Friday, December 2, 2016

Extraordinary Favor

Christmas Favor Series: Part 1 

For most kids Christmas is a time of magic, when dreams don’t seem so impossible and perhaps if they were exceptionally “good” they might even come true. 

Dreaming or hoping I should say, is something that every child does; can you remember that far back?  We pondered all sorts of things in our hearts, wishing and believing that some of it will surely happen.  As we got older though, those things we once believed in fell away from our thinking and were replaced by reality of what we can only see physically.   

The things that once made our hearts race in anticipation, no longer make it to the list of desires. Why does that happen to us?  Somewhere along our journey we’ve forgotten what it was like to simply believe without questioning. 

Hey … but what if we really believed like a child?  What if we said “be it unto me” as young Mary did not knowing what was going to happen next?  Would things begin to change and favor be restored as it was when we once believed?  Does God still grant extra-ordinary favor like He did way back when? 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFB – Mannersdorf am Leithagebirge, Lower Austria, Austria; Marbella, AndalucĂ­a, Spain; Brisbane, QLD, Australia; Hyderabad, Telangana, India; Liloy, Zamboanga Peninsula, Philippines; Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela; Bosnia & Herzegovina; Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan; Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa; Bosnia & Herzegovina; Lecco, Lombardia, Italy; Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands; Butwal, Lumbini Zone & Kathmandu, Bagmati Zone, Nepal; Bolivia; Cambodia; Angola; Ghana; France; Tunisia; Serbia; Myanmar; Qatar; Dominican Republic; Djibouti; Turkey; Haiti; Ireland. 

USA Somerton, AZ; Redding, CA; Bethel & New Milford, CT; Magnolia, DE; Bartlett & Bolingbrook, IL; Burnsville & Fairmont, MN; Mountain View, Sedalia & West Plains, MO; Stedman, NC; Brotmanville & Marlton, NJ; Spencerport, NY; West Jefferson, OH;
Spiro, OK; Beaverton & Newberg, OR; New Cumberland & Rockhill, PA; Forney & Garland, TX; Puyallup, WA. 

I am so thankful for your visit and hope that you come back each week to participate in the weekly challenges.  God has been faithful and we expect His Christmas favor to abound in the lives of those who chose to believe in His Son, Jesus all year round.
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 post.  

Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).
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Fourteen and Fickle 

Actually, magic has nothing to do with Christmas, but believing in the extraordinary does.  Reading the account of Mary the mother of Jesus from the book of Luke, as a rational adult we are in awe of this wondrous miracle.  However, if you’re around the age of fourteen, it’s a bit intimidating don’t you think? 

As I read through the verses motherhood and being married to a man about twice my years wasn’t what was on my mind at that age.  I don’t know about you, but at the unsettling phase beginning around fourteen I was just getting used to “new body” changes, checking out fashion (and the boys of course) and wondering how much I really needed to tell my parents.   

Dating wasn’t allowed until the age of sixteen, so my social life revolved around classes, church or school activities.  If a couple was “dating” they were seen together at a friend’s party or event; there was no actual driving except by the parent who dropped us off at a function. 

For girls, naturally getting married was always on our mind as we practiced writing our future husband’s name on brown paper bag covered books in vivid colors and bold lettering!  Being a teen the name would change every other day, sometimes several times within twenty-four hours depending on how the so-called relationship was going.   

I remember going on a class trip to Washington, D. C. in the eighth grade and sitting with my “boyfriend” on the way.  Somewhere in between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument visits things went stupid strange, and he ended up sitting alone on the bus ride home! 

Fickle, no not me, but I can tell you this. It was a good thing changing covers on books was just as easy as changing seats. One rip and off it went, out in the bin along with the latest heartthrob.  A fresh new page to start doodling our new “beloved’s” name on until the cycle repeated itself or we ran out of paper bags! 

Kids?  Please … maybe someday, but not now.  Girls want to enjoy and savor their relationships, especially during the engagement “it’s all about me” time!  Many dates if truth be told, and looo …. ng engagements work best before settling down with our Joseph’s. 

Be It unto Me 

Was there ever a time when you can recall telling your parents or any adult for that matter, “Whatever you say; be it unto me as you wish?” 
Maybe the first part …. “Whatever!”  I doubt we’ve submitted to this instruction without some sort of guilt trip or bribery, not at fourteen anyway when life is just starting to roll. 

That wasn’t the case though with a certain young priestess named Mary.  Every parent’s dream is for their child to recite these precious words: “Let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)  In our language, “Okay, do whatever you want to me and I’m cool with it!” 

