WITH JESUS, WE ARE NEVER SECOND BEST

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WITH JESUS, WE ARE NEVER SECOND BEST

No one likes to be second best. At home, we don’t like to be compared to our siblings. At school, we don’t like to be compared to our classmates. At work, we don’t like to be compared to our colleagues. In love, we don’t like to be compared to ‘that other person’. We don’t like to be compared because it surfaces our flaws and reveals our inadequacies. But it happens so often that though we dislike it, we have come to accept it as part and parcel of life. And sometimes, we extrapolate that to our Father and think that our Father compares us to our brethren. But what is worse is we sometimes think that our Father blesses according to His comparison; and this leaves us feeling like the elder brother of the prodigal;

“All this time his older son was out in the field. When the day’s work was done he came in. As he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing. Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. He told him, ‘Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast—barbecued beef!—because he has him home safe and sound.’
“The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn’t listen. The son said, ‘Look how many years I’ve stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!’” Luke 15:25-30 [MSG]

Or perhaps when we compare ourselves to our brethren, we feel unworthy of our Father’s love. Perhaps we feel that we have sinned against our Father so badly, He could not possibly love us, let alone see us as equal to our brethren who have been ‘good’ all their lives. Perhaps, in our heart of hearts, we have thought of ourselves like this,

“I am no longer worthy to be called your son; [just] make me like one of your hired servants.” Luke 15:19 [AMPC]

Beloved, whether we think we deserve more, or deserve less, our Father wants us to know that we have all gotten the wrong idea. His love for us is the same. He has no favorites; and He most certainly keeps no scores. Because,

“…Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and once for all,…” Hebrews 9:28 [AMPC]

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

So no matter what we have done, no matter what our background, no matter where we have come from, this is the truth for us. And what is this truth?

“[It is this:] that the Gentiles are now to be fellow heirs [with the Jews], members of the same body and joint partakers [sharing] in the same divine promise in Christ through [their acceptance of] the glad tidings (the Gospel).” Ephesians 3:6 [AMPC]

Once you have accepted Christ as your savior, accepted His love and believed that He is for you and not against you; Jesus’ death and blood shed is, to you, of full effect in washing away your sins, in making you right and pleasing to our Father, in qualifying you for His undivided attention, care, protection and provision. This is regardless of your background, creed, nationality, race or station in life. To Jesus, and to our Father, there are no ‘second bests’. They make no comparisons. You are loved; and that’s it.

But how can this be? Shouldn’t the one who lived the ‘better’ life, the more ‘godly’ life be deserving of more love from our Father? Well, if our Father’s love can be merited by our actions, of course it should be. But you see beloved, it isn’t. We cannot earn our Father’s love, any more than we can therefore lose it. Because His love for us was not dependent on our own actions,

“This is in accordance with the terms of the eternal and timeless purpose which He has realized and carried into effect in [the person of] Christ Jesus our Lord,
“In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear).” Ephesians 3:11-12 [AMPC]

Because His love for us was there all along; never diminishing no matter how much we sinned, how far we strayed. Yes, for many of us,

“It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us.” Ephesians 2:1-3 [MSG]

But as the Psalmist said,

“He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;” Psalm 103:10-11

“Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.” Ephesians 2:4-6 [MSG]

And why would He do that? He did that so,

“that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:7

Beloved, it is so mind-blowingly simple to understand the love of our Father. If we only begin to see Him as our Father and not as God, then we can truly begin to understand our Father’s love for us. I mean think about it; for us, even though our children stray, even though they are rebellious, even though they deliberately choose to estrange themselves from us, we will never give up on them, never give up looking for them, because we love them; so what more our Father? Except that, with our Father, it gets better. Not only is He always looking out for us, even when we stray, He plays no favorites and loves us all with the same unimaginable, unfathomable intensity.

“For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;
Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]
For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].” Ephesians 2:8-10 [AMPC]

It is our Father’s love and our Father’s love only that sent Jesus to the cross. It is our Father’s love and our Father’s love only that sent the Holy Spirit to put that ‘warm fuzzy feeling’ in your heart so that you will turn back to Him. And it is our Father’s love that made it possible for Jesus to bear our sins, our iniquities, our rightful punishment, our guilt and our shame on that cross, so that

“…now in Christ Jesus, you who once were [so] far away, through (by, in) the blood of Christ have been brought near.” Ephesians 2:13 [AMPC]

“For He is [Himself] our peace (our bond of unity and harmony). He has made us both [Jew and Gentile] one [body], and has broken down (destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us,
By abolishing in His [own crucified] flesh the enmity [caused by] the Law with its decrees and ordinances [which He annulled]; that He from the two might create in Himself one new man [one new quality of humanity out of the two], so making peace.” Ephesians 2:14-15 [AMPC]

“Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship with the saints (God’s own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself); and you belong to God’s [own] household.” Ephesians 2:19 [AMPC]

Beloved, you are no longer the individual that you once were. You are no longer living life just for yourself or your family. You are now integrated into our Father’s family. You belong to our Father’s household. But you are not there as a servant, for

“…as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13

You are His child.

“Now a slave does not remain in a household permanently (forever); the son [of the house] does remain forever.” John 8:35 [AMPC]

So because we will never leave our Father’s side, be away from our Father’s presence; we will never be wanting for our Father’s care. And because we who believe are our Father’s children, our faith is not built on empty promises or on fairy’s tales.

“You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the chief Cornerstone.” Ephesians 2:20 [AMPC]

Beloved, our Father gave up Jesus who was “daily His delight” (Proverbs 8:30) so that you and I can be saved. Do you really think He would have done that if we were ‘second best’ to Him? No beloved, there is no such thing as second best to our Father. You are loved, cared for, protected, provided for and cherished. And that is that. No use making comparisons because our Father doesn’t.

And if by chance you have never known our Father’s love and now want in, my friend you can. Jesus was asked,

““What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:28-29

If you believe that our Father loves you, and You believe that Jesus loves you, because He obeyed our Father’s wishes and went to the cross for you, bled and died for you, then you are doing the exact and only thing God wants from you. So if you believe, then say this to our Father right now.

“Father, thank You for loving me so much that You would send Jesus to die on the cross for me. Thank You Father that despite my sins, you still love me regardless, and sacrificed the apple of Your eye for me. Father my limited mind will probably never comprehend just how much love You have for me but I am thankful that You love me nonetheless. Jesus, thank You for bearing my sin on the cross so that by Your death, I die to sin. Thank You that by Your blood shed, my sins are cleansed, once and for all. Thank You that no matter what I do, I know You have my back, always interceding on my behalf, always keeping me on Your paths. And though I may stray, I know You are always there, willing and working by Your energies to make me into the person You made me to be. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Beloved child of God, in our Father’s eyes, you are never second best, because You are loved by the best.

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