Does God Have Favorites?


Every good parent knows you never answer that question. But every parent also knows that not all children earn equal favor at all times.
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Love should be unconditional, and with God it is. But favor is something different.
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If you do a study of the term "favor of the Lord" you find something interesting. In almost every instance, the favor of the Lord was something sought and when it wasn't, a sharp rebuke followed. In other words, God expects His children to seek His favor.
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Notice Scripture never instructs us to try to win His love. God cannot love us more than He does. He's already given the ultimate love gift, His Son, and to expect Him to demonstrate greater affection for humanity is not only insulting, it is impossible.
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But He is selective upon whom He bestows His favor.
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Gabriel used the term when he greeted the virgin Mary for the first time: "Greetings. You have found favor with God."
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Noah "found favor" in the eyes of God.
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Moses assumed this favor when he negotiated with God to spare the rebellious Israelites. He prefaced his prayer with the words: "If I have found favor in your sight, grant my plea." He was staking the future of the Hebrew nation on the assurance that God would listen to his favored one.
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Psalm 5: 11 says "For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield."
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Notice who receives this blessing. Not everyone, as in "God so loved the world." But it is the righteous who can expect to experience God's favor.

So who are the righteous?
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If you counted up your good deeds and raised your hand, you've just eliminated yourself as a candidate! Pride tends to disqualify most of us.

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I believe the secret lies in this little phrase in Psalm 119: 58. "I sought Your favor with all my heart; Be gracious to me according to Your word."
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The righteous are those who accept Christ's righteousness in exchange for their own sinful nature and spend their days seeking to please God in everything they do. That doesn't mean they always get it right, but when they do they are quick to confess it, change it, and learn from it.
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The ones who obtain God's favor

are the ones who want it more than anything else.
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If you are busy earning the world's favor, you'll scarcely notice whether or not you have earned God's. It won't mean anything to you. You'll attribute your success to yourself and your hard work. You'll join the community in patting yourself on the back, and Scripture is clear that you have earned all the reward you're going to get.
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But if you choose to live in the secret place of the Most High, if pleasing Him is the only item on your To-Do list, then the Bible is very clear that you have earned the favor of the Lord.
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So what does favor look like?
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Favor can be seen in those little extras that God didn't have to do to answer your prayer, but He tossed in anyway just to show you he knows what you like.
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Notice the beautiful purple flowers at the top of this post. Purple is my favorite color and purple flowers are as good as it gets.
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I've mowed a path across my field. It leads to the place I go every day to meet with the Lord. The first spring I mowed it, guess what sprang up along this path all the way to the woods?
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Purple flowers. Millions of them became a carpet where I walked every day and every time I saw them, I felt the favor of the Lord. They could have been yellow or red or pink. But they weren't. They were purple. Just for me. And every spring they come back, waiting for me like a smile from God.
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Those who find favor with the Lord are looking for it. It comes wrapped in personalized gift wrap. They find it everywhere they go because they know what to look for.
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It's in the little extras. It's the special gift tucked in among your answered prayers that gives you a little shiver because you know what it is. It's personal, it's beautiful, it's thoughtful, and it's a reminder that the Creator who knows every sparrow in the trees, also knows every desire of your heart.
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Sometimes it's even purple.
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