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The Favour Of God (Vol 04) - Favour in GOD'S EYES - Part 2

Sunday English Service - 10 JUN 18

Transcript

We've been talking about the favor of God. Last week we started talking about favor in the eyes of God. Favor in the eyes of God. Everybody say eyes of God. That's a little different. It's not favor in the life, it’s favor in the eyes of God.It’s not favor in our life, both are related, connected. Favor in the eyes of God, what does that mean?It means the way God looks at us.What is in God's eyes? How does God see us? How does He look at us.He looks upon us with favor, with kindness, with love, with delight. He likes us.We get the word favorite also,in English. This is my favorite ice cream. God looks upon us like His favorite, if you will.And so, it's the way God looks upon us or sees us.We sawhow important thistruth is last week in the Old Testament, I showed youthatin every case, when a person is blessed, when there is favor in their life and circumstances, if you see behind it,they would have got favor in the eyes of God. What comes first? Is it favor in the life or favor in the eyes of God?It’s favor in the eyes of God. Only if you have favor in the eyes of God, you can experience favor in your life, in your circumstances today.Only if God looks upon you with favor, with kindness, with love,then only Hereveals or manifests His favor in our life.Give you many examples. And so the key question becomes, do you have favor in the eyes of God, for without that favor, we can forget about favor in our life. So the key question is, do you have favor in the eyes of God? And last week I began to show you, yes, you do have favor in the eyes of God. Yes, you already have favor in the eyes of God. In fact, last week, I was trying to show that every human being not just believers,but every human being on the face of this earth, every human beinghas favor in the eyes of God to a certain extent.

We saw howyour very birth into this world, your creation itself is proof of that. I mean, why did God create you if He didn't want you? He wanted you. He liked you. Helooked upon you with favor and that's why He brought you into this world. That's why He caused you to be born into this world. He doesn't do things without a purpose.And so your very creation, the fact that you are born and living today is proof enough that you have already received some kind of favor in His eyes. But more than that, last week, I ended with this, that not creation but even more than that,God's plan of redemption.When you consider that, there you will clearly see that every single human being already has a certain amount of favor in His eyes, favor in His eyes,becauseGod's plan of redemption, what is the plan? God wanted to redeem us, He came up with a plan, what kind of plan?Not a distance, like we have distance education, this is not a distance redemption planwhere God redeems us from a distance.No, what He did is,He left His heavenly abode and glory and He came down to earth. He lay aside His glory and He became a man,the Bible says.In fact, He was born as a baby in a manger and grew up and like us, facing challenges like us, and then in the end, He suffered and died and shed His blood and gave His life for us.Who?The creator of the world did this for us. Almighty God did this for us, the second person of the Trinity came and did all this. The first person of the Trinity planned it and the third person of the Trinity is today executing or applying the benefits of this redemption today to us.

So the plan of redemption, when you look at it the way God is personally involved in this redemption, He doesn'tjust send an angel to redeem us. He comes Himself.That shows that He considers you important. He considers every human being as special.He considers this earth, the human beings on this earth, everyone as important enough for Him to come down. He gave His life so that whosoeverbelieveth on Him should not perish but have eternal life. That's what we saw last week. But the thing is, not everybody believes on Him. He gave His life but everybody doesn't believe on Him.There are some who believe and some who don't. Now, what happens to the ones who believe?That's what we're going to talk about today.

Today, I want to continue thisfavor in the eyes of God part two. This is where we look at how believers have an even more special kind of favor in the eyes of God.Yes, everybody has favor in one sense, in one way, to a certain extent, but believers have more favor in God's eyes. Believers are more special in God's eyes. Unbelievers may not like the sound of that, butsorry, this is the truth of the Scriptures.Believers have more favor in the eyes of God. I want to show you this.This kind of teaching is all over the Bible in so many different ways. This is a start but I'm going to select a fewconcepts and justlook at that. Let's begin with the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, this truth comes out very beautifully because God's people in the Old Testamentare... it's very clear in many passages, God says how important they are to Him. There are many nations in this world but God says, God's people are very important in the Old Testament.Who's God's people?Who are God's people? It's the nation of Israel, right? If I say now, who are God's people, it's you and me it’s the church, it’s the body of Christ, the universal Body of Christ, and so on.But in the Old Testament, God's people were confined to Israel, mainly.There are exceptions, but mainly it was the nation of Israel and you will see again and again in the Old Testament that God looks upon Israel in a special way.With special favor in His eyes. Let's go to Isaiah chapter 43.

Isaiah chapter 43 and verse 4. So we're going to look at Israel because this relates to us.It has to do with us, our status today. I'll show you that. Remember why we are looking at it because you know we are interested in favor in our life but this is what brings favor in our life.Do we have favor in God's eyes? We need to and it's not enough if you have the favor you got to know that you have the favor. It’s not enough to have the money in the bank. You got to know you have the money in the bank. It’s not enough to know, it's important know how much.That's what we're doing, we’re trying to figure outdo we have favor in God's eyes? How much favor do we have in God's eyes? How much can I count on God to help me in my current situation?Depends on how much favor I have in God's eyes. Isaiah 43 verse 4.How much favor did Israel have in God's eyes?

Isaiah 43 verse 4,Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.Look at that what He says, because you are precious.Who's speaking? God is speaking.He's speaking to the people of Israel, the nation of Israel. He says, “You Israel, are precious in my eyes and honored and I love you and I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.” If you look at the previous verse, it talks about how God is ready to give Egypt and other nations as a ransom to redeem Israel.He’s saying, “I'm ready to give other nations to redeem you.” So interesting scenario. I mean, we have a lot of nations. Egypt is there other, nations are there, Israel is there, but who is precious in God's eyes? Israel has a very special place in God's eyes. And God says I'm willing to give other nations to redeem you.