You see, the promise of a KING and Messiah to come wasn’t something Miss Mary wasn’t expecting.   This topic had been discussed for years, and she probably talked it over with her mother.  It was the “who will it be through and when” that believers in God wondered. 

Being a seed of Aaron, she was from a long line of priests/priestesses that waited for the time the promise would come to pass.  She even had a real shot at this with Joseph, her betrothed, being from the royalty line of David.  In a sense Mary could even call him her prince; maybe that’s a stretch … hmm! 

The promise would be manifested through the seed of royalty and the priesthood.  Levite Aaron’s seed would meet the required priestly part, and King David’s the royal aspect from the line of Judah.  This surely would cause abstinence to be enforced by parents.  

“Hope of all hopes, dream of our dreams, a child is born, sweet-breathed; a son is given to us: a living gift.  And even now, with tiny features and dewy hair, He is great.  The power of leadership, and the weight of authority, will rest on His shoulders.  His name?  His name we’ll know in many ways — He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Dear Father everlasting, ever-present never-failing, Master of Wholeness, Prince of Peace.  (Isaiah 9:6 The Voice) 

Young girls hoped they would be chosen, but knew there would be only one virgin daughter who would find this particular extraordinary favor with God.   

Then Mary said, “I am willing to be used of the Lord. Let it happen to me as you have said.” Then the angel went away from her.
(Luke 1:38 NLV) 

So when Gabriel, an angel of the Lord appeared to Mary, her response was a big “Yes, Lord, Yes!”  She truly believed with God all things really are possible, no matter how it looked. (Luke 1:37)  I can imagine how excited Mary’s mom would have been to hear her say such a thing, but this moment was reserved for Mary and God’s angel.   Explanations would come later.

Trying not to jump out of her skin with excitement, I’m pretty sure there were loads of questions that came into little Miss Mary’s mind when she was chosen to bear the Christ child.  Yet we never hear her say:  

“No God, you’ve got the wrong girl.  I’m too young to have a baby, besides how in the world can I explain this especially when I recently got engaged?  People will think I’m lying and crazy. You know it will get around town and they kill people for less than this.  How will I tell my parents?  No, no, no … call on someone else, this is going to be embarrassing and dangerous.”  

With childlike faith Mary received the blessing of favor, wondering how this miracle would take place having never been in a physical relationship with any man.  The angel told her that the Holy Spirit would work out this miracle.  She believed and left the details to God. 

“The angel came to her (Mary) and said, You are honored very much. You are a favored woman. The Lord is with you. You are chosen from among many women. 

When she saw the angel, she was troubled at his words. She thought about what had been said.  The angel said to her, Mary, do not be afraid. You have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:28-30 NLV) 

Elizabeth, her aunt, expressed how extraordinarily blessed her niece was because Mary believed the promise of God would be fulfilled without question.  Oh the faith of a child reaps bounties of extraordinary favor, because they innocently believe in the Promise Maker. 

Can you imagine what kind of favor we’d be experiencing if we had learned to believe God at His Word when we were children?  It says something for what we should be teaching our kids doesn’t it? 

Extraordinary Blessings 

Believing God will deliver on His promises is only part of what it takes to receive extraordinary favor from the Lord.  What allowed favor to come through Mary, was her expecting the promise to happen after she learned of God’s plans.  Mary believed she was indeed highly favored! 

When a parent makes a promise to a child, they expect it to be carried out in a reasonable time period.  If it doesn’t they will start asking when and won’t quit saying …

Think of it, what if when Mary experienced the angelic visitation, heard what God had intended for her journey and didn’t believe a word of it?  Would Jesus still have come through a virgin birth?  Yes indeed, because God’s Word never changes.  Mary … well, the crowned blessing would have been deposited into someone else’s life who believed. 

Ya Gotta Believe in the Extras 

Lately I’ve been reading messages from readers asking for prayer that God would give favor for jobs, restoration, finances, to relationships and for prices on things.  It’s biblical to make requests to the Lord calling on our Christian siblings to pray in agreement, however, prayer doesn’t replace individual faith and belief.

I can pray for it for/with you, but God wants to work it through you and your faith.  God’s not withholding favor; it’s unique for each of His children.  He wants to hear you say, “Be it unto me Lord.” 

Last week my husband and I experienced extraordinary favor in a number of areas in our lives.  When I asked my husband to make a stop at the post office he asked me why.  My response was, “I’m expecting a check.” 

