Romans 8:28 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
“There is little doubt that Romans 8:28 has become a favorite verse of contemporary Christians, but care is needed in its application. It must only be applied to those who clearly exhibit a deep sense of the call of God in their lives, demonstrating a love for God by a life of obedience. Neither is it to be seen as grounds for believing that ‘everything will come out in the wash’ because God has committed Himself to sorting out the mess of our lives and relieving us of the consequences of our actions.” (Stuart Briscoe, The Preacher’s Commentary Series)
One of the important distinctions that Briscoe makes is that the “working for our good” is not a blanket statement for all who profess Christ, but for those whose lives exhibit and follow with a deep sense of God’s calling in obedience. May God’s favor lead us to greater obedience, which leads us to even greater experiences of his favor.
Prayer: Lord we ask for a greater re-alignment with the whole of our lives to your purpose and plan. We pray for your blessing and favor in our churches, in our homes, in our work places, in our studies, and in our health. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s pray and worship to the song “God You’re So Good” by Passion (click here).
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
“This is a surprising word of hope to a people who stood under God’s judgment. It is not a glib happy feeling: ‘God’s going to be nice to us all, me especially’ (we should note that the ‘you’ is plural, not individual—this is primarily a promise to the people as a whole). It is rather the robust affirmation that even in and through the fires of judgment there can be hope in the grace and goodness of God. That is God’s ultimate plan and purpose. What then should be the response to such a surprising word of amazing grace? Not gleeful celebration. Not mere relief: ‘Well that’s all right then; everything will turn out fine. Let’s have a party!’ Rather, the people are called to respond to the restoring grace of God with renewed prayer and seeking him (12–14). Here then was a surprising hope for the future that turned victims into visionaries. It enabled the exiles to look up and look forward and believe. The message of the whole letter could turn refugees, mourners and victims into resident missionary visionaries.” (C. Wright, The Message of Jeremiah: Grace in the End)
Prayer: Lord we ask for renewed lives of prayer. We ask for your favor and blessing upon our campuses and missional groups. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Your Grace is Enough” by Matt Maher (click here).
Deuteronomy 28:1-6 (NIV) “2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: 3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. 4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. 5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. 6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
The life in Christ is a life of favor and blessing, for we’ve been given every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Throughout the OT, the blessing and favor of the Lord in the lives of the Israelites was to be an identity marker of God’s covenant of love. However, the continuation of the blessing of Deuteronomy 28 was contingent upon Israel fully obeying the Lord and carefully following God’s commands.
Let’s respond to the Lord by praying through Deuteronomy 28. To go from victim to visionaries, from cursed to blessed, from sinners to forgiven, from lack to plenty. This favor of God is to be seen and experienced in the here and now.
Prayer: Lord we ask for your favor and blessing over every area of our lives today. At work, at home, at school—may the rain of your favor fall on us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Mighty God” by Elevation (click here).
Luke 4 (NIV) 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
“The final note, ‘to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,’ brings in imagery from the Year of Jubilee, that year after forty-nine, or seven sevens, described in Leviticus 25 as a harbinger of the final age in which all wrongs are made right and all transgressions forgiven. Christ means that “the year of the Lord’s favor” has come with the dawn of the messianic age, the coming of salvation and of the Holy Spirit. In this new age, people will be set free and made right with God, inheriting eternal salvation… Jesus is speaking of deliverance not from Rome but from Satan and the evil powers.” (G. Osborne, Luke: Verse by Verse)
This is the year of the Lord’s favor. The cursed ones are now the blessed and favored ones. The ones who were once separated from the life of God, are now to live inseparably and within the very life of God. Where every issue and struggle are now met and provided for by the Lord in his favor. We are now called to live as the people of God, as the church of God, and in the very mission of God.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today we receive afresh your proclamation of the year of the Lord’s favor upon us. We thank you for your favor, blessing, and salvation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “Where the Spirit of the Lord is” by Hillsong (click here).
Let’s read aloud all together the following passages and prayer.
Psalm 67 (NLT) 1 May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us. 2 May your ways be known throughout the earth, your saving power among people everywhere. 3 May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. 4 Let the whole world sing for joy, because you govern the nations with justice and guide the people of the whole world. 5 May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. 6 Then the earth will yield its harvests, and God, our God, will richly bless us. 7 Yes, God will bless us, and people all over the world will fear him.
Hebrews 13:20–21 (NIV) “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen”
Prayer: Lord, we pray for your blessing and mercy upon us today. May your face smile with favor upon us. We ask that you equip us with everything good so that we can live in your purpose and plan, doing what is pleasing to you. To you may be glory for ever and ever. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Let’s worship to the song “King Jesus” by Matt Redman (click here).