Sermon: (January 31, 2016) “Growing in God’s Favor” guest speaker: David Thomas
January 31, 2016 at 12:00 pm Categories: Guest Speaker, Sermons
- In the sermon today, we learned what God’s favor is and to whom he gives it. We learned that God is always looking at our lives, not like Zeus with a lightening bolt waiting for us to screw up, but as a Father who delights in blessing what we do for him with a humble heart. God’s favor begins by recognizing that God sees us—and sees us right down to the core. “God’s favor is in his face.” Talk about what you think God sees when he looks at you. Are you able to live in confidence as a beloved child of God? Are you able to see God as your Father?
(Most of us have at times felt fearful of God’s face, of a God who sees the “thoughts and intentions of our hearts” (cf. Heb. 4:12-13), and that causes us to hide. Believing the Gospel, you might say, is believing that the face of God is found in Jesus Christ, the face of the Man who died in our place. By seeing God in him, we see God’s grace; by God seeing him in us, God sees his child.)
- What is the difference between living as a Christian in the sight of God and living as a Christian life in the sight of other Christians, or simply other people, for the audience of One or the audience of many? (Perhaps you might consider the way we should be humbled in light of a God who sees the “thoughts and intentions of our hearts” (cf. Heb. 4:12-13) and how we can easily become proud in light of a people who judge by appearances).
- One of the key points made in the sermon was that favor typically comes with an assignment. We saw that God’s assignment will look different for each us, depending on our place in life and in this world, but ultimately God gives favor to those who are attempting to live into his purposes for the world.
- For younger folks, maybe you need to begin asking God for an assignment.
- For leaders, perhaps you need to begin thinking about how to incorporate God’s purposes in this world in the relationships at your place of work, or elsewhere.
- For the older generation, rather than thinking about how to retire your influence, maybe its time to think about how to best use your influence in the generations to come
- And for the weak of all ages, remember the list of people God chose to use from the sermon? You’re in good company. As Paul said, “God uses the weak to shame the strong!” because when people see God working through unlikely candidates, it’s easier for people to see that it’s indeed God working! So don’t count yourselves out, and don’t use a weakness as an excuse; your weakness may be the very thing God wants to use for your assignment. God, after all, gives life to the dead…
- Talk in your groups about the assignment God has given you. If you don’t know, talk about what kind of assignment God might have for you depending on your place in this world. At the end of your time together, pray for God’s blessing as you each seek to live that assignment out in the coming weeks.