“Whenever we think of Christ, we should recall the love that led Him to bestow on us so many graces and favors, and also the great love God showed in giving us in Christ a pledge of His love; for love calls for love in return. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love Him.”
~ Saint Teresa of Avila
“The person who receives the most favors is the one who knows how to return them.”
Forward Thinkers, the FOG (Favor of God) series has been life changing this month at the Green House International Church, “the place where you go to.” Forward Thinkers, on last week I was led to personally reach out to a family member whom was seeking the Lord for a major breakthrough; her son to receive a scholarship to college. I boldly told her to bring her son to the Green House International Church because, there would be a word declared that her son needed to hear. After church he and I stood in the church parking lot talking and he said, “Thank you. I got a lot out of the sermon this morning.” Forward Thinkers, I told him to repeat after me: “I receive it” and he did just as I requested. The next day, he received his first scholarship offer for college.
Forward Thinkers, this month I’ve been tagged on social media to several praise reports where people were publicly stating the impact the FOG (Favor of God) series was having on their life.
Forward Thinkers, the FOG (Favor of God) is real. We have all heard the popular saying in our culture today, ‘the struggle is real’ but I cancel the struggle with the FOG (Favor of God). Forward Thinkers, do you have any proof today that the FOG (Favor of God) is real?
Luke 2:51-52 New International Version (NIV)
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
Forward Thinkers, let’s unpack this scripture loaded with a special package of favor. We must understand it takes all the ingredients inside the package to produce the desired outcome. You will not get the desired results by leaving out some of the major ingredients.
Forward Thinkers, let’s start by establishing the “He” in the text which is Jesus. The church must get back to the place where Jesus is our “standard.” The church is marketing to the world that we are Christians meaning that we are Christ-like but, the reality is the church is moving more and more away from teachings and actions of Christ daily. Forward Thinkers, Jesus came to give us an example to follow so the enemy would not be able to defeat us but, we have allowed the enemy to trick us into believing Jesus is outdated and old fashion. Jesus said, “He came so we could have life” and experience life to the fullest. We are struggling in life because, we are trying to figure out life when Jesus has already given us a winning playbook.
Forward Thinkers, how smart would it be to have the world famous recipe for chocolate chip cookies and then eliminate the chocolate from the bowl of ingredients and expect to achieve the desired result of producing chocolate chip cookies? Eliminating Jesus from the equation of living an abundant life makes just about as much sense as eliminating the chocolate.
Forward Thinkers, recently, a reporter asked me how I would describe myself and I said, “I’m a non-traditional Pastor with an out the box ministry mindset.” I have the social conscience of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. along with the activism spirit of “by any means necessary” of Malcolm X but I acknowledge without the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, I’m nothing. I said while I was trying to figure out who I was, God’s grace and mercy covered me and today the favor of God is carrying me.
Forward Thinkers, the desired outcome is to operate with the favor of God but, let’s observe all the ingredients that produce the favor of God and man in our life.
Forward Thinkers, Jesus was obedient. I know I just lost many of my readers right there because, a major ingredient to producing favor is obedience and most in today’s society believe obedience is a curse word.
Isaiah 1:19 New International Version (NIV)
19 If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land;
Forward Thinkers, remember, the bible says that God withholds no good thing from the righteous and its clear obedience is a major pathway to receiving the favor of God; obtaining all the good things known to man.
Ephesians 6:1-3 New International Version (NIV)
6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Forward Thinkers, the bible says obey your parents and notice Jesus obeyed his parents. My grandparents spoiled me as a kid but I had to make good grades, go to church, and obey their rules. I could drive any car they owned, shop at any store I desired and used their line of credit as long as I obeyed their rules. Forward Thinkers, obedience produced favor in my life at an early age.
Forward Thinkers, wisdom is the next ingredient to receiving the favor of God. Jesus grew in wisdom. Are you growing in wisdom too? Remember when we seek wisdom we find the favor of God. I discovered wisdom is the foundation of wise decision making; wise decision makers flow in the favor of God. Wisdom is more than intelligence, because I know a large amount of smart people who make unwise decisions and operate outside the favor of God. I’m finally smart enough to know I’m not smart enough to operate at my fullest potential without the favor of God.
Forward Thinkers, stature is another ingredient in the favor of God package. Let me define stature: status, standing, influence, fame, the level of respect.
Forward Thinkers, remember God told Abraham, “I will make your name great” and as Forward Thinking believers, we receive all the promises Abraham received. The FOG (Favor of God) will also change how people treat you. When the favor of God is on you, that shift you’ve been seeking will find you. The favor of God will turn your situation from negative to victorious.
I realize someone is saying but Pastor I’ve made some poor decisions and my current standing is not good, and I’m disqualified from the favor of God. Let me remind you of Jacob, (the trickster) in the bible who made one great decision to turn his selfish ways around and turn to God. Forward Thinkers, that one decision released the favor of God in his life and he became a new person (Israel).
Forward Thinkers, let me encourage you to remand faithful to God while you wait on the Favor of God: to promote you into greatness. We love the story of Moses, the liberator of his people, but we often forget Moses spent his early life living in a foreign land on the run for murder, and living in the wilderness before he became the leader of all Israel.
Forward Thinkers, the FOG (Favor of God) tracker is in full effect and people who ignored you, will now respect your gifts.
Forward Thinkers, obedience caused Jesus to grow into wisdom; wisdom produced the FOG (Favor of God) and the FOG (Favor of God) increased His stature. Forward Thinkers, your stature is changing for the better now.
Forward Thinkers, the FOG (Favor of God) will come through man. God will use a man to grant you a promotion on your job, to approve a pay increase in your salary, to cause a debt reduction in your financial affairs, loans will be approved, resources for school will be discovered, and blessings on delay will finally be released.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located, 16711 Ella Blvd. Houston, Texas, 77090. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at email@example.com or the church website www.ghic.net.