Nevertheless

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No favorites

And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So, you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.” — I Peter 1:17 – 2:10

Every once in a while, I hear this statement from one of my children: “Dad, we all know that ______ is your favorite.”

The accusation is followed with some kind of evidence that they feel makes a compelling argument.

The truth is they are all my favorite and there is different evidence to support that reality for each one.

Vantage point is the issue.

Granted, I have certainly been guilty of inconsistency of behavior, but not of heart. I would die to defend any one of them.

One of Jesus’ closest friends, Peter, writes that the heavenly Father has no favorites.

He is never inconsistent in his behavior or his love.

His assessment of and his response to the behavior of his children is perfectly accurate every single time.

He spared nothing to rescue us from an empty life with no promise and no future.

The ransom payment for our freedom was the blood of his only begotten son, Jesus.

So now, we, by believing in Jesus, have been cleansed from our sins. Our responsibility now? Love each other deeply.

As I read this passage, it strikes me that we are all God’s favorites.

He sent Jesus for all of us.

All who trust in Jesus recognize the honor God has given him and he becomes the cornerstone of not only their lives personally, but of the whole collection of those who believe.

Those who refuse to recognize him with honor stumble over him and meet a fate planned long ago.

Which one are we?

The tell-tale sign is a life that is lived in such a way that it shows others the goodness of God.

No way out

Hearing this the king was deeply troubled, and he tried to think of a way to save Daniel. He spent the rest of the day looking for a way to get Daniel out of this predicament. — Daniel 6:1-28

After trying one more time to reach some sort of understanding and compromise, we both walked away as frustrated as ever.

Stubbornly, we had given only lip service to a genuine surrender to and pursuit of God on this matter. The weight of this challenge strained our marriage and walls of bitterness began to build between us.

We could see it clearly, but we were in the weeds too deep to navigate our way out.

Graciously, with all other options exhausted, God led us to a mutually respected couple for counsel who helped us move forward through the maze of crazy.

King Darius found himself in just such a place.

Who would have thought, the great king of the Medo Persian empire found himself cornered by his own law.

Not his position, nor his power, nor his strategic intelligence could do anything about what he had been baited into by Daniel’s enemies.

He had no choice but to feed his most trusted and competent advisor, Daniel, to the lions.

All night, he tossed and turned. He fasted from food and fun.

At the first sign of light, he ran to the lions’ den. There, to his utter amazement and joy, he discovered the one true and living God had protected Daniel. He is the only one who can make a way when there is no way.

Paul wrote of a time where he was convinced death was imminent for him too.

He said he was brought to such a state of helplessness so that he would be taught to fully rely on God.

We may not be on death row today, but we are or soon will be stuck in a place of no way out — a loveless marriage, a dead-end job, a broken relationship with a family member or friend, financial collapse, loss of health or maybe all of them at once.

There, our options are few.

We’ve exhausted ourselves to despair.

The tunnel has collapsed and there is no longer any light.

It’s here, at the end of ourselves, where we get to see our Jesus, once again, make a way where there is no way.

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