I recently heard something pointed out that had not occurred to me before last week. At Jesus’ baptism, God told Jesus He loved Him and was pleased with Him BEFORE any public ministry had occurred.
Up to this point there had been no miraculous healings. No parables had been taught, no water had been turned into wine, and disciples were yet to be called. Yet God let it be known publicly that He loved His Son. It wasn’t because of anything Jesus had done, but just because of who He was. His child.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17).
What an example for us to follow. How often do we tell the children in our lives (or anyone, for that matter) that we love them — simply because of who they are? Do we withhold saying we love them until they take out the trash, ace that test, or follow through on a request?
I am very blessed to have parents who have always told me they love me. My heart breaks for the countless people who have never heard those sweet words from a parent. I love you, not because of what you have done (or have not done), but simply because you are my child.
Sometimes being a stay-at-home homeschooling mom, I struggle with feeling worthwhile. Rarely do I hear that I am doing a wonderful thing. But worrying about and wondering what other people think of me is a quick way to forget what God thinks about me.
He loves me, no matter where my kids go to school or whether or not anyone reads the articles I write. Many days I trudge along, knowing that God is pleased with my obedience even if I don’t receive kudos from anyone else. And that has to be enough.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).
Reading the Bible, praying, doing nice things for others, homeschooling, or even telling people about Jesus — while these activities may be admirable, none of them will make God love me any more or less.
Pleasing God is not about what I do. It’s what I believe. The Bible says, “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Know what else I believe? “That neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
• Lisa Jisa and her family have been residents of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2000. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.