Zachariah chapter 2 and verse 8.We know this verse probably.For thus says the Lord of hosts, after His glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye. Everybody's heard of this last phrase, right? For he who touches you touches the apple of His... Who's speaking again?It's God speaking through an angel. He sends a message through an angel to the prophet Zachariah to give to the people of Israel. He says, Israelites are at this point struggling from foreign enemies and so on. And so he says, “He who touches you touches the apple of His...” Apple of eye is an expression. Apple refers to the pupil really.The central black portion of our eye.The most valuable, most delicate portion that we have to guard at all costs.Anybody sticks their finger in front of our eye, our eyewill automatically close.We have a reflex action. God has created us like that to protect that pupil no matter what.So it's a very precious part of our body and so God when He says,“It’s the apple of my eye,” it's like saying,“When you touch Israel you're touching something that is very precious to me. You're touching me.Not just me, something very precious to me.This is how precious Israel is for me.This is how important Israel is for me.”So he's sending this message to the Israelites to encourage them and say,“These enemies, they have touched you,but they've done a wrong thing because he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.” The next verse, look at this.“Behold I will shake my hand over them and they shall become plunder for those who served them.”He’s saying, I'll shake my hand, just with the shake of a hand they will become plunder to you.Actually what is happening here is Israelites are serving, they have become like slaves to their enemies. God is telling theIsraelites,“I'm going to save you, I’m going to redeem you, bring you out of this and your enemies will serve you. I'm going to reverse the whole scenario.” Why?Notice this now, see we will focus on the action.Oh God shaking the hand, but why?Because they are precious in His eyes.That's what we got to note.That that's the fountain, that's where it's all coming from.The favor in the eyes, they are so important to God. They’re like apple of His eye.

Psalm 44 and verse 3. Israel had some special favor in God's eyes.Look at this.Says, for not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm save them, but your right hand and your right arm, in the light of your face, for you delighted in them.The King James says for you favored them. The Israelites entered the promised land eventually. How did they enter? How did they conquer,how did they win the land.This verse says, not by their own sword. It was not their own great military mightor strategy, nor did their own arm save them but your right hand and yourarm, and then watch this, the light of your face for you delighted in them.The light of your face what it actually means is, the face shining on them.Your face shining on them literally.There are some verses in the Bible where it says, May the Lord bless thee, keep thee. May the Lord make His face to shine upon thee.That's the same kind of expression here.In other words God can either look away from us or He can look upon us and when He looks upon us He can be angry or He can smile at us,He can make His face to shine upon us and what it says inthis verse is, the Israelites won the land because the Lord looked upon them and smiled upon them, shinedHis light upon them.He delighted in them.Meaning, He saw the people Israel like His favorite.He looked at them, smiled. The light of His face fell on them and that saved them.

I want you to notice what is behindtheir winning the land, it's not their arm, it's the armof God. But behind the arm of God is the face of God.It’s the way He looked upon the people of Israel.He delighted in them, you see that line there,He delighted in them. How did they win the land?He delighted in them.The light of God's face shone upon them. Look at the previous verse in same Psalm.Previous verse talks about how He prefers Israel, how He gives special treatment for Israel.Verse 2,you with your own hand drove out the nations, but them, that is Israel,you planted, you afflicted the peoples, but them, speaking of Israel,you set free.See how there is a clear distinction.You drove out the nations but Israel you planted, you afflicted the peoples but Israel youset free.Throughout the Old Testament you will see this, Israel is given special treatment.Why?They are looked upon with special favor by God. They've got special favor inHis eyes. When you see to what extent this is true, you'll be amazed.

I don't know if you remember what, the thing that came to my mind is Israel in the land of Egypt. Remember when they were slaves in that land and when God delivered them out of there,He sent 10 plagues to Egypt, right? Those 10 plagues, try to remember back to your Sunday school days. The 10 plagues affected only Egyptians. You remember that?The 10 plagues affected only the Egyptians.It did not affect the people of Israel. I want you to see that. Go to Exodus chapter 8 verse 22, because we're talking about special favor.There are a lot of nations, Israel is one nation, in fact a small, puny nation.But see how much differencethere is in the treatment when God treats Israel versus how He treats the other nations.How much favor Israel has in the eyes of God. Exodus chapter 8 verse 22,it's talking about one plague that God is sending here upon the Egyptians.The Egyptians were a very hardened, they were led by a very hardened Pharaoh, so unless the plagues came he would not let them go. So God is sending… this plague is about flies. Flies are going to fill the land.Can you imagine that?Flies.One fly upsets me, if they fill the land, my goodness.

Exodus 8:22 But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. Look at what He says.He's saying flies are going to come fill the land of Egypt but I will set apart the land of Goshen where my people dwell. Israelites are there, they are in fact slaves, they’re in fact suffering, they're being persecuted there, they’re in one corner there, Goshen. God is saying,“This plague will not affect them. I will set apart that land where my people dwell.”Watch verse 23.Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. Puts a division.The wayHe talks itself is interesting. I’ll put a division between my people, that is Israel, and your people.The message is going to Pharaoh. He’s saying Pharaoh, I'll make a division, a clear distinction, between my people, Israelites, and your people, the Egyptians. The next plagues comes in Exodus chapter 9.Look at chapter 9 verse 4.This is the plague that comes to the animals. Even when animalswere affected, Egyptians’ animals only were affected. Did you know that? Israelites’ animals were not affected.My friend, this is the word of God.This is not some kattukathai, it's not some fancy fable.

