:1-18 NKJV) and we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV).

What is grace? Jesus.  We don't deserve this gift from God, but His love did that for us. Through grace (which is Jesus) we receive blessings and favor.

It's giving us what we haven't earned or deserved.  First Peter 5:10 says He is the “God of all grace (favor)”.  He is the one who gives it. Until we understand that concept we cannot appreciate what favor really is.

In the Bible there are passages where you will see grace (favor) and mercy in the same verse. Some think that they are the same thing, but they are not

Mercy is God withholding what we really deserve because of sin. 

Grace is God giving what you don't deserve. It's giving you something no one else can.

Blessings are gifts from God for all mankind.

Favor is an exclusive gift from God to an individual that completes His plan.

This happened in the beginning days of mankind. Mercy stopped Abraham from using the knife on Isaac. Grace sent the lamb (Jesus) in its place. Blessings followed him wherever he went and favor allowed God’s plan for a nation to be born through Abraham.

Sure, but what about today … my century!

What about today? A woman’s husband was rushed to the hospital and pronounced brain dead on arrival.  Hooked up to every gadget you can imagine the woman believed God for a miracle.

She called her pastors to come to the hospital then sowed her husband’s entire paycheck to the church for an offering.  The family had no money in reserve, none of the bills were paid and there were three young kids at home waiting for their daddy.

There was a dry erase board on the wall directly across from his bed facing the patient so they could see what was written on it.

Targeting the message to the patient, the pastor’s wife wrote scripture on the dry erase board in his room from Isaiah 53:3-4 and 1 Peter 2:24.

“By His stripes you are healed.”  Thus proclaiming life into the man.

She was given instruction by her pastors what to do to stay in faith and how to act in the hospital room. Each day she would sing praises to the Lord and read the Bible to her husband. 

The nursing staff erased the message to put patient information on the board, but mysteriously it re-appeared every day. When asked if anyone had entered the room they said no, but it was so peaceful as if angels were surrounding his room. The smell was even different.

“Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation (prayers). Give heed to the voice of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD: In the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up.
But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them even shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with FAVOR You will SURROUND him as with a SHIELD.” (Psalm 5:1,11-12 NKJV)

While her husband was lying in Intensive Care, dead to the world, she kept her promise to clean the church the next day. Nearly a week later the man awoke with no brain damage.

She received a bill that was 1.1 million dollars.  Her church and family prayed, and two days later another notice was dispatched stating the entire bill was canceled and covered!

Mercy healed the wounds; grace, favor and blessings covered the cost of the bill.

And the Answer Is …

So how did you do?  Would you change any of your answers based on what you’ve learned?

Remember blessings can be for many, favor is for you and visible.

Answers: (Based on actual true stories.)

- You have a job. (Blessing and favored because someone else is out of one and it’s not you.) I once told a principal when applying for a job that he couldn’t give my position to someone else if God had it set aside for me.  I got the job!

- Someone buys lunch for you. (Blessing and favor because they only did it for you.)

- An open parking lot space near the front door of a store. (Favor to all who get it, not only you. There is a reason you got that spot.) Last week I explained how God needed us to have that parking spot so I would be in position for the man in the front of the store.  I needed favor to do His work.  We all do.  Without that spot I would have missed the gentleman.  Favor is not coincidence.

- Is rain a blessing or favor? (Blessing, because it rains even on the unjust.  However, it’s favor when it rains only on your side of the street.) That has happened to us many times!

- An employee washes the boss’s car. (Favor because they only did it for the boss. However, it turned out not to be a blessing or favor because they took the car without notifying the boss and he missed his morning appointments.) He was actually quite upset by it.

- A basket of fruits and vegetables left on your front porch. (Both blessing and favor because you did nothing to deserve it or earn it.)

- Your boss gives you over five pounds of meat cleanly wrapped and marked for the freezer. (Blessing, but not favor because he gave all his employees the same thing.)

Yeah, that was a trick question.

- A stranger gave instruction to store employees to “Give that woman my discount.” (Blessing and favor because the discount was given to a specific person by a stranger.  Read about it here.)

- You receive over 20 pounds of potatoes. This one may confuse you so I’ll give you the short version of the story.

A man was told he could have all the potatoes left from a ladies garden. Blessing and favor right? Wrong and here is the reason why.

The woman was about to plow under her potatoes because she didn’t think they would keep over the winter.  She told the man if he wanted them he would have to dig them up; otherwise she was just going to put them in the compost.  Either way she didn’t want them. 

After work the gentleman stopped by the ladies home and dug out all he could find and placed them in two large buckets.

He took them home to his wife and plopped the buckets under the kitchen table.  She in turn had to take off work to sort out the potatoes, wash and dry them because of the bugs that came in with the lot.

What appeared to be a blessing and favor wasn’t. Yes they were blessed with potatoes and she could have called someone else, but the man had to work for it so it was a reward for his labor. Their household income was challenged when his wife had to stop work to take care of potatoes that were set for the compost bin.

Do you understand more about true favor?  It is an undeserved gift that you cannot work for or earn, but others know when you have been favored because the results are visible.

Here’s the last one: You are a believer in Christ Jesus. (You have hit the jackpot of favor, blessings, grace and mercy.) We have done nothing to deserve or earn it, but to God’s children all these things are freely given because of the Righteousness in Christ Jesus.

This Week’s Challenge:

Give Favor to a Stranger

Today (August 8th) is “Sneak some zucchini onto your neighbor’s porch day.” Although the world may see it as a joke, we can turn it into blessings and favor.

True blessing, favor, grace or mercy costs
and requires something of the giver.

This week we’re going to give away vegetables to a stranger. Why does it have to be a stranger or someone you barely know? It is easy to favor those we love, but difficult to pour out bounty on someone you don’t know or think deserves it.  God wants us to understand what He does for us all the time so that there will be no more unidentified favor outpourings.  We will notice and give thanks for each one!

Pray over the food and ask the Lord who this person He wants you to favor will be, then follow through with it right away.  Withholding a blessing from others, withholds it from you.

The vegetables don’t have to be from your garden, but do have to be fresh. If it comes from your harvest it will cost you something because you are sharing what is in your storehouse.  If you purchase the veggies, it is still costing you something from your weekly allotted budget. 

The main thing is that it has to cost you something in order for it to be a true sacrifice God honors.  When we are willing to let God use us for His plan, His favor has to follow. We are not making a deal with God so that we are favored, it is our will lined up with God’s Word that fits His plan.

It doesn’t matter if the person understands how you favored them; you will experience what it’s like to bestow favor on an underserving soul and therefore become more aware when it falls on your life. God will always favor His plan, and we get to be a part of it.

This is what Favor looks like to the world.  Watch and see how God worked what the world might say is a miracle, we simply call it His grace and favor poured out on His children. (Click on blue link below.)

Maybe you have been blessed, but have you been favored? God wants to give you both. I challenge you to allow His favor into your life.

Blessing and Honor


Until next time, identify the favor in your life.

Check Messages throughout the week.

“What the grace of God is and isn’t.  A must read

for anyone who wants to walk closely with the Lord

and see lasting changes in their life.”

– Greg Laurie

What's New this Week:
 No One is Beyond the Reach of a Loving God

Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. A.N.A. logo by J.C.Penney, Inc.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Found Favor  God's Favor?  John1:16  Isaiah 53:5  What's Your Answer
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.