Blog for Podcast #76 (Favorites)


Intro

This is Dreamwalker1960. As a reminder you can read the transcripts of all my podcasts at dreamwalker1960.com. You can use most podcast platforms if you wish to listen. All you need do is do a search for Dreamwalker1960.

Discussion

From time to time I will see someone say: “What is your favorite Bible verse?” or “Who is your favorite person in the Bible?” or “What is your favorite book in the Bible?” or “What is your favorite Testament?”

I can never answer these questions.

For to have a “favorite” means you are ignoring other parts of the Bible. Especially those part of the Bible of the which make you uncomfortable. It is these sore parts that need to be read and understood, because it is these parts of the Bible that God needs you to learn and understand.

Now as to the second question I stated. Someone will say Jesus Christ. I would be one of these. However, Christ is not a person and so does not qualify truly as an answer to this question. Those that qualify as “persons” within the Bible are human beings. That is like saying David is a favorite but saying this leaves you open to failure. For did not David commit a sin so great in God’s eyes that He punished all of Israel just because their king committed adultery and murder? Someone will state: “No I meant the child David.” You cannot take the child without accepting the adult this person becomes. Did David repent of his sins? Yes, he did, but his direct descendants were cursed due to his actions and behavior.

Now you see why there is no answer to questions like these.

Those humans within the Bible, especially those within the Old Testament, are role models. Examples of behavior of how to act or not to act. No more and no less. Consequently, there can never be a favorite. That is like saying there is a favorite testament.

Again, there is no answer to this question. For we should never ignore any part of the Bible. The entire Book, which is the Bible, is there for a reason.

Now here someone will protest that the Bible was put together by a group of men. True, but did they not pray for guidance from God through Jesus Christ when forming it? The answer to that question is yes. But we can go further than that:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Therefore, to have a favorite part of the Bible is to defy God. What else does the Bible say about favoritism?

James 2:1-13 – My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? 2 For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. 3 If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, 4 doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives? 5 Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? 6 But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? 7 Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear? 8 Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 9 But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law. 10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. 11 For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law. 12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. 13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

These verses lead to how should we as “Christians” behave one to the other. For this too deals with having “favorites” in many ways. So now let us look at the fifth chapter of 1 Timothy:

1 Timothy 5:1–2 – Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. 2 Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.

continuing:

1 Timothy 5:24-25 – Remember, the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later. 25 In the same way, the good deeds of some people are obvious. And the good deeds done in secret will someday come to light.

When treating others with respect and kindness. You are treating them as you would treat yourself, as we are commanded by Jesus Christ

Matthew 22:36-40 – “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Now let us also look at the book of James once again:

James 3:13-18 – If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.”

When you are one with Christ and the Holy Spirit is present in your life. There is no favoritism of any type. You accept the teachings of the entire Bible and face them head on and come to understand that there will be those that believe they are one with Christ. However, their lifestyle says the opposite. For that we look to Ephesians:

Ephesians 5:1-21 – Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. 3 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. 4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. 5 You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. 7 Don’t participate in the things these people do. 8 For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. 10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, 14 for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” 15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

So, we shouldn’t seek after “favorites” either. For when we do, we are not seeking after God through Jesus Christ our Savior. We are seeking after excuses not to correct our lives so we can continue to live in sin. As shown in the verses we just read. That is excusing sin. Thus, seeking not after God’s blessing but His wrath instead.

What is to follow is another aspect of favoritism that should cause people to think.

1 John 4:7-8 – Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1 Corinthians 10:23-33 – You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 24 Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others. 25 So you may eat any meat that is sold in the marketplace without raising questions of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.” 27 If someone who isn’t a believer asks you home for dinner, accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you without raising questions of conscience. 28 (But suppose someone tells you, “This meat was offered to an idol.” Don’t eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you. 29 It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person.) For why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks? 30 If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why should I be condemned for eating it? 31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. 33 I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.

1 Peter 1:13-17 – So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” 17 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 here as “temporary residents.”

1 John 3:7-10 – Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. 9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.

These verses describe how we should act and live for only one being deserves our “favoritism.” That is God through His Son Jesus Christ Our Savior. We should learn the entire Bible so we can learn how to act and behave as His true children. Living a life not in this world and those things that appeal to our eyes and our touch here on earth. (1 John 2:15-17) But we seek to love and help all to come to know the truth. That is done by showing our favor to our Savior Christ by living righteous and holy lives that cause those of this world to seek after this joy and happiness as well.

God Bless

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