Exodus 9:4 look at what it says. So this is talking about severe sickness coming upon animals. That's the plague here. But look what God says in verse four. But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt.There'll be a difference God says, so that nothing of all that belongs to the people of Israel shall die.In verse six if you say the plague comes and all the lifestock of the Egyptians died, but not one of the livestock of the people of Israel died.The next plague comes hailstones.Hail. I mean big, big stones rained on all of Egypt, destroyed every plant, every tree we’re told, I'm not going to read it but it's in verse 25. Butwhere the Israelites were no hail, no hailstones. The next plague darkness. Three days the land of Egypt was filled with darkness. Now darkness today if it comes it's not going to affect us that much, we have electricity. Have you still turn on the switch, have the light and adjust and go away.But imagine threedays without sunlight those days.There's no current, no electricity, no battery power, nothing.No generator. We're talking about those kind of days. Three days, pitch darkness we’re told. The land of Egypt was filled with pitch darknessbut where the Israelites were right there in one cornerthey had light.That's what it says.You read your Bible in chapter 10 that's what it says. Butlet me go to the last plague where the firstborndie.That's in Exodus chapter 11 verse 4. This is the last plague after this only Pharaoh says to the people of Israel,“Okay, fine go.” Chapter 11 verse 4. Moses said,“Thus says the Lord:‘About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on the throne, even to the firstborn ofthe slave girl who is behind the handmill, all the first one of the cattle even.Verse 6, There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt such as there has never been nor ever will be again.

All the firstborn from the Pharaoh’s first born to the slave’s first born to the animals’ firstborn, everyone will die, God is saying.And there'll be such a cry like there has never been.There will be weeping, wailing aloud and everybody’ll hear it. Look at verse 7.But not a dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.Even the dog won’t make a sound, He’s saying.In Egypt, the whole nation will be wailing, in Israel, where Israelites are, even a dog won’t make a sound because its firstborn will not die. It will not be upset, it will be happy.The dog of the Israelites also will be... That's the meaning there.Nota dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast.Why is He doing all this? Look at those words.So that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. Why am I reading all this?Why am I talking about all this?Because it applies to us. Because it applies to us.This is Israel in the Old Testament. That means this is God's people in the Old Testament. Today we are also God's people.Today we are also God's people. It applies to us also. God wants to make a distinction between us and unbelievers who are living all around us. God wants to make the distinction.Sometimes we wish,“God I just want to live a silent quiet life so that nobody notices me much and I'll just silently pass by.”God is saying, “No, no.So that you may know that I make a distinction.” He’s saying, “No, no, not the silent business. I want to show there's a difference between you and him.”

This applies to us.Some people say,“This is Israel.You're talking about Israel brother,how can we ever think we can be like that?” Well, Galatians 3:29.The New Testament clearly teachesthat believers in Jesus Christ have been added to the Israel group.It teaches that we have been grafted into the vine that is Israel.In Romans 11 if you read it’s very clearly there, but let's read Galatians 3:29. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham's offspring. So what people would say is,passages like this, “Yeah, wonderful what happened to Israel, but it cannot happen to us brother.” We are the church, we are believers. The New Testament… it's not going to happen to us.Can’t expect things like this to happen in our life. We are not Israel.”Paul says, if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham's offspring. Now who is Israel, let me ask you?They are Abraham's offspring. Israel is nothing but the descendants of Abraham. Paul is saying herewriting to the Galatians, who are Gentiles mainly,he's telling them,“If you are Christ’s then you are Abraham's...” He’s saying if you belong to Christ then you also belong to Abraham’s line.

Christ came in the line of Abraham.He was actually a Jew.He was a true Israelite, Jesus. We forget that sometimes you think He was a Tamilian or something you know we like to make Jesus whatever we are.But Jesus was a Jew.And so whoever puts their faith in Jesus, once you get attached to Jesus, connected to Jesus, you are also considered to be Abraham’s offspring. That’s why the blessing of Abraham can come upon us. The Bible says in the same chapter if you go back a few verses, verse 13 and 14 Paul says, Christ became a curse for us.Why? So that the blessing of Abraham might come upon us who are Gentiles. Sowe are living today, we are not Jews physically, ethnically.But Paul says, if you belong to Christ you are also Abraham’s offspring, that's the way it is. Done. You belong in that same Israel group. Romans 2:28. Watch this, Romans chapter 2 verse 28. This is an important verse Romans 2:28 A man is not a Jew, if he is only one outwardly. A man is not a Jew, if he is only one outwardly, not a circumcision, merely outward and physical. Now imagine how the Jews would have felt reading this, my goodness. They thought they were really special.Paul is saying you are not a Jew, if you're only outwardly a Jew, and circumcision is not merely outward and physical just this read the continuation.He says,“No man is a Jew if he is one inwardly. You are inward Jews. I'm a Jew inwardly, and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit not by the writtencode. Circumcision is for the heart. True circumcision of the heart… and it's done by the Holy Spirit.Every believer,my friend is an inward Jew and they have had a heart circumcision performed by the Holy Spirit Himself.

Many verses like this. Paul in the end of the book of Galatians in the last two, three, four verses,he calls Gentiles as Israel of God.Very interesting, I'm not going to read it but let me show you another verse.1Peter 2:9I'm not trying to take anything away from Israel. I knowthey're very special. They're even special today also.All I'm saying is God has added us to that group. That's all I'm saying. I’m not saying anything else. We also now belong with them.We are also special. That's what I'm saying. 1 Peter chapter 2 and verse 9.Peter describes believers.He's writing to the church which is made up of Jew and Gentile believers and he describes the believers.Look at the way he describes them. 1 Peter 2:9, But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Look at those descriptions. Chosen generation. Who's that?You. Chosen. Some translations say chosen race even, chosen generation, a royal priesthood. Who's that?That's you. You are a royal priest. You're a royal priest.Believers sometimes like to call themselves as nothing but a dust and worm and I am nothing brother. I'm nothing brother. That's the way they talk. They think it's very humblingand they're very humble with that kind of talk.But Peter is writing to believers and he’s saying, you are a chosen generation, you are a royal priest.That means a kingly priest, a priest that is serving a king, something like that. A holy nation. His own special people. That's what the New King James says, His own special people.The ESV says, a people for His own possession.

