Archive for February 1st, 2019

A Maximum Life

February 1st, 2019

A maximum life will not come from a minimum effort.

 “Many will give thanks for the gracious favor granted us.”

2 Corinthians 1:11 NIV.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “a life that pleases God.”

Live in a manner that God and man will show you favor. As in all things, Jesus is our example. “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52 NIV. Favor occurs when you understand the value of living generously. If Jesus valued favor, you and I should value that as well. Favor can be defined by a big word, “approbation.” That simply describes, “a friendly regard shown toward another, especially by a superior.”

You are wise to want the favor of God upon your life, family, friendships, and finances. Appreciate people who assist and bless your life. Favor is not your right, nor something you barter for. Favor is a kind and gracious response from others’ regard and appreciation for your example and efforts, when they are in a position to observe and reward. Never take such kindness lightly. It is good to be likable and truly thankful, not for what you can get but because that’s true to who you are. Make it easy for people to show you kindness and be expressively and sincerely grateful when they do.

Favor is always a gift. Such regard and reward come more readily when you live in such a way that others see the wisdom and benefit of extending grace on your behalf. Hopefully, people will observe your lifestyle of generously extending favor to others and view your attitude and actions toward others kindly.

The words of Jesus come to mind: “Do for others as you would like them to do for you . . freely you have received, freely give.” Luke 6:31 NLT/Matthew 10:8 NIV. The most significant source of favor comes from God, the One Who is the Source of all grace and mercy. People can be fickle; God is ever faithful. David was confident in God that, “His favor lasts a lifetime.” Psalm 30:5 NLT.

I love the simplicity of the Old Testament description of Noah, “Noah found favor with the Lord.” Genesis 6:8 NLT. I enjoy the paraphrase of this same verse in The Message, “But Noah was different; God liked what He saw in Noah.” Favor is the natural response to what God and others see you to be. That’s why grace and favor are given.

This gracious act of God toward Noah is vividly drawn against the bleak backdrop of God’s description of the people and times in which Noah lived, “The Lord observed the extent of the people’s wickedness . . that all their thoughts were consistently and totally evil . . but Noah was different.” Read Genesis 6:5-8 NLT. God saw a different heart in Noah; God liked what He saw. In the worst of times and in the most demanding of circumstances, God saw something in Noah that was to be found nowhere else.

God asked Noah to do something. Noah was to build an ark for the saving of his family. Noah had a task he could not possibly understand, for conditions he had never seen, among people who would mock his words and efforts. Yet Noah chose to obey God without regard for other’s opinions or his own personal cost. The Bible records: “So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.” Genesis 6:22 NLT. Obedience brings God’s favor. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1 NIV/Hebrews 13:20-21 NKJV.

Don’t settle with being like others, satisfied with the norm and content with being average. Raise the bar; seek to excel; be your best, not because that may gain you something but just because you should, and you can. Favor comes to those who excel, exceeding expectations while setting a good and Godly example. A maximum life will not come from a minimum effort. Jesus taught that if you give little; you get little. Give much; much is received. “Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:11 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to live a life that God will honor and prosper.

With regard and appreciation for you, Pastor Allen

Christian Communications 2019

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