by | Jun 13, 2024 | Identity, Leadership, Ministry Leader, Pastor

A few weeks ago, on the Leading from Alignment podcast John and Jim explored Luke 3:21-22.

“When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well-pleased.”

John and Jim contended there are three incredibly Important and foundational personal and leadership items revealed in this passage of Scripture. And I’m not going to lie, listening to them discuss these principles made me emotional.

Identity: “You are my Son…” Leaders (all believers for that matter) who want to be healthy must work and live from their identity rather than for their identity. If you’re a leader who loves Jesus, your core identity is this: You are an adopted son or daughter who is treasured by a good Father!  We can lose track of this identity when we strive to do things and “be somebody.” It is so easy to get caught up in our accomplishments and accolades as leaders. Those things do not create our identity. Being a child of God does.

Affection: “…whom I love” Living and leading out of the experiential knowledge that we are perfectly loved by our Heavenly Father changes everything. He feels such fondness for us. Most Probably most Christians believe in their head that God loves them. But few are convinced in their heart that He loves them. Ephesians 3:17-19 says, “And I pray that you, rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” “Know” in this passage comes from the Greek word, “ginosko” – and it means to know experientially. Experiencing the affection God has for us changes our landscape. When we live and lead out of experientially being convinced of the love of the Father, we lead with a full tank.

Affirmation: “…in whom I am well-pleased. This piece of the puzzle has to do with working from approval versus for approval. Jesus death on the cross guarantees his stamp of approval to those who’ve surrendered to Him! We don’t have to strive or work for what we already have. Father God’s affirmation addresses all the negative self-talk we tell ourselves, and all the lies the devil lobs our way.


In the podcast, Jim told the story of how when his sons were young, his constant phrase to them was, “Hey kid . . . I love you. You make me happy.” I feel like that sentence sums all this up so nicely in modern language. Friends, if you want to lead better, lead longer, and enjoy it more . . . let Luke 3:21-22 sink deeply into your soul. “You are my son or daughter . . .  whom I love . . . with you I am well-pleased!” You are God’s favorite kid. And so am I. His love is vast enough for all of us to be His favorite kid. Think of the confidence the Apostle John reveals in his Gospel. He regularly refers to himself as the one Jesus loved. I pray that we would have that level of confidence in Jesus’ view of us.


“Hey kid . . . I love you. You make me happy.”


Rooting and praying for you,

Jaime Hlavin