Month: January 2024

You Are God’s Favorite!

There are a number of accounts in the Bible where a father favored one child over another: Joseph and Isaac, for example. The upshot of such favoritism was not beneficial for the other, less favored children—they often fell into jealousy, anger, and resentment. If only our earthly father (and/or mother) could have loved us with a perfect love; a love that we could always count on—if only we could have been the “favorite!”

Perhaps you were a child who longed for the attention and acceptance that another sibling seemed to—or did—receive.

But now you are grown and there appears to be no chance you will experience such approving and accepting love from a parent. Yet, if we are the Heavenly Father’s child—if we have believed in Jesus Christ and His work—we are favored children. Because God is love, and loves with a perfect love (love that seeks the very best for His loved one), He is able to love each and every one of us as His beloved, precious, and yes, favorite child. In fact, it is impossible for Jesus to love with any less love than that kind of divine and immeasurable love because that is God’s very nature.

May we come to know (experience) and truly believe (trust in) the immeasurable and perfect love our Heavenly Father has for us.

Question to Ponder- Pleasing Others

1 Comment

Can we truly be genuine and honest with others if we are always seeking to please them?

As the last post indicated, while we are to put others before ourselves, we must always serve God above all. Through spiritual discernment, we can properly keep God’s will in our relationship with Him, and our relationship with people—a divinely inspired balance between the two. Our clear consciences will help indicate that we have successfully done so.

Trying to Please Others

1 Comment

What does it mean to seek to please others? Is it always wrong to do so? The literal Greek meaning for “please” (aresko) in this verse is “to become acceptable to another.” In general, it means to accommodate one’s self to the opinions, desires, and interests of others—to be agreeable, which means to become of the same mind or have the same opinion as others. On the surface, pleasing people seems like a positive way to live peacefully; and indeed, there are times when we should endeavor to please one another—the Scriptures encourage us to live peacefully and put others before ourselves (Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 12:16; Matthew 23:11).

However, motive is always key in whether pleasing people is a godly pursuit. For example, if a person seeks to serve others entirely for their own self-interest, such as to gain favor, influence, or a reputation as a “good person”, then the behavior is not aligned with the heart of Jesus, who did not seek to please Himself (Romans 15:1-3).

Clearly, the Apostle Paul viewed people-pleasing as a negative pursuit in certain situations. Paul asked if he was trying to seek the favor of men or God—it apparently could not be both. In fact the Apostle went so far as to say, “If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” When we consider Mt. 6:24, the Biblical view of people-pleasing becomes even clearer:

Although this verse refers to serving money, the word master literally means “what or whoever takes authority over another.” In other words, who we serve as master determines what is suitable and acceptable for us—what/who determines our behavior and mindset. It follows that it is of utmost importance to thoughtfully determine which “master” that—to varying degrees—enslaves us.

PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father,

You alone must determine what course I must follow; it is you alone that is worthy and capable to guide my thoughts and actions. Please forgive me for times I have tried to serve two masters; I only want to be devoted to my Father and no other! Thank you for your cleansing and renewal. I love you, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Our True Identity

When believers truly base their identity on what God has to say about them, they will become grounded in His love, acceptance, and peace.

Romans 8:37- We are more than conquers through Christ

His Love Never Fails

1 Comment

Let me declare from the start that my family and I experienced one of the most wonderful and blessed Christmases we ever had last month; however, we underwent a battle to to do so. Two days before our celebration, it was unlikely everyone would be able to come. Thankfully, Jesus poured out His grace so that everything in that area worked favorably before Christmas Eve. Nevertheless, early Christmas morning, I awoke with a flu-like weakness that intensified with every attempt to prepare the food for the enjoyment of our family. In my fatigue, I cut my finger which bled profusely; and then, inexplicably the oven started billowing out smoke.

We discovered that the bottom of the oven was filled with a mysterious liquid that could feed the smoke and odor for some time, if not addressed. My husband and I grabbed gobs of paper towels and dropped to our knees to begin sopping it up inside the very hot oven. The kids opened the back door and used a fan to direct it out…I lit a scented candle to counter the smell.

As we were on our knees, it occurred to me that we were situated perfectly to pray—both physically and emotionally. I muttered a brief but sincere prayer for the Lord’s intervention into our situation, drawing a spiritual line in the sand against the dark warfare taking place. Immediately, our spirits lifted and we chuckled at the spectacle all around us, including our most humbling position on the floor before the smoking oven. Just a moment before, we felt victimized on our knees; but then with our prayer, our position was transformed to a powerful stance for humble petition to our good and loving God. After eating lunch, my energy was renewed and the sick feeling abated. We spent a wonderfully memorable afternoon together, full of laughs and happy exchanges.