Thankful: The Year of the Lord’s Favor

by Bethany

Highlighted Text: Luke 4:18-19
M’Cheyne Text: Amos 9; Luke 4

News: This Thanksgiving, as we consider recent events, some of us may be wondering, “Is God judging New York?” A few years ago, David Wilkerson declared that he had received an “urgent message” from the Lord: “An earth-shattering calamity is about to happen. It is going to be so frightening, we are all going to tremble – even the godliest among us” [1]. Then, a few weeks ago, Hurricane Sandy hit and, in its wake, a pastor in Maryland said that the storm was directly linked to Mayor Bloomberg’s $250,000 donation to a Maryland campaign defending the state’s same-sex marriage law [2]. Is this the judgment hand of God?

Favor: Jesus preached his first sermon from the scroll of Isaiah, quoting, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” [3]. Then he rolled up the scroll and sat down. Curiously, however, Jesus stopped mid-sentence. He did not quote the full verse. The words of Isaiah continued, “ … and the day of vengeance of our God” [4]. Why did Jesus not mention the judgment?

Salvation: The first coming of Jesus ushered in the year of the Lord’s favor – that is, a space of time for salvation, not judgment. Today, we live in this time. We may see the hand of the Lord in mighty and fearful ways, but we still live in a day of great grace and patience. In everything that happens, He says, “Return to me.” During this year of the Lord’s favor, the Lord is withholding His judgment and offering full amnesty to our rebellious hearts. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” [5].

Prayer: Lord, As we reflect on the events of this year, we see your hand at work and your voice, saying, “Return to me.” For today we live in the year of your favor and your work is not intended to judge us. Yet there will come a time when the day of salvation is over and the day of vengeance will come, as Isaiah prophesied. Therefore, let us turn back our hearts to you now. Amen.

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Audio: Bible Listening (8:48 minutes total)

Amos 9 (2:57 minutes) – here

Luke 4 (5:51 minutes) – here

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Footnotes

[1] David Wilkerson Devotionals. “An Urgent Message.” 7 March 2009.  |  [2]Hurricane Sandy Hit New York After Bloomberg Supported Gay Marriage, Pastor Luke Robinson Claims.” HuffPost Gay Voices. 5 November 2012.  |  [3] Luke 4:18-19  |  [4] Isaiah 61:1-2 ESV  |  [5] 2 Corinthians 6:2 ESV. See also John 12:47-48.

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2 Responses to “Thankful: The Year of the Lord’s Favor”

  1. These are good words from Scripture especially as the situation is heating up in the Middle East. Thankful that we have a God unlike any other who pleads with His people to repent!

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