How to Find Favor with God - Devotional for Dads and Kids

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Favor (3 of 3): How to Find God’s Favor

For dad only:

How to Find God’s Favor

Raising kids to find God’s favor is not a Sunday School class event. It is a daily thing. We pattern them in love for others and God. Jesus parable about the unforgiving servant, in Matthew 18, shows that God favors us according to how we favor others.

Wisdom brings God’s favor

Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. (Proverbs 8:35-36)

Raise wise kids and they will have God’s favor.

You can do better than raise your children according to televangelist theology. God’s favor may not include money for some of us. Money may only indicate the favor, or acceptance, of man.

Godliness brings God’s favor

Abel had God’s favor when he puts his best effort into worshipping God. The Lord told Cain that if he, too, would do well, he would be accepted.

Job was favored by God yet went through a world of hurt. Job only suffered because he had the favor of the Lord.

Jacob asked God to bless him and the Lord put his leg out of joint. Yet God was with him and turned Esau’s hatred into acceptance.

Favor is reciprocal. Those who love the Lord can be at peace with people, even with their enemies. Those who find favor with God also find favor with people.

John the Baptist was favored by God, yet he lost his head. Peter had the Lord’s favor, yet he went to prison and then to his own cross. Paul knew God’s favor, yet he got beatings and rejection.

What is God’s favor? His presence. The Lord explained this to Moses. The man asked, “How do I know I have your favor?” and the Lord said, “When my presence goes with you and I give you rest.” (See Exodus 33). The gift of the Holy Spirit is tangible evidence of God’s favor!

You want kids who are not only favored by others, but also—and most importantly—favored by God. Generosity, forgiveness, worship, kindness, and much more make them likeable both to God and man.

Raise daughters with humble hearts like Mary’s who was highly favored of the Lord. Raise boys like Daniel and his three Hebrew friends who saw great miracles as a result of God’s favor. Do not teach them to seek just the results of favor—wonders and gifts—but teach them to seek the source—the divine presence everyday.

Noah walked with God and found his favor long before he got to be part of the big boat project.

_________

Read this to the kids:

Knowing What to Do

Rusty was up before breakfast when Dad walked into the living room.

“Good morning,” Dad said.

“Morning,” Rusty said, looking up from his Bible.

“What are you reading?” Dad asked.

Rusty frowned. “I just read the passage that says Samuel found favor with God and man. I think I am learning to find favor with people. But how do I find favor with God?”

“Well,” Dad muttered, pouring a cup of coffee, “I think you are finding favor with God.”

“How?”

“By sitting there reading His Word. You memorize the Bible, don’t you?”

“Yes.”

“And you pray, right?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Those are things God notices. He keeps a big book that He writes down the names of people and times and places when they think about Him or talk about Him.”

Rusty thought about that for a minute. “So Samuel had God’s favor because he thought about God a lot?”

“Sure. You know the Bible says Noah found favor with God. He was approved by God before he ever built the ark or did anything great. Noah just walked with God and found favor with others—they had nothing bad they could say about him.”

“Hmm,” Rusty muttered, turning back to finish reading his Bible.

Dad walked into his office and closed the door.

A few minutes later, Mom came out. “Morning, Rusty. What are you studying?”

“Dad’s been talking about finding favor with people. I was wanting to know how to find favor with God.”

“And what does it mean to you, to find God’s favor?” she asked. “Are you wanting lots of money or something?”

Rusty smiled and shook his head. “No, I just want to be sure I am making God happy. Samuel pleased God. I just want to be sure I am, too.”

“Well, think of it like your Dad. You have his favor.”

“Why?”

“Well, for many reasons. For one thing, he told me he was pretty impressed with how kind you were to Misty and fixed her bike.”

Rusty smiled and nodded.

“God notices how we treat other people, too. If you are rude to people, you lose their favor and God’s. Pretty much whatever you do to bring favor with others will also bring you favor with God.”

“So, how did Samuel know he had God’s favor?”

Mom thought for a minute. “Having God’s favor for him probably meant God spoke to him. God was very near to Samuel. You know you have God’s favor because he is close to you.”

Rusty stared at this Bible for a minute.

“Just like your Dad. He is favoring you by letting you help with the truck project.”

