The Time of God’s Favor by Sarah A. Smith

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Time of God’s Favor by Sarah A. Smith

We were very blessed to have Sarah Smith speak at our Women’s Luncheon last month. She is the wife of Pastor Smith of Morningstar Christian Fellowship, 83 Chester Street, Kingston, NY. 12401. Her talk was very mobilizing regarding how we need to reach out to the harvest of souls in the Hudson Valley. She was kind enough to send me her notes which are below. I know that you will be blessed. Heather

THE TIME OF GOD’S FAVOR

Sarah A. Smith

The goal of this teaching is to help the listener to recognize God’s favor as it has been demonstrated to the individual, the local congregation (church), the regional Body of Christ, and His intention to extend His favor to the Mid-Hudson Valley for a spiritual awakening and the harvest of souls.

A)  Divine Favor

Primary scripture text: II Corinthians 6:1 -2 “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”

Two prophetic references of God’s favor:     Isaiah 49:8-9   & Isaiah 61:1-3

Contrast “favoritism” with “Divine favor”:

Favoritism – showing partiality based on wealth, status, or appearance (see James 2:1-9)

Divine favor – the divine influence upon the heart of an individual and its reflection in the individual’s life; having an identity of being accepted, a receiver of benefits, favor, gifts, and divine grace; the certainty that God displays His joy, His liberality, His pleasure towards us and we in turn respond with joy, liberality, pleasure (in Him), and thankfulness (steadfastness) toward Him.

Pause to reflect on the Lord’s favor extended to each one of us through salvation. We have each received the favor of the Lord because we have received the grace to believe in the finished work of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, upon the cross and His righteousness imputed to us though faith.

Furthermore because of our shared faith in Jesus Christ we have now become His Body, His church, and brothers and sisters in the family of God.

B)   God’s Faithfulness in Covenant  (Old & New Testaments)

Deut. 7:9; Psalm 36:5; Psalm 89:1; I Corinthians 1:9; Hebrews 6:18; I Peter 4:19; II Thessalonians 3:3; Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 10:23; Revelation 1:5; Psalm 103:17-18.

The Lord will be faithful in keeping all of His promise to us; if unfaithfulness occurs it will be on our part not His. He has proven Himself to be faithful throughout the ages.

C) Divine Pleadings of God Toward Humanity

Jeremiah 35:15; Ezekiel 33:11; Matthew 22:3; Revelation 3:20; Isaiah 45:22; Isaiah 55:1; Matthew 22:9; John 7:37; Revelation 22:17.

God has cried out to humanity to turn to Him and be saved. He continues to call out. How broad is His call? “…God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”           (I Timothy 2:4) We do not have to wonder if it is God’s will to save someone! The invitation is for every inhabitant of the earth from every tongue, tribe, and nation. This includes our family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, school mates, etc…

D)  Our Responsibility for the Harvest

A brief history of the “move of God”:  in the U.S. during the JESUS PEOPLE MOVEMENT, in the Hudson Valley, and personal account of the Spirit’s work on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in 1972 and on.

Examples of the favor of the Lord demonstrated in the Mid-Hudson Valley: number of Spirit-filled churches; Christian schools; percentage of believers; outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit; Christian radio located in our “back yard” – the Sound of Life Radio Network; quality of pastors and church leaders; unity in the Body of Christ.

Our mandate: II Corinthians 5: 20 “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

We are Christ’s hands, feet, eyes, and ears. Let’s proclaim the message to all those we come in contact with!

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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