This is my Son in whom I am well pleased. It was with the affirmation and approval from God the Father to His Son Jesus before he started His earthly ministry. We often hear this scripture as an encouragement that God approves of us and is pleased with us before and without doing anything to merit that approval. But is that true? Does God approve of us and love us just as we are because he is?

It sounds good, but not exactly. God is love and loves us unconditionally without a response from us, either good or evil. God does not love us based on performance. We do that. But does God approve of us before we rightly respond to Him? Should we view God's approval of Jesus before his earthly ministry as approving of us without a proper response?

God does not approve of us for the good works we can deliver. We can't deliver good work without him anyway. Without God's love, we can only mimic good, but we will come out sounding like a clanging symbol in eternity. Without Christ, we can-do no-good thing. There is no one good but God. But because God gave his Son Jesus, we are saved for good works. So then, does God approve of us before we do anything?

We need inspired scripture to tell us what pleased God about Jesus before Jesus ever entered ministry. Jesus pleased the Father before entering a life of good works. But how? Was it because God was just that good?

Hebrews 11:6 reads that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Our works don't necessarily please God, as we find out with Israel in the wilderness, who did work but did not add faith. Jesus pleased God before the work of the ministry through faith that God is good and that God is a rewarder to those who believe that he is.



There has been a message burning in me for the past few years. A few weeks ago, God gave me a title and said run with it. The title is 'The Battle of the Titans.' My first thought was the movies where Godzilla takes on another beast. And the people aren't clear if either beast is for or against them. A few days later, going through the town of Chandler, I glanced at the movie theater to see playing Godzilla vs. Kong. There is no excuse for the delay; I must write this out for my sake, if not anyone else.

I am not a fan of monster movies and wasn't sure if Godzilla was a hero or villain to the Japanese until doing a little research. Godzilla is a reference to the U.S.A. dropping the atomic bomb that forever changed civilization and let loose a new type of monster. Over the years, Godzilla has been the enemy and, at times, the salvation of the people. I guess we can say the same thing about the atomic bomb. Life and society were devastated even in the Government's salvation of stopping a war.

And this salvation\devastation is where 'The Battle of the Titans' becomes reality. Does the Government save or destroy?

In the United States of America, we are in election year 2024. The Battle of the Titans is here again, and destruction will follow no matter who wins. As the two titans battle it out, we, the people, will be devastated and not saved.

In Jesus' day, he had to fight the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Scribes. Today, we fight the Democrats, the Republicans, and the Media. Like Jesus, these three groups trick and deceive us to establish their narrative and gain. And many Christians fall for it every four years because they don't know where their salvation comes from. Salvation comes from God and not the strength or wisdom of man.



I'm a recovering puritan. For about six months a decade ago or more, God would ask me if I was a Puritan. I didn't know how to answer and got frustrated when asked. Based on my limited knowledge of the Puritans, I came to an answer and said yes. I want purity as well. God said in my heart, "At least now you know." I didn't understand what God was saying to me at the time.

I have a cultural understanding of the sixteenth and seventeenth-century Puritans and not a complete historian view. The Puritans are best known for being the sect of pilgrims that sought purity in all things, even to the point of seeing a demon behind every rock, hence the Salem witch trials. Puritans, in its name, suggest purity. The Puritans even banned Christmas here in the United States for many years because it was filled with impurities.

The Puritans were a godly people but maybe also a miserable people because life was so impure it was impossible to live pure for Christ. Reform was always on their mind. And when reform wasn't creating the society they wanted, they took their bat, ball, and glove and separated, extinguishing their light in the world.

Puritans then and now see life as black and white. And I think so, too, with the thought that sin is sin and righteousness is righteousness, but it goes gray regarding the thoughts and motives of the heart and mind. It gets complicated living in a fallen world. What is to be kept and protected, and what needs to be cut off?

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