Sunday, January 11, 2009

"I am well pleased"

Genesis 1:1-5, Psalm 29, Acts 19:1-7, Mark 1:4-11

How many times have we worked hard to win the approval of others? As a politician, it is the opinion of others that define us as winners or losers. It is a very humiliating process, but when people are trusting you to secure their freedom and act in their best interest, the deflation of one's ego is a small price to pay.

The question is how hard do we work to obtain God's approval, or better yet, how hard are we willing to work? We are concerned with other people's opinions because they are in our face. We see them every day, so we make adjustments to our appearance and are conscious about the impression we make.

Those of us who are Christians should also be concerned with pleasing God. He made us in His own image and He is the ultimate judge of our character. If we raise our standard as to please Him, other people will be pleased with us, despite their level of spiritual awareness.

You may not win that election, but you will be put in a place to do His will. You may not have a lot of earthly friends, but what a friend you will have in Jesus, as the old gospel song tells us. You may not get the job you covet or attain all the wealth in the world, but God will provide for you to live and live abundantly.

The ultimate goal for all of us should be to receive the favor of God. The Bible teaches us that the favor, or loving kindness, of God is life itself. John the Baptist saw a sign of how God is pleased when he baptised Jesus. We see it every day but in some ways take it for granted or don't process it when we do see it.

So I challenge you to look at your life situation and reflect on how God has shown His pleasure to you in your life. That will be a humbling moment, but a rewarding one as well , for it is good to have the approval of God and know it in your heart.