Blessing

Finding Favor with God

There are people who work hard in an attempt to earn the favor of employers, parents, friends, and even God. The truth, however, is that divine approval cannot be earned. There’s only one way to acquire it, which Hebrews 11:6 states clearly, “Without faith is it impossible to please God” (NIV). Like the saints commended in Hebrews 11:1-40 for their faith, Christians today don’t have to strive for God’s favor. That’s because in Christ, we have been lavished with divine grace (Ephesians 1:8). Yet we sometimes tend to overlook the most basic examples of the Lord’s kindness to us: He provides for our needs, puts limits on suffering, answers prayers, encourages us in our trials, and offers His strength in our weakness. In fact, every good thing that comes our way is from His hand (James 1:17).

God’s goodness is stored up for those who fear Him and take refuge in Him (Psalm 31:19). But even though His favor isn’t something that can be earned, we still have a responsibility to live in a manner He finds pleasing. As was true for the role models of faith in Hebrews 11, God’s grace should motivate us to be righteous and blameless in our walk with Him.

The In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, December 20, 2021.

Sons of the Night, Sons of the Day

1 Thes 5;7

Unbelievers are in darkness, engulfed in mental, moral, and spiritual darkness because of sin and unbelief.


1 Thes 5;5a

Believers live in a completely different sphere of life than those who remain in darkness.  Because believers have been delivered from the domain of darkness, they are taken out of the night of sin and ignorance and put into the light of God and under the control of the truth.  Because Christians are in the light, they should not sleep in spiritual indifference and comfort, but be alert to the spiritual issues around them.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for 1 Thessalonians 5:4,5,6.

Blessing-given and giving

1 Peter 3;9

The blessing that a Christian is to give to the reviler includes finding ways to serve him, praying for his salvation or spiritual progress, expressing thankfulness for him, speaking well of him, and desiring his well-being.  A person whom God has given undeserved blessings instead of judgement, should seek the blessing he will receive when giving a free gift of forgiveness to someone who has wronged him.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for 1 Peter 3:9.

Clinging to God

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God Himself is the speaker in this section (verses 14-16) and He describes the blessing He gives to those who know and love Him.  The word for “love” here means a “deep longing” for God, or a “clinging” to God.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Psalm 91:14.

Selfless

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“…[E]steem others better than himself” (verse 3), is the basic definition of true humility (Romans 12:10; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 5:21; 1 peter 5:5).  Christ is the ultimate example of selfless humility (Matthew 11:29; John 13:12-17).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Philippians 2:3,5.

Set your love upon Him

 

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God Himself is the speaker in this section (verses 14-16) and He describes the blessing He gives to those who know and love Him.  The word for “love” means a “deep longing” for God, or a “clinging” to God.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Psalm 91:14.