Last month we had several unexpected bills emerge and heavy hearts from sudden grief.  Believing God would cover us with His shield of favor in some way, I sent hubby to the post office.  Not knowing how the Lord would manifest His favor, I believed the needs were met.  AS I BELIEVED, my blessing was delivered.   

God not only gave us a check from a source we would have never thought of, His favor was present through every situation.  He continued to minister grace through our sadness, the extra workload, rebuked prices (seriously, in 90% off items), hubby’s surgery was canceled (thank you Lord) and so much more. 

Do you believe in God’s promises for the things you need or desire?  Is your mindset on believing that extraordinary favor is also a plan of God in your life as it was Mary’s?   

Faith and believing is a personal thing.  As we mature people can advise in our decision making, but ultimately the choice of whether or not we believe what God says is the truth is up to us. 

Mary had to use her own faith to believe what the messenger angel of God said.  He didn’t tell her to go ask for her parent’s permission for this favor to be given only to her.  During her short time on earth, she listened as the Word was preached and believed on her own.  In other words, Mary was fully persuaded, as Jesus and the Apostle Paul would have said it, that all things are possible to those who believe. (Romans 8:38 and Mark 9:23)  

“Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible
to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23 NKJV)

This Week’s Challenge:
Expect Extraordinary Favor 

Sometimes the favor of God is missed by individuals merely because they don’t believe it could happen to THEM!  Not believing on the promises of God to be manifested causes us to live ordinary lives with ordinary blessings. 

It’s the “yes, it will and can happen through me” God is waiting to hear us speak by faith.  When we gladly declare the words of a young girl, “Lord, be it unto me, I’m here for You to use to do the impossible” this is what causes extraordinary favor to be passed on to God’s children. 

Our challenge this week will require that we learn to train ourselves to believe that extraordinary favor isn’t reserved just for special people or delivered only at Christmas.  We have to expect it, because God has promised it in His Word.

It’s true we celebrate the birth of Christ the Messiah (the meaning of Christ-mas), as the true blessing of all blessings.  However, we also need to understand that the favor on Mary’s life didn’t stop at the manger.  As long as she continued to believe God at His Word, that seed of favor (Jesus the promise of God, not the physical baby/child/man) would remain with her and grow as her faith grew. 

Mary the mother of our Savior, remained in the favor of God because she pondered, thought about, remembered that the spoken promise was fulfilled through her when (as a child, age fourteen) she believed.  As she grew into adulthood so did her faith and belief that with God, all things really are possible (she had firstborn proof). 

God is still giving His angels instructions and bestowing extraordinary favor on those who will believe and receive the promises He has already given to His heirs through Christ Jesus.  When we accept Jesus into our hearts by faith, the seed of favor from the Holy Spirit is impregnated in each of us and has the possibility to grow.  Our level of faith determines the magnitude of favor we receive. 

Throughout the week, remind yourself of the words the angel spoke to Mary, and those Jesus Himself spoke to His disciples or followers (then and now) … “All Things Are Possible” to those who believe! 

Start living in the favor that is already yours as His child by believing something more than the ordinary is coming your way, not because of who you are but Whose you are. 
You are valued, loved, adored and highly favored by God, that’s why He sent Jesus in the first place.  Christmas is a good time to embrace this extraordinary message of the season! 

It’s been a few years since I’ve practiced writing my married name on a brown paper bag or notebook cover.  Call me fickle or childish, but I still like doing it.   I guess it's a girl thing! 

As for thinking that extraordinary favor and miracles happen at Christmas, I do … but I also know that miracles happen whenever you truly believe! 

If this article has encouraged or helped you, please consider sharing it by using the social media icons provided at the end of this post. 

Until next time, extraordinary favor is also meant for you! 

“Believe Me for the extraordinary.”
Jesus Christ 

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: Emphasis is given in some scriptures to show clarity or understanding and is not to take away from the inspirited Word of God. 

When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives.

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

What’s New This Week: Click on the photo or link.

What Happens When A Girl Says Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst on Daily Favor Blog
Experiencing Life in Extraordinary Ways
by Lysa TerKeurst 

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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. 
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Bible Gateway.
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Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.
Christmas Favor, Christmas, Extraordinary Favor, Daily Favor Blog, Favored1, God's Favor, Favor of God, Virgin Mary, Birth of Jesus Christ, Inspiration, Teaching Series, Woman of Faith, Weekly Challenge, Lysa TerKeurst .