Monday 4 September 2017

Prison Break | Unmerited Favour

Happy new month y’all. Welcome to the beginning of the ember months. Hope you’ve started drawing up your Christmas shopping list. I need to work on mine asap because the way 2017 is moving, blink and you’ll be in 2019. Just yesterday, I was wishing people Happy New Year in church. Did you enjoy last week’s prison break? We talked about Paul and Silas and how they praised their way out of prison. Don’t get why Scoffield and the River Fox gang didn’t try praising God when they were trying to break out of jail. Anyways, this week’s prison break focuses on another means of breaking out of prison. In the game of monopoly, you’d call it "get outta jail free card," in Christianity, we call it unmerited favour. You can call it another name, one word, GRACE! That is what grace is, an unmerited favour of God over our lives. Just as an aid, R.Kelly’s song: Storm is over, is playing in the background. What a song! Ehen, where were we? The bible, yeah. So it doesn’t seem like I’m telling a fictional story of what it means to have unmerited favour, let’s look into the Christian manual for how to live our lives (the bible). 

There’s a book in the bible known as Nehemiah, I know right lol. Anyways, in Nehemiah 2:1-8, it gives us a history of how a King gave a slave the opportunity to make a request (Neh. 2:2) just because he was looking sad. How many times have you gone to work with a sad face and your MD didn’t even notice? But a King noticed that his servant was sad. He even addressed the servant to understand why he was sad. In some companies, the MD will tell you that is the job of HR but in this case, the MD himself handled the issue. If you know anything about organisations, you'll know that when it comes from the MD, "dem no born monkey mama to not execute the directive." 😂 To show how unexpected the situation was, the servant was even afraid to answer the King. Anyways, he finally did:

"Then the king said to me, 'What do you request?' So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, 'If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favour in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.' " Nehemiah‬ 2:4-5‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬

When you have favour, whatever you request for will be granted. What is so key about this scripture isn’t just the fact that the King took notice of the servant’s countenance or even asked him what the issue was but that he didn’t even do anything to make the King ask him any question. That is what it means to have unmerited favour. None of your actions or decisions had anything to do with getting the favour. 
There are situations in life in which we get favour based on our merit but have you ever been promoted without even having the qualification or applying? Have you ever had a request for a loan approved without even meeting the required criteria? When things like that happen, it is compulsory that you realise that you had absolutely nothing to do with it. I recently experienced this unmerited favour of God and up till today, I’m still in shock. A breakthrough from a place I wasn’t expecting it and from a source that I had only met once. 

In Nehemiah’s case, the unmerited favour he got gave him the following things:
  1. Permission to go on leave and return when he wanted.
  2. Permission to leave his employment and do what he wanted.
  3. Authority to act with the King’s name and supersede those on a higher level than him.
  4. Provision to complete the tasks he wanted to carry out. 
  5. Armed escorts to ensure nobody interfered with his mission.

He basically went from a servant to an ambassador of the King, something close to what Nigerian politicians call "ambassador-at-large😂. Imagine that kind of elevation. However, it’s not enough to know that there is something called unmerited favour. We also need to know how to access it because even though it is unmerited, God laid down a principle in Matt. 7:7 and Heb. 4:16;  a principle that Nehemiah followed. 

How Do You Access This Unmerited Favour

What is this principle?
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Matthew‬ 7:7‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬

"Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favour] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment]." Heb‬ 4:16‬ AMP‬‬‬‬

What did Nehemiah do before he responded to the king?
"Then the king said to me, 'What do you request?' So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, 'If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favour in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.' "
Nehemiah‬ 2:4-5‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬

What are we meant to do to access this unmerited favour? Do like Nehemiah did, approach the throne from which flows all unmerited favour and ask for it, Shikena! Nothing else. Very simple right?
The charge therefore as we go into this new week and this new month, is to take advantage of this unmerited favour by approaching this throne of grace and asking for it. Whatever situation you’re facing, you will receive breakthrough just like I did in Jesus name. Amen. 


P.S. Please let us all pray for those affected by floods in different parts of the world and if you’re in a position to help, please do so. God will reward you richly for it in Jesus name. 

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