[Part 6, Chapter 37]
Mary received favour. She filled her mind with favour. She lived in favour. Holy Spirit miraculously ensured Jesus was conceived in favour.
It is elementary, then, that Jesus was going to grow in favour.
Let’s call it environmental favour. We grow into the values and beliefs of the environment in which we are nurtured.
On two separate occasions, Luke records that Jesus went with his parents to Nazareth. What Luke is saying is, they went home.
Jesus’ home was one of favour.
Rounded people tend to grow in homes of favour.
Parents, you are the lens through which your children will experience the love and goodness of Father God.
Friends, spouses, partners, grandparents, aunties and uncles, you are the prism through which your significant others get to see the beauty and majesty of God as a good Father in a world that is often ugly and challenging.
How do you do this? By you, yourself, growing in favour.
This is not said to put pressure on you. Rather, it takes the pressure off.
Consider, for example, those who love camping. Mostly, it was because the environment they grew up in embraced an outdoor lifestyle. They were never sent to camping school. They weren’t given lectures on camping. Instead, they received an experience of it.
Favour is exactly the same. So is growing in the goodness of God. What we cannot give our children in a twenty-minute Sunday School lesson once a week for 35 weeks of the year, the Holy Spirit can and will give them as we release favour into them over a childhood. This isn’t putting down formal teaching; rather, it is redressing the significance of home as the birthplace and nurturing environment of favour.
It’s not about perfection either.
Families aren’t always perfect on their camping trips. Not everything goes well. Sometimes there are disasters. Rather than that being bad, it instead exposes children to a whole and rounded experience of camping life. It’s how the adults respond, and whether they go camping again the next holidays, that can be the determining factor.
It’s the same with favour. One bad argument they witness, one horrid week of parenting, one nasty word-bomb dropped … these don’t automatically starve a home of favour. It’s how you respond—in time, with favour. It’s where you run to or what you turn to that matters—the favour that is already yours.
When Paul says, “For I passed on to you that which I first received” (1 Corinthians 15:3; see also 11:2), he isn’t only talking about information. He is talking of identity, security in your adoption, knowing Father God personally and intimately.
Identity is placed into us over a lifetime as we see favour modelled in the hearts and lives of those around us.
Parents, partners of ‘non-Christians’, friends of those who are searching, your highest calling and deepest privilege is to grow holistically in the favour of Father. Out of your being, you are doing the stuff. This is the essence. It is the gold. This is how Holy Spirit works.