By Jeff Fitzgerald
Deep within the human heart is the need for a father’s approval. Whether we would like to admit this truth or not, it is true none the less. There is just something about hearing the words “I love you, and I am proud of you”, from a loving father.
I was reminded of this truth the other day by my two year old daughter, and it is something we all need to be reminded of. It’s so true that God can use anything or in this case anyone to speak through. I was sitting on the couch watching the NBA playoffs and my daughter walks in with this question… “Daddy, am I pretty?” My answer to her question could easily affect the rest of her life. I said, “Eden you are beautiful, and Daddy loves you more than you will ever know”. You should have seen her face light up. Apparently that is all she needed to hear because she skipped off to continue playing in her room.
I am convinced that each of us needs to be reminded every now and then that the thing we need to hear most is our Father’s loving approval of us. Just as my daughter was completely satisfied with my answer, so should we be equally satisfied with our Heavenly Father’s answer. We should never feel like He will reject or disapprove of us.
I recently read this quote from Phillip Yancey, saying, “God loves people because of who God is, not because of who we are”. What a great truth! The reason God loves us is because He is love and it’s impossible for Him to be anything else. When we know we are loved and accepted by God, and that there is nothing we could ever do to change that, then and only then can we grow in deep, abiding relationship with Him.
This truth is perfectly portrayed throughout scripture. In Matthew 3:16-17 the Bible says, “After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “ This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” The two words “beloved” and “well” stand out to me. God apparently wanted His Son to know He was not just His son, but that He was His beloved Son. He also made it a point to let His Son know he was not just pleased with Him, but that He was well pleased.
I think we need to be reminded of this life-changing truth every day. Believers are not just sons and daughters of God – we are beloved sons and daughters! God is not just “pleased’ with us, He is well pleased.
One might ask in disbelief, “How can this be? I don’t live perfectly as Jesus did”. Common question! Here is the life-altering answer…The Father’s acceptance and pleasure in you is due not in part, but fully and wholly in Jesus’ perfection and performance. Wow! This means that we can rest today in the fact that our Heavenly Father thinks we are beautiful in every way…get-a-hold of this reality and you will return to playing in security and joy just as my daughter did.