Is God's Powerful Hand Of Favor On You?

“The Hand of God!” What does that even mean? God is Spirit (John 4:24) without physical hands but He gives this picture to His children who have hands to help us understand His powerful loving relationship that is available to us. Just as an earthly father lovingly leads his children with encouragement, prompts, favor, discipline and even a powerful boost of his own strength, so also a child of God gets this and more from their heavenly Father.

In Ezra chapter 7, Ezra himself finally shows up in the story of God’s people returning from exile. Ezra was called out by God from a difficult place, Babylonia, to return to Jerusalem and confront the sins of God’s people. Ezra, “took courage for the hand of the Lord was upon Him” (Ezra 7:28) and appealed to King Artaxerxes to let him return to Jerusalem. Ezra found favor with the king and so he was sent him back to Jerusalem as he asked with more of God’s people and even more provision of silver, gold and money to spend as they are led according the will of God (7:18). The polytheistic king trusted Ezra.

The king gave favor to Ezra because “the hand of the Lord was upon him.” Do you want to know with great certainty that God’s hand of favor is upon you like Ezra? The secret to Ezra’s spiritual success is found in Ezra 7:9-10. Ezra had set his heart to study God’s word, do God’s word and teach others God’s word. Ezra was committed to doing these three things and the result was that God’s hand of favor was upon him. Even today that is God’s three step process to live with God’s powerful hand of favor upon you – study God’s word, do it and teach it.

You may say, “I am not a teacher.” Well teaching is simply discipling, which we are all commanded to do (Mat. 28:19-20), and this is most effective done one person at a time. You can teach one person at a time. You may say, “do I really have to obey God’s word?” Short answer, “Yes.” We are all either a slave to impurity and lawlessness leading to more of impurity and lawlessness or else we are a slave to righteousness leading to christlikeness.(Rom. 6:20). You may say, “I don’t know how to study God’s word.” Don’t make it harder than it is. Here is an easy process to get you started studying your bible:
1- Observe: Words, repeated words, grammar, characters, connectors, compare and contrast, structure, genre, mood.
2- Interpretation: Asks questions from the scripture – What? Why? Who? So what? Answer those questions from all of scripture. Determine the main point.
3- Application: Apply God's word inwardly, becoming more Christ-like loving God more desperately. Apply God's word outwardly, becoming a more selfless person of Godly influence who love others as Christ loved us.

The 1-2-3s and A-B-Cs of having God’s hand of favor upon you is simply a life of studying, doing and teaching God’s word. Then you will take courage and accomplish great things for God saying, “for the hand of the Lord was upon me” (Ezra 7:28).

See you Sunday, with God's hand of favor: Steve

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