Solo Audience

Monday, January 9, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Children Of The Heavenly King"1 (Lyrics)

The crowd collectively held their breath as the "black belt" entered the tournament arena. The young man had defeated other competitors to achieve the chance to win a Grand Champion trophy from his martial arts school. This was his moment.

He stood before the judges, bowed, and began his final performance. To the astonishment of the judges and the crowd, his moves were not the moves of a third-degree black belt in Korean Tang Soo Do, but those of a lower ranking belt. The young man finished and stood motionless, waiting for his score.

Over the loudspeaker, a deep voice echoed, "Ladies and gentlemen, please give my son a round of applause. He chose to perform at a lower rank today, thereby forfeiting the Grand Champion trophy to another student." The young man bowed to the judges and toward the voice.

The voice was that of his father.

The son was the best in the school, but his motive had never been to earn a trophy; it was to honour his father specifically by performing his father's most favourite martial arts techniques. And his father approved. Eventually, he would be taking over the school, continuing his father's legacy.

John 8:29 – And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. (KJV)

When Jesus walked on this earth, His purpose was to honour His Father. His mission, ultimately, was to die on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. During His lifetime, He brought glory to His Father by healing the sick, raising the dead, and caring for children. Often, He experienced misunderstanding and criticism from the religious leaders and even from His own disciples. They did not comprehend Who He was or what His plan was. But Jesus knew that the Father was with Him, and His Father was pleased with Him. That was all that mattered.

In our daily lives, money, power, fame, or promotions call out to us, pulling us into the lie that they will fulfill us. Yet our calling as Christians is to honour our heavenly Father — not primarily to pursue success.

Just as Jesus always performed the will of the Father, so should we follow Jesus' example. How we please God will differ according to our unique gifts. It might involve sacrificial service to our family, giving from our financial resources, volunteering our time at a non-profit, or simply showing patience with others.

May we not strive for pointless trophies. May we not worry about satisfying other people or worrying over their opinions of us. We have a solo audience in heaven. Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus and choose the path of humility and service to others.

For then, someday, we will hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Prayer: Father God, help us to remain purposeful in our actions and focused on Your work through us. Thank You that we can do good in Your name on this earth. We are filled with joy as we please You. We praise Your name above all others. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Kathleen Dunlap <>
Arvada, Colorado, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank- you Kathleen!

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Kathleen.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.

    Thank you! Your message was lovely.
    (Ontario, Canada)

    Thank you for this inspirational devotional today. Such a lovely story to share. May the Lord continue to bless your writing. Cause many to be touched.

    Thank you, Kathleen, for your good words of advice today. Yes, we need be very thankful each and every day to our Lord for is ever present care of us. Blessings for your thoughtful writing.

    Kathleen – thank you for this thought-provoking perspective on our daily mission. I found it most helpful in my walk with Jesus.
    (Ottawa Canada)

    What an amazing and didactic story! What if we all behaved like that, Jesus’s mission would be done in a flash!

    Dear Kathleen, I needed to hear your message today. I spend a lot of time meeting various family needs and sometimes I resent the continuous demands. I need the new mindset that sacrificial service to family is pleasing to God. Thank you for helping me to carry my load in the right frame of mind and from God’s perspective. Blessings.

    Good morning, Kathleen,
    Well the title stumped me. “Solo Audience” what were you going to share.
    This is a very important message. I know that I get caught up in wanting to win when I play a game or be perfect when I do my work. I had tears in my eyes when I read about this young man. I did not guess that he had done this for a very unselfish reason and also to honour his father while I was reading the message.
    Am I filled with JOY when I please God? Do I know when I please God? These are my thoughts for today.
    Many blessings.

    Thank you, Kathleen. I like this:
    May we not strive for pointless trophies. May we not worry about satisfying other people or worrying over their opinions of us. We have a solo audience in heaven. Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus and choose the path of humility and service to others.

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