Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Am I Your Favorite?

This boy. My joy. This Bryson man is the baby (I won't get away with saying that much longer, I'm sure​!​) of the 6 grandchildren, so maybe that's why I treasure that he ​and I are such good buds! He's 10 now, but he'll still hold my hand while we're sitting together and he ​still lets me cuddle him. He asks me, "Nana, am I your favorite?" To which I reply "You are my favorite 10-year old." There is just something about this boy, however, beyond him being the youngest, that grabs my heart. He is not as big in stature or ego. He's not competitive, unless he's beating me at Monopoly.
He's his own man and is quite content in his own skin. He loves his animals, so much so, that you don't have to ask if he's fed them or seen after them. He's out with them at least three times a day. He loves them so much. ​He'll say, "I've got to go see my girls (those are the donkeys, Molly Grace and Firecracker)", or ​"I'm going to feed the boys!" That's Vamanos, the longhorn, and the goats -- Oreo, Jorge, Billy, Buttercup and Bobby! And, he is on point everyday feeding and caring for his beloved dog, Bentley.

Have you ever felt like the favorite (favored one)? I guess I did because I, too, was the baby, with my next oldest sibling, my sister who was 12 years older than me. I know I had special privileges because I was the youngest, but being the youngest, I was also my Mom's caregiver until her "going home" day. My joy.

Maybe you never felt like the favored one or favorite of anything? Here's some really good news. I assure you that we are loved by God without partiality. ​Oh yes, I know there was John, the beloved apostle, who kept repeating that he was "the one that Jesus loved" over and over in his writings. Then there's the scripture that describes David's relationship with God ​as ​"A man after God's own heart". It ​sure does sound like ​God ​does have His​ favorites, ​doesn't it?​

Maybe there's a reason for favortism. Wonder if our choices have any impact on whether we are among His favorites? Isaiah 66:2 says, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my Word.” God wants to show us all His favor and God isn't limited in His favor. He doesn't rank us in order of importance, nor is His favor something we must compete with one another to earn.

God is not limited in His favor. He does not rank us in order of importance, nor is His favor something we must compete with one another to earn. Every child of God who comes to Him through faith in Jesus Christ has the favor of God. ​Psalm 5:12 ​says, “For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.” ​ ​As we grow in faith and seek to please Him, God demonstrates His favor by drawing near to us ​(James 4:8). He desires to bestow favor on everyone who seeks Him​ (Jeremiah 29:13). Even the Lord’s ​discipline is a means of showing favor to His children.​ Hebrews 12:5-6 ​says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

In reality, I think God has only One favorite -- His Son Jesus, but because God loved me and you so much that He sent His Favorite to become one of us, gave Him as the ultimate sacrifice to die for us so that we can have an abundant life here and forever, we are His favorites, too. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world (that's you and me) that He gave His only begotten Son.....(and the prerequisite?) that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life." That's real favoritism!!! When I am found in Him I too am a favorite of His. and when God sees me, He sees Jesus. I love the way Max Lucado puts it:

If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He'll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart. What about the Christmas gift He sent you in Bethlehem; not to mention that Friday at Calvary? Face it, friend. He's crazy about you." Max Lucado

So, go ahead......feel the love, feel the favoritism, feel the warmth of His embrace. You are loved and the more you and I get that.....the more we'll accept the privileges of being in the royal family of God!