Rusty laughed. “That’s favor? That hurts! My arms are still sore from working on the truck.” Rusty’s mind flashed back to the last time they worked on the truck. Dad had decided to sand the truck down for priming and painting.

Rusty held Dad’s big sander which got really heavy after a while. He leaned against the fender of the truck and pushed with all his strength. The paint came off quickly. Some of the rust, however, didn’t want to come off. After grinding it for a minute, he moved on to another patch. Finally, he stopped, took off his dust mask, and wiped the sweat from his face.

“Are you getting the hang of it?” Dad asked.

“Yeah, but it looks easier when you do it,” Rusty said.

“You are doing fine,” Dad said. “Just go back over the edge of the fender again. You need to get off all the rust or it will come back after we paint it. See here and here?”

“Okay,” Rusty said, gearing back up for the job. He turned on the sander and started taking off more rust, even though his shoulders were aching. Dad helped guide his hands a couple times. When Rusty wasn’t sure where to grind next, he looked up at Dad to see where he was looking. He knew that was the next spot to sand over.

Rusty looked up from his Bible, reached back, and rubbed his neck and shoulders. “Mom, I am still sore from that. How can you say that is God’s favor?”

“Rusty, when God—or your dad—favor you, it does not mean they give you everything you want. God’s favor means He will be with us even through the hard times. God’s favor is His presence. Would you rather your dad just gave you a dollar or that he spent time with you on the weekend restoring a pickup truck?”

“I like working on the truck,” Rusty said.

“Mary was favored of God. She was very blessed, but she still had to go through the difficulty of birthing Jesus. She had to struggle with hurts through His ministry and the sorrow of watching Him die. Still, she was greatly blessed because God was with her through all of that. God’s favor may not always be what you expect. Samuel faced some very sad things in his life, but God was with him through it all. Does that help?”

“Yes. I think so.”

Dad had finished in his office and came out to put his coffee cup in the sink. “Okay, Rusty. I hope to get the primer coat on this weekend. Are you ready to go break a sweat?”

Rusty jumped up, “Yes, sir!”

_______


Now discuss it!

Rusty felt pain even though he had his dad’s favor. How can a person be favored of God yet still go through struggles and pain?

 

Dad did not do the job for Rusty. He worked with him and taught him. Rusty learned to watch Dad’s eyes to see if he was doing it right or what to do next. How is this like our walk with the Lord?

 

When have you felt the favor of God?

 

What kind of things can you do to get His favor?

Worship, give to the poor, pray, live right, seek peace, etc.

 

Do you think God is easy to please or hard? Why?

 

What good things come from the painful times in our lives?

 

If you are kind to the poor, how does God feel toward you?  What if you are mean and selfish?

 

If you pray and read your Bible, will you grow in favor with the Lord? What about if you memorize it?

 

How is the gift of the Holy Ghost evidence of God’s favor?

_________

Read God’s Word together:

Favor by Faith

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.

By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith.

It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.

It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.

All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.” Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.

It was by faith that Isaac promised blessings for the future to his sons, Jacob and Esau.

It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff.

It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt. He even commanded them to take his bones with them when they left.

It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command.

It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons.

It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow, they were all drowned.

It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.

It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death.

But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.

All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.

(Hebrews 11:1-40, NLT)

_________

Let’s talk about it!

What is necessary to please God, in Hebrews 11:6?

 

Why did God approve of Abel?

 

What good things happened to some who had faith?

 

What bad things happened to some who sought the blessing?

 

Does having God’s favor mean you will get what you ask for?

 

Why did some die, not yet receiving the promise God gave them? Answer from 11:40.

God did not complete the promise He gave to some because it would be fulfilled in all of us, one day. Many of us will die in faith expecting the promise and receive it in the resurrection.

 

What else do you do that brings you favor with the Lord?

 

Role play: Someone tells you how well you sing, play music, or do some skill. You feel like telling them more about how good your at it. Did God give you this talent so you could brag? How can you humbly accept praise?

 

You have the option of talking with people who love God at church or hanging out with the two boys who are always getting yelled at by their parents. Who will you spend time with? How will this bring you favor or not?

_________

Memorize it!

Proverbs 8:35-36

 

Blessed is the man that heareth me,

watching daily at my gates,

waiting at the posts of my doors.

For whoso findeth me findeth life,

and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

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