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Daily Reading: Numbers 21:1-22:20 ESV, Luke 1:26-56 ESV, Psalm 57:1-11 ESV, Proverbs 11:9-11 ESV

Daily Verse: “And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28 ESV)

CHARITOO (5487): “To grace, i.e., indue with special honor, make accepted, be highly favoured.  To make graceful or gracious, and came to denote, to cause to find favour.”[I]

God honors.

Gabriel, God’s messenger, delivers a message to Mary.  The angel greets the young virgin, telling of God’s favor for her, His presence with her.  Mary doesn’t understand what Gabriel’s message means, becoming disturbed.  Once again, Gabriel reassures Mary, telling her to fear not because she possesses God’s special honor.  Then Gabriel tells Mary she will become pregnant with the world’s Savior.

When we think of God’s favor in our lives, I doubt we think of virgin births.  I can only imagine how Mary must have felt at this moment.  God’s favor in her life meant total upheaval from a worldly perspective.  Unwed and pregnant, she would become a social outcast.  I wonder if Mary ever questioned God’s favor in her life because it doesn’t seem favorable from an earthly view.

Favor unfolds.

God’s favor in Mary’s life unfolded over time.  Mary’s fiancé, Joseph, wanting to get out of the upcoming marriage, encounters an angel in his dream who tells of Jesus’s birth.  As a result, Joseph marries the pregnant virgin, protecting her from disgrace.  As their journey unfolds, God provides for them every step of the way, evidence of His favor in their lives.

Receiving God’s favor in our lives comes in varied forms.  Mary and Joseph found favor when they found a warm place to rest in the manger.  God’s guidance kept them from the persecution of King Herod.  One day at a time, God’s favor unfolded in their lives.

God’s favor exists in our lives.  Born in America, I experience God’s grace living in the land of the free.  Religious freedom allows us to worship however we want.  Unlike other countries, we get to gather corporately and worship God together.  As we seek our Maker, His favor unfolds in our lives, one day at a time.

Experience God’s favor in your life as you submit to Him.  Special honor comes to those who give their lives to God like Mary.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 270) Thomas Nelson

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