Chennai has a lot of lands, but you may have some own land somewhere.You have an own land, own piece of land. Now, if you have an own piece of land, you will take good care of that own piece, right? Your piece, you don't care about the other pieces that much. Yeah, you like Chennai, you like India, but your piece of land in this land is very special and important to you. Peter says believers are a people for His own possession,God's own possession. It's like God's own piece of land, believers are like that. Peter’s saying, how wonderfully he describes the believers.Chosen generation, royal priesthood, holy nation, His own special people.Say those words with me.Chosen generation,a royal priest, a holy nation,His own special people. You feel good saying that.Say it 10 times you will feel good. Where do you think Peter got this wonderful description? I mean, what a wonderful description of believers, of the church. Peter is from a fisherman background.How did he get this kind of amazing description.He took it right out of the Old Testament. He took it right out of the Old Testament.In the Old Testament again and again the people of Israel are described in these terms, and Peter takes it right out of there, speaks to the Gentile and Jewish church, believers in Jesus Christ and he says,“Then you are that, they were chosen generation, royal priest, holy nation, but now you also are chosen generation, royal priest, a holy nation.

Let me just show you one verse where you can see this.I’ll compare 1 Peter 2:9 with an Old Testament scripture.You will seeclearly that Peter just took it right out of there. There are many verses but I'll just show you the main one. Exodus 19 verse 5 and 6.Do you remember the context here? The people of Israel have come out of Egypt, seen mighty signs and wonders, gone through the Red Sea, ate manna from heaven, drank water from the rock, they come to the foot of Mount Sinai and God speaks these words to them in Exodus chapter 19 verse 5.Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice, keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasureto me.The special treasure matches with the special people in 1 Peter 2:9.And verse 6,And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests.That matches this royal priesthood. You can translate it either way.Royal priesthood or kingdom of priests.You will be a holy nation, exactly the same thing.The other descriptor which is His own special people comes from Isaiah 43:20 they say, my people, my chosen that's where... In the English it's not an exact matchbut in Peter’s Greek Old Testament,it's an exact match. In Peter’s Bible, He was using the Greek translation of the Old Testamentand in that it was an exact match they say.And he pulled it right out of there, he had no hesitation in calling Gentile believers, what only Jewish people were called in the Old Testament.Think about it. No hesitation. Peter is a Jew, he knows very wellthe special place that Israel had and yet he boldly says, “You are this,” to Gentile believers.

Why am I saying all this?All this I'm saying to show,whatever happened to Israel applies to us. It may not apply exactly in the same way but it applies to us.It applies to us, my friend. It applies today. The Lord wants to make a distinction between believers and unbelievers. Like I said, unbelievers may not like that too much. I'm speaking mainly to believers. And if you are an unbeliever, become a believer quickly. The Lord wants to make a distinction.This is a clear teaching of the Bible. In the Old Testament, He purposely makes a distinction in every age Abraham, Isaac… nobody's getting water, Isaacdigs, water comes over there.Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, everybody, everywhereGod keeps making this distinction between Israelites and the others. And I believe because the New Testament says we have been joined with them that God wants to do the same thing with us today.

Same thing with us today. That means what?There are many things happening out in the world. It doesn't have to affect us. Let me say that, again. Doesn't have to affect you, my friend. Very difficult to get a job, but you can get a job.That's where He wants to show the distinction. Very difficult to get the college admission seat,but you can get it. God wants to make the distinction. Very difficult to get a promotion in this place with these kind of bosses and these kind of people but God wants to make a distinction. He wants you to have that promotion that nobody thinks can be got. He wants you to get it my friend. That deliverance that, “No” everybody says,“Impossible. It is not possible in this kind of world.” God wants to make a distinction. God wants to show.He wants to show in avery obvious way, that's why He did it like that in Egypt. He wants to just, put it in the face of everybody, like so obvious,you can't miss it. And so obvious, you can’t keep quiet. You will open your mouth and say, “How did that happen? How unfair?” I'm sure some people looked at the way Israel was treated and say, “How unfair. How partial.” Why did God do that way? Well,I'm not going to give a reason today's message because that is a separate message. Okay, I can't go off into that. There are reasons but today's message is about God makes a distinction and believers have special favor in the eyes of God. I can't be talking about every subject in every message. Today, this is the focus. We stick to it.

The thing is, forget about why God wants to do it. If you're a believer, be glad He does it.You can benefit from this if you believe in it. The Jews have a great sense that they are special in the eyes of God. Last week, I showed you Moses after Israelites had committed such a great sin,he stands there with all boldness to say, “God, don't you know we are special from other nations and how will everybody know we are special?” He prays like that. Look at the confidence he has in the way Godsees Israel. Moses knows how God seesIsrael. You look at David, 1st Chronicles chapter 17 verse 20, all the great Jewish patriarchs knew about this. They were aware of this.They didn't go around saying,“I'm nothing but our dust and a worm. I'm nothing.” 1 Chronicles chapter 17verse 20, David is speaking here, he says, There is none like you,O Lord, there is no God besides you according to all that we have heard with our ears. He’s saying, “God, there is nobody like you. You are in a class by yourself.” Verse 21, and who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be His people.He’s saying,“There is none like You,” and then he’s saying,“There is none like your people also.”He’s saying,“You are special and we are also... because we got connected with you.”If you get connected with the special God you also become special, that's the way it is.You get connected with the Holy God you also becomeholy. And so Abraham thought like this,he goes boldly fighting 4 kings with 318 men. How do you think he went like that?He believed he was special in God's eyes, God will give him the victory, that's all. Isaac, I told you he dug the well.He didn't have drilling machine, nothing. He dug the well because he was confident that he is special.Even though nobody is getting water, nobody wherever they're diggingthey're not getting any water but he believes if he digs, special treatment.

