Thursday, 14 February 2013

The God Loves Me Project

A friend of mine has been collecting encouraging scriptures and letters from women about God's love in order to send them to a teenager who is just about to graduate from high school.  This is what God gave me to share with her.  I wanted to share it here on my blog as well.  I think Valentine's Day is the perfect time!  I feel there are many people who need to hear this message. I know how much I needed to hear it again myself. Enjoy.

At the beginning of last year, I was having some trouble with my self-image.  A lot of things had happened, and I was in a pretty dark place in my soul. During that time, a friend and mentor in the Lord challenged me to begin to meditate on how God sees me.  She challenged me to stop looking to what others think of me and stop looking at all my failures, and begin to place my eyes on what Jesus thinks of me. She challenged me to search the scriptures and make a list answering the question, “How does God see me?”

There were a lot of things that I found. I am the apple of His eye (Deuteronomy 32:9-10, Zachariah 2:8, and Psalm 17:8). He delights in me (Psalm 18:19). He was pleased to make me His own (1Samuel 12:22). He chose me (Ephesians 1:11). He takes pleasure in me and has adopted me as His daughter (Ephesians 1:5). He has plans for my good and to give me a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

But out of all the scriptures I read and all the things I learned about how God sees me, one nugget of truth resonated the most.  God began to show me that I am His treasured possession.

For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be His treasured possession.

Somehow meditating on this verse helped me begin to realize that I was chosen and treasured.  Even when other people did not treasure me, even when I felt my own family was treating me like rubbish, even when I felt like rubbish myself, the Maker of Heaven and Earth treasured, chose, and valued me.  He saw that I was a treasure even when I couldn’t see it. Even when others around me didn’t see it, He saw. 

And He was waiting quietly in the wings for me to come to Him and listen to Him speak words of life to me.  He wanted me to hear that everything I was looking to others to provide for me was meant to be given by Him.  He was continuously longing to poor these words of life into my soul, but I was too busy looking around and within to hear Him speak.

I learned during this time that I had to stop looking to the world and others (even Christian people, even my husband and my family) to provide what only He can. He is my source of sufficiency. He is the giver of hope and life and esteem.  I have self-esteem because God esteems me.  For me to look on what he calls treasure and say it’s rubbish is just sin.  I could write for hours to tell the whole story and all God brought me through and showed me.  There was an intense time of repentance for believing the lies that Satan was shouting at me over the truth that Jesus paid the price for me to know.  I am His treasure.  You are too.

In Exodus 19:5, God says:
If you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the Earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

Again God is echoing that we are His treasured possession, but in these verses there seems to be more to it.  There is also the command to obey His voice and keep His covenant. Now this was the Old Testament and the covenant was a bit different, but I think the words hold true today.  We are under a new covenant, bought with the blood of Jesus shed for our sins to bring us into right standing before God.  There is grace, but grace is not an excuse to sin.  (See Romans 6:1-4)  God still wants us to obey Him, to follow Him and keep a heart of repentance that bends our heart towards Him and away from sin.  He wants us to be holy. When we fall victim to the lies of Satan that tell us we are worthless or no good…when those thoughts race through our mind that we are a failure, we have to remember that Satan roams about like a roaring lion seeking whom He may devour (1 Peter 5:8).  He comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).  He wants to take us out.  He doesn’t want us believing in God’s truth about us. 

Why? Because if we truly believe we are treasured and we see that we are more than conquerors through Jesus (Romans 8:37)…if we know that Jesus has already made (past tense) us victorious (2 Corinthians 2:14), we will live our lives with purpose and passion.  Not only that, but we will also persuade others to live by the truth as well.  That makes hell shake in fear.

In Deuteronomy 26:18, the Bible states:
And the LORD has declared this day that you are His people, His treasured possession as He promised, and that you are to keep all His commands.

You are treasured, beloved, valued, esteemed!  The Lord of Heaven and Earth has declared it. The enemy does comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came so you could have life and have it to the full (John 10:10). The greatest part is that it’s not because of how good you’ve been or what you have or haven’t done.  It’s just all because of Jesus and what he has already done on the cross.  When you fail, it’s ok.  Repent and move forward.  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).  You don’t have to lie their wallowing in your sin or self-pity.  Jesus forgives.  That’s why He died and rose again.  He’s not surprised.  He loves infinitely and completely.  His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).  Those are His promises.  God has declared it, so why don’t you declare it too? I dare you.

1 Peter 2:9 says…
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.

Don’t stay in the darkness of Satan’s lies.  You’ve been called out of that.  You belong to God.  You were made to declare His praise.  You are chosen royalty my friend.  You have been set apart, so live differently.  Look to Jesus. Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith (Hebrews 12:2).  When times are hard, know it’s ok.  He’s with you and still treasures you…that’s right YOU!  He cries with you and for you.  He just wants your heart…all of believe and trust His truth. 

Would you be willing to do that?  Would you take a minute and meditate on the fact that you are His treasured possession and let that change the way you think and the way you act?  

Dear God, please help those who read this find a new revelation of the truth that they are your treasured possession.  May they look to you as their source of encouragement and esteem.  May they fully trust Your love for them.  May they know that of all the people on the face of the Earth, You have chosen them to be Your treasured possession.  All of heaven and earth is Yours, but You treasure them more than anything else.  There is a saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I thank you God that we are not rubbish…we are not trash…not even close…no matter what anyone might try to say…no matter how loud the devil may be screaming it at matter how hard our own soul seems to condemn us. We are worth so much that You sent Your Son to redeem us from our sins.  You paid the highest price so that we could be brought near to You.  Let us realize our true value.  Let us see ourselves as Your treasure and live our lives in such a way that others will see it too.

Friend, I truly believe that when we begin to see that we are a treasure, we will act differently.  And you know what…speaking from experience, now that my life has been changed by this truth, I have noticed that people do seem to value me more.  I’m not sure if it’s just my perspective or reality, but I truly believe that God’s transformed my life so miraculously that others around have taken notice.  My prayer is that this life changing revelation would transform them too, and I pray it will transform you!

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
For we are God's masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

You are His treasure, His masterpiece for the world to see. Now go forth and do the good things He has planned for you. It will be an adventure, not always an easy one, but He will be with you always (Matthew 28:20). Believe His promises, rest in His truth, trust His ways.  I dare you!

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