People have favorite things.
You might have a favorite coat right now that you prefer to wear. You might have a favorite hat or pair of gloves that you like.
I have a favorite ink pen I like to use. I have other pens that write, but I like this one in particular. Some are near the phone for writing messages, some are used to write out checks to pay bills, but I have a favorite pen I like to use when I write letters or things like this article.
God has favorites. I like to read about David in Samuel 1 and 2. God favored Moses and Jacob. God preferred Joseph over his other brothers. Abraham was a favorite of the Lord's. The most favorite person of all time of the Lord's was his own son, Jesus of Nazareth the anointed one, or the Christ, as we know him.
A mysterious person who only a few people really got to know while he was actually walking on the earth, Jesus was the only real flesh-and-blood man on earth who proved he had God's power as his only begotten son.
When I was growing up, people said of me that I was a favorite of God's. They said that because I had so many close calls with death, even as an infant.
I survived rheumatic fever and a long fall from my mother's arms down steep steps to our basement, I am told. When I was 3, I was lost for a day in a big city and was found later unharmed. At 4, I had to have my stomach pumped twice in one week after I had gotten into pills I thought were candy. When I was 5, I was nearly killed by a neighborhood bully. The list goes on.
One of the closest calls I remember was when I was a senior in high school. I was a passenger in a friend's car when it was in a terrible accident. The driver lost control at a high speed and we went off an 80-foot embankment at more than 90 mph. We hit a sand dune at the bottom of the fall and all of us survived. I had only a few scratches while the other three in the car were severely injured.
When I was 19, I nearly drowned in a surfing accident in Southern California. That was the most traumatic incident I have been in, although there were still other close scrapes with death later on in life.
When I was unconscious under the water, I remember hearing a voice speaking to me. I assumed the voice was the voice of God, because it was telling me things about myself and my past that only I knew.
I asked the voice who it was and he said, "Jesus."
That was very traumatic!
Two things Jesus said to me I remember even to this day. The other things he said I couldn't remember even after I was revived that morning.
One thing he said was, "If you want to get to know me, get to know my word."
The second thing he told me was that I wasn't going to die because, "I had a purpose in life that I was to fulfill."
This was back in 1970. I still believe I have not fulfilled that purpose, but I do believe that I am a favored child of the most high God and I am fulfilling that purpose even to this day.
Jesus tells us in John 15:16 that we did not choose him, but vice versa.
Wow! I spent most of my life unchurched and in rebellion against God, so why would God choose me for anything? It was for his purpose.
I believe that we all have this same love of God. I believe that God loves all people, no matter what their lives have been like. That is why he gave his son up as a sacrifice for all time, so that everyone who believes in his son would have every opportunity to change their lives into a more pleasing life for God's purpose.
Another favored child of God was the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah chapter 29, verse 11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope for the future."
Wow! This is a promise for all of us to grasp with all our might! These are the plans that God has for us, if we could only believe in him and his precious son, Jesus.
Hope for a bright future! This is by far, one of my favorite verses from the Lord.
I believe all people are created by God, that he cares about each and every person's life from beginning to end. Jesus said, "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me."
We all have special plans in our lives, if we could just give God a chance to show us.
I have made some poor decisions in my life. These are called sins. I learned from each mistake I made. In fact, each time I have made wrong choices, I was reminded that Jesus already paid for my mistakes, so I could get back up and continue on with God's blessing.
Finally, I could overcome the weaknesses that led me away from God's purpose, and get on with the purpose for which God made me. It's the same with all of us. We have a God of mercy, slow to anger and rich in love. He desires us to come to him so he can give us life. Just as a deer pants for water, so our hearts thirst to know the Lord.
The Lord has so much more for us if we will only give him a chance to prove himself. Maybe circumstances in our lives have separated us from God's love. The loss of a loved one, not being able to forgive someone who wronged us or even bitterness toward God can separate us from knowing him.
I know how helpless we can feel at times, overwhelmed by things in this world, but we are never hopeless. My Lord tells us we are something to behold in his eyes.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is yours." What a promise from the creator in Matthew 5:4.
"Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad, because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world." 1 Peter 4:12-13.
"As you share in suffering, you will also share God's comfort." 2 Corinthians 1:7.
"And when Christ, who is your real life is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory." Colossians 3:4.
Mark Conway is an evangelist living in Seward. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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