Jacob was like that, Joseph was like that. Joseph is amazing case. But Josephkeeps his hope alive believing that somedaythere'll be a deliverance for him. Moses was like that, Joshua was like that, David was like that, Solomon was like that.You just keep going down the line the prophet Zachariah, the prophet Isaiah, the prophet Jeremiah, allof these guys knew how special God looked upon them, They knew it.Jews have a great sense of self confidence that comes from,“We are God's chosen people,” that kind of thinking. Christian sometimes take the opposite approach. I am nothing brother. Total opposite. You will never find a Jew talking like that. Jews don't speak like that.They don't act like that.No, my friend.Christians do that way because they think it's humility but humility is agreeing with God.Isn't that humility? Humility is agreeing with your superior, who is God. And if God says, “Eat this,” to Peter, what is humility, Peter, eat it, that's all. If he eats, that's humility. If he says, “I don't want it.” That's not humility. God showed unclean things to Peter and said, “Eat it.” The right thing for Peter to do is obey and eat and be humble.If God says you are special, the humble thing to do is,“God I agree with you.” They say it is good to be Aamaa saamito God. You know, like just say, “Yes, God,” to whatever He says just say, “Yes, God,” that's it.You don't have to be a sidekick to everybody but you can be a sidekick to God. Whatever He says just nod your head,“Yes, I believe it.”

So if He says, “You are special,” you are special. That's a done deal.And soChristians, I think if we can get a sense of that understanding of ourselves, who we are in the eyes of God, who we are in the eyes of God, we are special. We’re God's people. We are God's chosen people. We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own special people, if we can get that sense, if that truth pervades into us, my friend, I believe you will start seeing manifestations on the outside.Even today, Jews outperform everybody almost in everything. It's unbelievable almost. I was looking at their accomplishments. The Jewish population today is only 0.2%. How much? 0.2%of the world only is Jewish.Not even 1%. Butyou look at their accomplishments in the world chess championships 54% of the winners are Jews. In the Nobel Prizewinners list, Nobel Prizes have been given for last more than hundred years,they have won more than 20% of the Nobel prizes. Their population is only 0.2%. They were the ones who, the Jew only found the first polio vaccine. Jew only brought about the modernidea of banking, banking institution, that banks, the modern banks, we have, the idea came from Jews. The departmental store idea, you go to a department store, Jews came up with that idea. The first cancer virus, they say, discovered by Jews.Last week, I told about the speed of light, they say that was discovered by Galileo, who was a Jew.Who's the most brilliant person we think of, most intelligent guy ever? We think of Albert Einstein. He was a Jew. He was a Jew. I could go on and on.

In America, Jews makeup 2% of the population, only 2% of America is Jews.But 20% of the Ivy League top universities are filled with Jewish students. Most of the professors, head of the departments are Jews. More than 30% of the Kennedy Center awards, that is for arts and music is given to Jewish people. 54% of the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction is given to Jews, in the history of the Pulitzer Prize.You just go on and on. I mean, in the history you have seen, there have been single families who have linked to nations, the blessing you see in Deuteronomy 28, you go read the Wikipedia, just one family it seems couple of hundred years back, they lent to an entire nation. If the nation wants to go to war, they go to one family and they get the money. People try to explain how such a small people,0.2%, how are they winning 20% of the Nobel prizes? It’s a statistical anomaly, how's that possible?They say something, this and that, some explanation they offer. I'll tell you the explanation. They got special favor in the eyes of God. Even some Jews don't get this but the sharp Jews, the ones you see in the Bible, the great ones, Abraham, Moses, David, Zachariah, they all got this, they all got this.

Now my question is, do you think some things like that can happen for us? That's where the faith comes in, doesn't it?It's easy to be amazed at the Jew but the New Testament teachesGod has made us now one of them.God has made us one of them.He has just grafted us in to that group.That blessed group.That Abraham's descendants group.You are a son and daughter of Abraham and the blessing of Abraham belongs upon you. This is all the blessing of Abraham only working and it can work in your life, my friend. It can work in your surrounding, it can work in your school, in your college, it can make you outperform everybody else like Daniel who outperformed everybody 10 times, we are told. It can make you do that. You believe.You believe how special you are in the eyes of God. You believe what happened to them can happen. Paul says, what happened to them happened as examples or typesin 1 Corinthians chapter 10 and verse 6 and 11. He tells us clearly, I don't have the time to read, you go read. What happened to the people of Israel happened as an example for us,so that we may learn from them. Don't do the mistakes they did, do the right things they did.Get the blessing they got, experience the promise they experienced.

Everything that happened to them is for us to see and learn and implement in our lives. Begin to believe it, my friend. In your workplace, God will make you stand out. In your neighborhood, God will make you stand out.Water will come in your home. Like I said, we also need the water.People thought that is an old need, olden days need. No, no. It’s a very essential need today. You begin to believe these things, expect these things and live life expecting that, my friend. I said,tomorrow when you go, you go expecting something like this will happen.That is faith. What are you doing? You're saying,“God I believe you see me as special, you want me to stand out. Do it.Do it. I'm ready to receive it.” You go with that attitude. See what happens, my friend.But people say,“Well, brother, we are just Christians, believers,” as though the New Testamentmakes us less special. Now listen to this.What people think is, Israel is more special, in the New Testament believers are less special.Wrong, absolutely wrong.In the New Testament actually it goes up.The believers are more special. Let me say in what way.You see in the Old Testament they are God's people, they're God's nation. Israelis God's people, God's nation. You come to the New Testament, that great revelation of the New Testament is what?That God is our Father and we are His children. Now, let me ask you, nation or family,which one is better? Which one is us closer? Which one is more special?People or children?

