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“For he who finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the LORD.” Proverbs 8:35 (NASB)

How does one find favor with God?

To the Atheist or Agnostic the answer is simple. We are on our own. By sheer human effort we will make the world a better place because there is nothing other than what we see here. Mankind’s determination, education and provision (of money) will eventually see the eradication of violence, illness and death. Not a very promising future. Over the centuries we can see that man’s efforts to make life better have been fruitless, and, frankly, if this life is all we have to look forward to we are hopeless indeed. I love life. I love the beauty of this world, but my passion is for a better place.

Religion tells you that your best bet is to live morally. Morality, of course, is what you make it at the time. “I can live with my boyfriend/girlfriend as long as I’m faithful. God will understand. My parents went through divorce and I don’t want that to happen to me so I won’t marry.”

Statistics show, however, that rationalization like this about relationships doesn’t work. And morality that is dependent on our own standards leads to anarchy. Mankind has proven that he can not govern himself without standards that are ‘divinely ordained’.

Religion of another flavor will tell you that you have to jump through certain hoops to gain God’s favor and eternal life. Things like baptism or church attendance or community action or a whole list of other things are laid out for you. Follow the guidelines and you’ll have a chance. No thank you. I can play the lottery and have a chance at winning millions too. I’ll waste an occasional dollar on a lottery, but my eternal life is a little too important to play Russian roulette with, thank you.

Even ‘christianity’ (small c intentional) will tell you that accepting Jesus isn’t enough. To be a good Christian you need to follow a particular dogma, worship in a certain tradition, sing approved songs, read a certain version of the Bible… (The list is endless).

Bottom line is this. Man’s wisdom will lead you to frustration, confusion and anger. God’s wisdom leads to favor with God. So what’s the secret to finding favor with God? Jesus Christ. That’s it. Nothing more.

Let that sink in a moment. Having the Creator God look upon you with favor? Can there be anything more amazing than that? All your struggling, all your striving, all your activity to try to make you better, the world better or your neighbor better won’t bring you any closer to finding God’s favor. It’s not about activity, it’s about grace. Godly wisdom teaches us that relationship trumps activity every time. Don’t sell out to those who say you have to do something in addition to Jesus. He’s all you need.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I get so tired of trying to please others, please myself and please you. Help me to live with the wisdom that teaches me that all I need for your favor is Jesus. Thank you for that awesome truth. Amen.

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