Remembering my kids when they were little is really fun. Of course, they are grown now and so we can laugh at things which were once not so funny.
Accusations flew out of them at times. “You ALWAYS let him do whatever he wants to do.” “She ALWAYS gets new stuff.” “You love him more.” “You love her more.”
Believing one is the center of the universe is part and parcel of being a child. Or so I think. In my experience, it is the rare child that thinks of others before thinking of their own self. Where siblings are concerned, it is not unusual for each to feel that the other is shown partiality at one time or another.
To tell the truth, as a parent, my feelings would fluctuate from one to the other depending on their behavior and attitude. Their efforts to gain attention would result in either my praise or displeasure. But the love never varied. It still doesn’t. My love for my children is not dependent upon what they do. I love them because they are mine. It is akin to the agape love that Christ has for us.
However, just as a child can be shown partiality at times by a parent, the Lord also will show favor to His children.
As His children, how do we receive His favor?
Mary, mother of Jesus, was highly favored of God. David was a man after God’s own heart. Abraham became the ‘friend of God’. How did they gain this status? Enoch pleased God so much, he was taken up to heaven and never died a mortal death. How can we merit such positive attention from our Lord?
Simple answer. Stop being self centered. Do what these Bible heroes did. Walk with God. Leviticus 26: 3, 9 (NIV) says “If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, .... I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you.” Yet Romans 2: 11 (NIV) states “For God does not show favoritism.”
What is the meaning in this? At first glance, it appears to be a contradiction. We begin to complain like small children “You love her more. She gets everything!”
Receiving the favor of God requires something from us. It requires self examination and obedience to His word. Walking in daily obedience to God is the key to living in His favor.
The Lord does not contradict Himself. He loves us each equally because we are His. He created each one of us with careful planning and purpose. His love for His children is impartial and unbiased. Our actions can trigger His favor or displeasure but they can not affect His love for us.
So let's put some spandex into our self centered minds and E-X-P-A-N-D our universe! Make the Lord and His decrees its center. Let our lives revolve around Him.
Who knows! One day He may send a flaming chariot to pick us up!
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