In the Old Testament, Israel was God's people, God's nation. In the New Testament believers are God's family, God's children. Jesus comes on the scene. To the Jews, Jesus ministers and the Jews are shocked by the way Jesus prays and addresses God. He comes on the scene and He prays to God saying, “My Father,my father,” and the Jews have never heard anything like it. I mean, they've heard people address God as creator, redeemer,creator of the ends of the earth. Holy One of Israel, the Holy God, Almighty God, El Shaddai, Jehovah,Rapha, they’ve heard allthese names. God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They have a great tradition.It's the Jews were talking about, and Jesus comes in the midst of them. He goes to the tomb of Lazarus. Lazarus is dead over there. He lifts up His eyes to heaven and He says, “My Father, I thank you that you heard me,”Everybody is looking,“What?My father.Nobody calls God as Father. Yes, we are close to God, but not that close.”And then He says, in the next line, John 11:41-42,in the tomb of Lazarus, He’s speaking,I know that you always hear me, but I say this because of these people who are standing here.I mean, who prays like that, if somebody prayed like that today we’ll say, “What a proud guy?” Jesus prayed like that.They were shocked.They were shocked. He goes into the temple in John chapter 2 verse 16, and He sees the all the nonsense happening in the temple. They made it a place of trade and business. And He says, “Don'tmake my father's house into a place of trade.” He called the temple as His father's house. Nobody has called it. So many people have come to the temple, they always said, “This is the temple of Almighty God. This is where Jehovah God resides. His presence is there. Jesus comes to that same temple, He says, “This is my father's house.” Jews, many of them got shocked. They were amazed,“What?Who does this guy think He is?”But some of them got very upset. They got very angry.

John chapter 5 verse 18, I don't know time to read it.John chapter 5verse 18, says they wanted to killHim and one of the reasons wasbecause He called God as His father, making Himself equal.They thought calling God His father brought it too much to equal relationship. Fatherand children. Yes, there were some verses in the Old Testament describing God as father, but the Israelites never took it seriously enough.Never thought about, never had the guts to call God as Father, ever.And here is Jesus left and right going, they want to kill Him for it. And then on top of all this, what is even more shocking is the disciples look at all this,they come to Jesus. They can see this man is praying very differently. Nobody ever prayed like Him. You can learn a lot by the way a man prays. They come to Him and said,“Jesus, teach us to pray. Lord, teach us topray.” That is a good prayer, my friend.Good prayer is what?Teach me to pray, Lord.That itself is a good prayer. When you live your life, you need to grow in the way you pray. It needs to become better, right?

It’s okay not to know anything but you need to grow in that area. And so the disciples come, they want to grow. They want to know how to pray like Jesus. The effective prayer, meaningful prayers, “Lord, teach us to pray.”What did Jesus say, “Pray in thismanner.Our Father in heaven.”Our Father in...He could have said right there. Listen, I'm calling God as father but don't you dare do that. Now, I'm different,you're different. I’ll call Him as father, you call Him like the other Jews. No, He didn't say that. He said, “Pray in this manner.”Commandment, He gave a command and He said, “Pray like me, our father.” I mean, this was even more shocking to the people.But today, it's become so common for Christians. We pray every prayer, we say, “Heavenly Father,”that’s how we begin. So we use it again and again. It's become so common to the extent where people out in the world also, this is a trend now. Outsidebelievers, some people are addressing God as father. And some people even say, “What is this thing? You say this is only special for believers?” Yes,God as Father is special for believers.Some people will say, “No, no, God is the father of us all.He’s the father of all human beings. In fact, all creation.He created everybody, everything. So He's the father of...” Yeah, I agree that in one sense, He's like a father, in the sense that He is the one who gave life to us, everyone, right? All human beings, believers,unbelievers, everyone. So in that sense, He's like a father.But the New Testament almost never uses the word father for God in that way.When it says Godis father, it uses it to describe a very special relationship, very special relationship.

In fact, the only one who had that special relationship in the beginning was Jesus. Who was Jesus? He came on the scene and He described Himself as the Son, the Son.The Son means there is a father behind Himautomatically. And so who is God? The first thing that Jesus reveals about God is what? God is my Father. Who is God? God is the father of Jesus.God is the father of... that's why the New Testament in so many places, when it begins, epistles like 1 Peter 1:3,Ephesians 1:3, the way it says, it is what? Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus. How does it describe Him? Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord, because only Jesus had this very unique, special relationship with God. God was first only the father for Jesus. Nobody had that kind of unique, close relationship with God. But then what did Jesus do? He brought us into that relationship. The moment we believed on Jesus, what did He do? He brought us into that unique relationship, which Healone enjoyed with the Father. Jesus brought us in, my friend.We didn't have to do anything. All we did is simply we believed in His name. We believed in Jesus. Only Jesus canbring you into this relationship with God. Only Jesus can do this.

Listen carefully now because all kinds of people may be watching. You can learn a lot about God without Jesus.The Jews know a lot about God, without Jesus. Old Testament, other religions, other faiths, they know a lot about God. It’s not that they don't know anything. They can learn many things, even creation you can learn about God. But you can never learn one thing about God. You can never experience God in one particular way. You know what that way is?You can never experience Him as your father without Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through...” That's a very special relationship, which only Jesus can take you into that kind of relationship.He takes you into their relationship. Once you get in Christ, you enjoy God as Father.And so the question is, do you know God as Father?Not,do you know many things about God? A lot of people know many things about God. In fact, a lot of people try to worship God also. In fact, a lot of people have some experiences. But do you have this kind of relationship with God,where you know Him as your Father, where you can call Him as your father boldly, where you can go to Him as your father? Do you know God in this way, my friend?If you don't know right now, you can believe in Jesus, and right now enter into that relationship with God. Because Jesus gives us the right to become children of God.

Go to John 1:12. That's what it says. Jesus gives us the right to become children of God.John 1:12,how did we become children of God? Did we stand upside down? Did we do a lot of good works?Did we?I don't know, people do all kinds of things to get some favor from God. What did we ever do to become children of God?John 1:12 gives us the answer.But to all who did receive Him who believed in His name, He gave the right to become...He’s talking about Jesus here.To all who did receive Jesus, whobelieved in the name of Jesus,He gave the right to become... Did you receive Him? Have you received Him today? Have you believed in the name of Jesus? Have you believed in what Jesus did for you?If you have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior this verse says, to allwho received Him.Look at this, to all who received Him, Jesus gave the right to become children of God. Who gave us the right to become children of God. On what basis can we boldly say, “I am a child of God”? Who gave us that right? Jesus gave it.Nobody can take it back. Jesus gave it.He whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Jesusbrought us into the family of God by His great work.My friend, this may seem like a basic truth that God is our father, and we are His children but it's a very powerful truth. It's a very powerful truth. I'm not here to put something very novel or new before you. I am putting before you an old truth.God is your father, and you are His children.

