Saturday, August 20, 2011

Blessed with Favor

For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield. (Psalm 5:12)

In the Scriptures certain ones of the Lord are said to have been given favor before men by the Lord. Joseph was given favor before Potipher and Pharaoh. Samuel grew in favor before the Lord and men. This is especially said of Jesus. In Acts it is said of the disciples who gathered to the doctrine and communion preached by the apostles.

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Acts 2:41-47)

I was reminded of this yesterday as I was attempting to exit the driveway in my pickup truck to head out to tend to some errands. A man in a van slowly approached and stopped in front of the driveway in front of me, got out and walked toward me. “Do you still grind stumps?” he asked. He then explained that he had a stump that he wanted me to grind for him. I asked whether he needed for me to give him a bid or if he just wanted me to schedule the work. He said that I should just schedule the work and do it because he knew that I would do right by him.

Another of my customers insists on being present when I do work for him. He says that he wants to be sure to be home to see what I do. He says that he wants to make certain that I actually charge him for everything that I do for him. He says that if he does not watch me I will do extra things and not charge him.

Sometimes I would like to take credit for such kindly responses from my customers. But it is the Lord who gives a person favor in the eyes of others. While it is true that I do extra things for people and that I am thorough in my work and that I try to do my best always for my customers, it is the Lord who causes them to look upon me favorably.

In a discussion recently with a couple of neighbors of one of my customers, one of whom asked me to do some minor emergency pruning for him, these people also spoke very kindly to me and of me to one another. The lady also said, “I can see that God is at work in you.”

This sort of statement does not come on account of what I do, for there is far too much wrong in me and what I do for anyone to respond so favorably on that account. To find fault with me and my life and my actions would be very easy for anyone who observes me. Yet this is not the primary response of people. The Lord moves people to see not what I do, but what He is doing in me and for me and through me. Thus people generally say kind things about me and my work. They see what the Lord is doing and His goodness is so complete and powerful that they really don’t see anything else.

I am truly amazed when I observe this. I complain about the many injustices that I see in the world, injustices that I experience personally and that I see others suffer, too. Complain, complain, complain seems to be my way. I talk about the evils of the globalism and one world government movement. I warn about the things that are coming upon the world on account of sin. I point to the many betrayals of governmental leaders at every level. I complain about the destructive and oppressive ways of the central banking system. Yet even with all of this grumbling and complaining and crying out, the Gospel is so powerful that it is what people perceive as ruling my heart and mind and life.

Truly as the psalmist writes: The Lord is good and His mercy endures forever!

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