Year of the Lord’s Favor

Isaiah 61:1-3

1 The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,

because the LORD has anointed me;

he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,

to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and release to the prisoners;

2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor,

and the day of vengeance of our God;

to comfort all who mourn;

3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion—

to give them a garland instead of ashes,

the oil of gladness instead of mourning,

the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,

the planting of the LORD, to display his glory.

There are moments in time when you know God is up to something. It may not be a clap of thunder or an earthquake. It may rather be a timely word spoken confirming what you have already been thinking about or praying over.

It happened again for me as I listened to Mike Powers preach yesterday. Truth be told I was with him when he taped it on December 22nd! And he brought to our attention a good word for 2021. It is a word that I have been using and praying for the past few months. It’s a word that I don’t often use because it can be misconstrued as God likes one person or group over another or somehow we have done something to earn something from God. But there it was – once again – and this time from the pulpit and from someone I trust with God’s word because he has proven trustworthy.

What is the word?

Favor

I have been praying for God’s favor over the congregation and our families as well as my own life since the pandemic started. To know God’s blessing and to be a part of what delights God.

It’s not favoritism. It’s favor. It’s not getting something because God likes you more, or somehow you have earned it. Big difference.

Favor is God’s Spirit at work in your life so that you may work in someone else’s life.

It is God working in a situation so you too may do the same.

Praying and living into God’s favor is acknowledging that all gifts are from God and all gifts are meant to grow our love for God and love for others. Praying God’s favor is praying that God may work in a way that lifts all lives and offers our own as avenues for doing just that. It’s being in the game not standing on the sideline.

Favor – it is just what we need. A good word for 2021 and always.

Published by Todd Nelson

I'm one of the pastors at First United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky where I've served for the past thirteen years. The sub-title of this blog is "Grace is no accident" which happens to be the defining reality of my life. God's grace (gift) is the reason we have breath in our lungs and hope in our hearts.

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