You know how much power there is an old truth?You know, that other old truth? Jesus is alive. That's an old truth, that's a 2000 year old truth. You know how powerful that is? Jesus is alive, that resurrection power is greater than any other power. So don't underestimate old truths. Look at 1 John 3:1. Some people may think, “Well, we know this brother. God is our father. We are His children. Yeah. What is new about this? Why are you sharing this Sunday school lesson with us?”1 John 3 verse 1. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God.John is writing to believers,they know God is father and they are children. They know that.But John is saying, See, the word is behold in the old translations. Behold. Behold means, stop,look, see,consider. Considerwhat? What kind of lovethe Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. Believers may say,“John, we know this.We are called children of God.What's the big deal?” John is saying, “No, no. Stop, look, consider again, don't leave it, meditate on it.The very fact that you're called a child of God shows how much God loves you. What kind of love.Think about it,” he’s saying. So my friend, let me ask you. You may know God as your father. You may know you're His child but do you really think of God as your father? Do you call God as Father?

In fact, the New Testament says we can call Him as Abba, which is like a term of affection. Like in Tamil, we say Appa, right?Or in English we say, Daddyor Dad. It's a more affectionate term than father. Nobody looks at their father and say, “Father,”they say“Daddy,” right?Paul says in Romans 8, you go read it, that the Holy Spirit causes us to cry out saying Abba father. Literally Daddy, Father. If you want to present a modern day translation there. That is without hesitation, you can go to God as Father. So let me ask you, my friend,you probably if you're a Christian, you call God as father in your prayer. But the question is, do you really go to the Father? Do you really approach Him as your father?Many people they say, “Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus,” like a formula. And then that's it, gone.  They say, “Heavenly Father, I come to you,”but then in the rest of the prayer, you will see they have not come to Him.They have actually gone to a strict boss,they've gone to somebody who doesn't really care for them. They have gone to somebody who they are not convinced really is on their side. They say, “Father, I come to you,”but then in the prayer, you realize they've gone ended up somewhere else.

It's important when you pray, when you go to God to really mean it. Father, He's my father. He's my dad. That kind of approach. And not just that, but He's our good father. Do you approach Him as your good father? I say that because sometimes when you say the word father, many people get the wrong picture because there are wrong kinds of fathers out there in the world. There are irresponsible fathers, there are, don't care fathers.They don't care about their children that much.There are the uncaring, unloving fathers. There are plain bad, wicked even fathers, sometimes.And so if you're from that kind of backgroundwhen I say the word Father, it'll be like horrorword.No, no, my friend. I want to say if you've had a bad experience with father, something like that, I want to say the Heavenly Father is totally opposite to that. Totally opposite. Don't compare Him to that. Look in the word. Get into the word. Find out what He's like. He's a good father. He's a good father. There is nobody butHim. Like the level of goodness nobody can match. That's why Jesus said,“Nobody but youare good.” He's a good father. Everybody say good father. When you go in prayer, do you approach Him like He's your good father?When you go in prayer do you go like a child goes to its father?Have you seen small children go to their father?They go boldly. Everybody say boldly. They don't care who their father is.They don't get what He's doing. They just go rightroyally. They want something, they ask and they try to...

You might have seen photos of these powerful men like presidents, like the old president, American president, John F. Kennedy, when he was president his children were very small, like a four year old son or something like that. And so he would be meeting great world leaders in the Oval Office, the president's office. I mean, nobody can see him very easily. He’s meeting these world leaders, prime ministers and presidents of other countries and in the photo you will see in the corner this little boy playing sometimes. His little boy just went they say, people writing about hispresidency, they say, the little boy will go into his office, official president’s office anytime he wants. He’ll just go anyway, who can stop him?Can anybody look at him and say, “Your father is busy,now”?You need an appointment,come after half an hour. No, nothing doing.He doesn't need anybody's permission. He walks right inside, does what he wantsboldly. As the child grows bigger, the boldness goes away sometimes. But this is something we need to pick up from little children, boldness.When we go to the Father, how does God say, He says, “Come boldly, to the throne of grace.” Come boldly. Why?It's a throne of grace and it's the throne of your father. It's the throne of your Father. Go boldly.

And when little children go, they not only go boldly, they go with great expectation.Have you seen that? Great faith and expectation.You got to pick up these positive things from little children. Leave out the negative stuff, the foolishness, the ignorance, but pick up the positives, the faith and the expectation.The simple faith.They go, they expect the father to give, that's all. They don't know how, they don't care how. Do you go to the Father like that? Only when you go like that, that's when you're really thinking of Him as your father, not enough to just call Himas father. Do you take it seriously, do you see Him as your father?But let me suggest the more important question for today's subject. Do you see yourself the way He sees you?How does God see...? Let me move there.How does God see you? You should see Him as your father. But how does God see you? That's what we're talking about today. God sees you as His children.God sees you as His children. He doesn't see you as His servant, as His employee. That is not the New Testament teaching, my friend.There are verses yes, but the main relationship that is put forward in the New Testament between God and believer is what?Father and children. God sees you not as a servant or an employee.He sees you as a child, as His son, as His daughter. So you need to start seeing yourself that way.You need to start seeing yourself not as a servant or an employee. I say this because we go to Godsometimes based on our own merits, like a good employee would go to the boss and say, “I've done everything.Now pay me my salary, give me my bonus, give me my promotion that is due to me.”

It's a mistake we make. Going on the basis of something else.Go on the basis of this relationship. Don't goseeing yourself as an employee, even a faithful employee, because no matter how faithful the employee is, he can be the best employee in the whole world, he will never match the son.In the eyes of the father, he will never match the son.Who will the father see as more special?His own child or his employee? His own child will any day be more special to him.Sometimes his own child maybe undeserving also, but who will be more special in his eyes, my friend?His own child. Don't go on the basis thinking of yourself like that. Go thinking you're His child, you’re His child.You may have positives, you may have negatives, but you have a relationship with God. And it is a very close personal relationship. He's your father, and you are His child. You go on that basis and see what happens in prayer.See yourself the way God sees you.Do you see how much God loves you? Can you see how much favor you have in God's eyes? Do you have an idea? Can you imagine how special you are in God's eyes? Have you tried to imagine that?

