Jesus Makes A Difference: Self-Image
Sunday, October 23, 2016
I don’t always have intimate personal knowledge of the topics about which I preach and teach. God’s word if full of wisdom and truth that I feel confident and comfortable in teaching and reaching. Today, you should know, “I know whereof I speak.” A life of personal comparison and self-loathing. Never measured up. Wasn’t really good at anything. Wasn’t good for anything. I never really believed a statement that was popular during my childhood: “God don’t make no junk.” My heart truly goes out to those who labor under the burden of a diminished self-image. I am not suggesting that the healing of such will be easy or immediate.
How we see ourselves. How others see us. How God sees us.
I hate click-bait. Daily we are bombarded with suggestions like, “19 Child Stars Who Are Unrecognizable Now,” “12 Celebrities Who Have Let Themselves Go,” “Fifteen Stars Who Are Married to Ugly People,” and the like. So much value is placed on a person aesthetically, as if a human being’s only real value is in how physically attractive they are. I hope your own personal value isn’t tangled up with how pretty or handsome you believe you are, but instead in who God made you to be and how much He was willing to sacrifice on your behalf.
1 Samuel 16:7. “The Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”
Genesis 1:27, ”So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” And then in verse 31, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”
Land and seas . . . it was good.
Vegetation . . . it was good.
Moon and stars . . . it was good.
Sea creatures and birds . . . it was good.
Wild animals and livestock . . . it was good.
After He created humans . . . it was very good. VERY good. You are more precious and valuable to God than an octopus, an osprey, or an ocelot. You matter more to Him than the Grand Canyon or Grand Cayman Island.
Psalm 8:3-8. “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.”
Unique. Different. Special.
God gave something breathtaking because of us.
John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
1 Timothy 2:3-5, “God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.”
1 John 3:1. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
GOD DOESN’T JUST LOVE THE WORLD: HE LOVES YOU.
1 Corinthians 8:11. Paul points to the value of a Christian brother or sister by saying they are “for whom Christ died.”
In Luke 15, Jesus tells three stories to high-minded, self-loving Pharisees and teachers of the Law to show them how much regular, everyday people matter to God. First is a story about a lost sheep. Second is about a lost coin. Finally, He tells a story about a lost son. There is great rejoicing, much celebrating when just one is found. The value of the individual is real.
2 Peter 3:9. “Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” God wants no one to perish. He wants to save every single one of us. Had there been only one person lost, God would still have sent Jesus to save that one person.
Romans 8:31-34. 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
He transforms our identity and our self-worth. God is for you. He gave His Son for you. He justifies you. Jesus died and rose again for you. Jesus intercedes for you.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
God-created. Hand-stitched. Fearfully made. Wonderfully made. A wonderful work of God. Known. Designed. Planned. Purposed. Hand-crafted.