Sunday, January 20, 2013

Your Daddy’s So Proud of You

People can have wrong perceptions of God because of a not-so-good relationship with their earthly father. A couple of weeks ago, I attended a house meeting hosted by a minister friend. During a time of waiting on the Lord, my friend played on his stereo a song by Keith Ferrante called “Your Daddy’s So Proud”, which is meant to be a love song from Father God to His people. Another man at the meeting got upset because of the song and came close to walking out the door. Fortunately, I convinced him to stay and spent time ministering to him.

This is not the first time that has happened. At another house meeting a few months earlier, this same man got offended after hearing “Your Daddy’s So Proud.” He claimed, “God doesn’t want us proud. Therefore, God shouldn’t be proud of us.” I replied by pointing out if our kids do well in school or accomplish something worthwhile, we would likely tell them, “I’m proud of you.”

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines pride as “feeling deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.” This same dictionary calls pride a sin if one has “an excessively high opinion of oneself or one's importance.”  

It’s true that many Scriptures talk about pride in a negative sense. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5 both say, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Sadly, some sinners like to proudly display their deviant behaviors (such as in “Gay Pride” parades). 

On the other hand, the Apostle Paul walked in humility yet took pride in the people he raised up in the Lord. 2 Corinthians 7:14 in the New American Standard Bible says, “I had told him how proud I was of you—and you didn’t disappoint me. I have always told you the truth, and now my boasting to Titus has also proved true!” 2 Corinthians 8:24 in the Amplified Bible reads, “Show to these men, therefore, in the sight of the churches, the reality and plain truth of your love (your affection, goodwill, and benevolence) and what [good reasons] I had for boasting about and being proud of you.”

It’s okay for believers to be proud of their accomplishments as long as they give God the glory…

“For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.” - 2 Corinthians 1:12 (NASB)

“Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart.”- 2 Corinthians 5:12 (NASB)

Years ago at a Lutheran renewal meeting, I received a life-changing revelation regarding what happened after Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River. Luke 3:22 says, “And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, ‘You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.’” Notice God was pleased with His Son before He did any miracles. We don’t have to do any good works to be in right standing with God. All we need to do is receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Religion always turns those things around. 

Of course, God is pleased when we obey His commandments. But as long as your faith is in the person of Christ and not what you do for Him, Abba Father will always be proud of you.

“Then on the day when the Lord Jesus returns, you will be proud of us in the same way we are proud of you.” - 2 Corinthians 1:14 (NLT)

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