Let me give you a little exercise and we’ll end soon. A child finds it very difficult to understand how much the father loves him or her. Have you thought about this?For a child to understand how much the father loves him or her is very difficult. Take a little child,he wants a chocolate. Father says, “No.”What does the child think?This man doesn't love me. This man he won’t give me the chocolate.Why are you not giving it? But what is the father thinking? He’s refusing it because he loves him only.If he keeps eating chocolate what will happen to him. He needs to eat some healthy food, so he says no. And what if the child asked a good thing.Let's say the child asks for a good thing, then if the father can afford it, if it's within his means,he will try to buy it for the child. So let's say father buys that good thing and gives it to the childthen what does the child think? The child thinks, “Oh, not bad.He bought me this.”But what does the father think? I will buy you this and anything else you need within my... There’s always a difference between the way the child thinks and the... The child grows up a little, the father is saying,“Study.Don't join with those bad friends there.Don’t while away yourtime.What is the child thinking?My goodness, this man is all the time bent on just spoiling my enjoyment. He doesn't allow me to enjoy life.That is his main goal. This is the way the child thinks about the... but the father he's having great thoughts for the child. He wants him to study, come up very well in the future.He wants him to be in the top. That's the reason he’s doing that.

But let's say a child obeys and studies also and gets goodmarks and he brings the report card to his father and he shows the father. What does the father do? Appreciateshim.Says a word of… acknowledges. You've done good. You knowa father's appreciation means a lot.There are many famous musicians, actors, famous people who are appreciated by the whole world. Whole world is saying, “You’re doing a super job.Super job.” They go in their room and they’re crying. You ask them, they’re saying,“I'm not satisfied. I’m not happy.” Why?&lldquo;My father never said you did well.” Big people, big artists.So father's appreciation means a lot. So let's say the father appreciates the child and says,“You've done a good job, keep it up. Try to do even better next time. But super job.” Imagine the father says that what is the child thinking at that point? “Well, wow, father appreciated me,” and the child gets a little happy.But let me ask you, who is more happy at the child's good academic performance?Is it the child or the father?The father is more happy, he is more rejoicing.“My goodness, my child is studying.” The child is just a little bit.He moves on to something else, goes turns on the TV, that's it. The child grows up even more and he experiences more and more of the father's goodness. I'm talking about a good father. I'm talking about a good father.

Let's say the child experiences a lot of the father's goodness and comes to a point where he thinks,“I never thought my father would do so much. But he's done so much.” That's the way the child is thinking, what is the way the father is thinking? I'd like to do more, I'd like to do...Is there anything else to be done?The child is thinking, “Oh, the father loves me so much. I didn't know he loves me so much.” What is the father thinking?“I love you even more.” Very difficult for the child’smind to match up and grasp how the father thinks about himor her. The child grows up. Finally, let's say the child gets married. Now we’re talking about a grown up adultand he has a child. That's when he begins to understand how much the father actually loved him.If you have children you know what I mean?If it is so difficult for us, in the physical relationship between our father and us to understand how much the father loves us, you think it's easy to understand how much God loves us? My friend. That's why we need to grow in our understanding of how much God loves us. That's why we need to grow. Not enough to say, “I know God loves me.” Not enough to say,“This is an old truth,” not enough to say, “Oh, yeah, I know, cross everything.” No, no, no. Do you realize how much God loves you? We need to grow in this. We need to grow in our knowledge, understanding, experience,feelingeven.

I believe God makes us feel his love sometimes. Not all the time but sometimes.Yes, we need to grow, my friend. Youask God and say, “I want to experience your love more.I want to know your love more in a deep personal way more.” Get into the word, spend time, make this your goal. You need to grow andrecognize this, realize this. No matter how much you grow, you will never reach the point where you can say, “I've got it now. You love me so much.” You're wrong, my friend.God actually loves you as far as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is the Father's love for us.But you need to decide. I want you to decide. Make up your mind on a couple of things today before you leave. Don't doubt the Father's love. Don't doubt the Father. I say this because when we're in the midst of bad circumstances, it will cause us to doubt the father's... But don't doubt it.

Don't decide whether the Father loves you based on your circumstance. Decide based on your relationship. What kind of relationship do you have with Him? He's your father. You are His child. No circumstance, no accident. No unexplainable incident can ever change that relationship. He's your father, you are His child. He's your father. You are His child and that means He loves you. You cannot even imagine how much He loves you and no circumstance that you are experiencing in your life can change that.Because sometimeswe go through terrible things. Joseph was told he was special, special, special. God gave him a dream saying,“You’re special.Everybody will bow down before you.”Then finally he ends up in the pit. Imagine how he would have felt. Here he is thinkingheis special. He ends up as a slave in Potiphar’s house, endsup in prison.But he always taught him,“No, don't decide whether you're special based on your current circumstance.” Somehow, Joseph had that hope within him. “One day my deliverance will come because I am special in His eyes. Nothing, no pit, no prison,no wrong accusation can change that.” Don't decide the Father's love based on your circumstance.

Don't doubt your father's love. Make a decision today because there will be bad circumstances in life.It will tempt you to doubt His love. Decide on that. Don't doubt His father's love. Second is, realize no matter how much you imagine, God loves you, He loves you more. Everybody say He loves me more.Do you have favor in God's eyes? You don't even have the slightest idea how much favor you have. You've got too much favor. You put so much, it's more than that. You put so much…to the roof. It's more than that. It's more, it's more and it's more.You have favor in God's eyes. Let's stand up. Let's praise God for this truth.We are His children. Thank God for this relationship.

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