Thursday, December 3, 2015
Mark 1: In You I Am Well Pleased
Amplified Bible Classic Edition (AMPC)
And when He came up out of the water, at once he [John] saw the heavens torn open and the [Holy] Spirit like a dove coming down to enter into Him. And there came a voice out from within heaven, You are My Beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.
As an adolescent, my self-worth was skewed. Unfortunately, this lack of self-love continued on into my mid-thirties. I had believed the lie that performance, perfect performance, was the means to gain the approval of others. I reasoned that if I was accepted by others, then I could love myself. I had been deceived. This mindset kept me self-focused, constantly evaluating the quality of my performance and people's reaction to that performance.
Self-focus distracts from God-focus!
My healing from self-focus is a work in progress. As human beings, all of have a self-focus pull, and a certain amount of self-assessment is healthy.
In the workforce, I am constantly assessing my performance, not as a means of eliciting others' approval, but in order to provide the best possible care of others. This is wise.
My healing from unhealthy self-focus began when I slowed down enough to focus on God. What was He saying? Wow, what an Encourager!
Years ago, the Lord directed me to invite a co-worker for a Bible study in my home. I was so SCARED and the self-focused thoughts screamed...
Would she think I'm a holy roller?
Would she belittle and tease me?
Would her friends find out about the invitation and shun me because of my boldness?
Pushing through the fear, I obeyed.
The next morning during my prayer time, I heard...
"My beloved daughter in You I am well-pleased."
Let me make something clear. God doesn't love us because we are perfect in our obedience. He loves us because of Jesus righteousness covering our mishaps and mistakes. He loves us just because.
We can make the mistake of thinking we need to maintain a "perfect performance" for the Lord. This too, cause our focus to shift from Jesus and towards ourselves. He is pleased with us when our heart desires to do right, no matter the outcome.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let's "chill out." We don't need to work for His love, we already have His love!
This Christmas season, focus on the beauty of Jesus and His precious gift to us. Worship Him. Retreat from the many responsibilities of this world to sit at His feet. I promise you, the Prince of Peace will come and fill your heart with the true Spirit of Christmas!