"Yet God was with him, [Joseph] and rescued him from all his afflictions, and granted him favor [grace] and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made him governor over Egypt and all his household." (Acts 7:9-10)
"The angel said to her [Mary], 'Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.'" (Luke 1:30)
"And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor [grace] with God and men." (Luke 2:52)
"[and the believers were] praising God and having favor [grace] with all the people." (Acts 2:47)All these people, and many more, found favor with God and man. Webster defines "favor" as, "friendly regard shown toward another especially by a superior; approving consideration or attention; gracious kindness; an act of such kindness; effort in one's behalf or interest." As we understand the nature of favor, it can help us understand the nature of God's grace towards us. For example, when God told Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9) we understand that God was speaking of his friendly regard for Paul; that in all Paul was to go through, God would be at his side and on his side. God would always be there to encourage him, guide him, and provide him what he needed. Even when, at times, he would not deserve the kindness of God, God's kindness would still be there.
We need to begin to see God's grace as His favor in our lives. Grace is not mystical, it is not mysterious. Grace is not some spiritual empowerment of embellishment. Grace is not a thing it's a who. When the favor of God is on our lives, nothing is impossible for us, nothing is withheld from us, and the fullness of the Kingdom of God is ours. Over the next several posts we will look at grace and how it applies to different areas of our lives and, most importantly, how we can grow in grace.