“Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.’” Acts 10:34-35 (NIV)
Think for a minute about some of your favorite things: your favorite food, your favorite show, your favorite outfit, your favorite hobby. We all have things in life that we just enjoy. Mine are hunting and football. Oh! Opps! And my Church family. We may even have a few people that we like more than others. I’m just going to let you guess if I’m talking about you and thinking about you. We tend to gravitate toward people who are kind, compassionate, loyal, and selfless. It’s hard not to have a few favorite people in your life that you are drawn to more than others.
But God isn’t like that. Boy! Am I glad! He “does not show favoritism.” We are all incredibly and equally special to Him! Even when we become “spiritually crazy’ and let our sin nature get the best of us, He does not love us any less. He never picks favorites, and nothing we do can ever diminish His all-consuming love for us. He loves each one of us individually, and we are all complete in Him. There is no favoritism with our Father.
Yet at the same time, He does show us his favor by lavishing His love on each and every one of us! Just take a minute to think about the fact that, as Psalm 30:5 (NIV) says, “… his favor lasts a lifetime… ” God favors me? Yep. And he does so throughout your entire life. Wow.
What does this mean for us? It means that we can rejoice in God’s favor! But it also means that we need to show favor to the people around us, recognizing that they are all loved by God just as much as we are. Maybe it’s that person who just rubs you the wrong way. Maybe it’s that person you’re harboring a grudge against. Let’s follow God’s example today and show love to everyone!
“God has no favorite children.”
In Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV) we read, “The Lord your God is in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Over the years, I have talked with folk who have a blind spot when it comes to God’s love. Oh, they believe that God is love, that He loves the world and the sinner and their neighbor. Yet it is difficult for them to let the reality sink in that God loves them—personally. God really loves you. Deeply, passionately, individually—God loves you.
There are several factors that contribute to our difficulty in understanding and accepting that we are loved. Perhaps it is a painful past or deep insecurity. There may be an old sin or unfulfilled longing. Once a seed of doubt is sown (“Does God really love me?”) we can allow circumstances and fears to push us further down the path of disbelief in God’s love for us.
Part of what makes it so sad to see folk doubting God’s love for them is the sheer magnitude of His love. Scripture tells us that not only does God love us, He delights in us. I love that thought and image of my Father in heaven delighting in me. He is not just tolerating or putting up with me! And, there are many times I would just deserve it all!
Although we may feel unloved, that is simply untrue. The truth is that you are the object of His affection, day in and day out. He wants you, He likes you, He pursues you, and He enjoys being with you and He chooses you. You are as much His favorite as anyone. The state of your house, car, bank account, or even your “dirty laundry” in no way affects His love for you. Nothing in this world can hinder, not even in the slightest, His great love for you and me.
“It’s not about finding ways to avoid God’s judgment and feeling like a failure if you don’t do everything perfectly. It’s about fully experiencing God’s love and letting it perfect you. It’s not about being somebody you are not. It’s about becoming who you really are.”
– Stormie Omartian
SO: Be fearless: We are His, and that is enough. He welcomes us, period. You are favored by Him, and nothing you can do will change that fact! He loves you!