Grace for Myself

graceThese troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you. You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. So you are filled with a joy that cannot be explained, a joy full of glory. (1 Peter 1:7-8)

Ponder It.

  • How do you assign value to yourself in everyday life?
  • What do you believe God thinks of you?
  • If you could change one thing about the way you see your value, what would it be?

Receive It. God didn’t mess up his design of you. He’s God, and he’s incapable of messing up. He created you in his image. You have his imprint on you. You can distort the image he’s placed on you by the way you live, but you can’t eliminate the image of God within you. No matter what you do, you cannot veer so far from God that he cannot reach you. You can never completely eliminate the image with which he’s created you. You’re designed from the inside out. When we neglect or refuse to acknowledge the worth God has given us—whether we inflate or deflate ourselves—we are trying to say we know more about how we’re made and who we are than God does. We try to take control and assign value in an area in which we have no authority. Whether we think too much or too little of ourselves, we’re wrestling God for authority. We lose. God decides our worth, and he thinks we’re worth sending his only Son to die for us. Yes, God sees our shortcomings, but he sees them only in the context of our potential. He knows the possibilities with which he created us, and he will continually strive to guide and mold us to our completion. When we don’t acknowledge his will and our value, we miss out on his plan, which is exactly what he doesn’t want us to do. Let’s let him show us our value and fully live as he intends.

Live It. Look at yourself in the mirror. Study your image. Then close your eyes and ask God to let you see through the darkness of your closed eyes as he reveals the truth of your value. Trust his value.

The Search for Wisdom

got-wisdomThe search for wisdom is a grand search. It is elusive and satisfying, frustrating and fulfilling, uncertain and hopeful.

But where can wisdom be found, and where is understanding located?
No man can know its value, since it cannot be found in the land of the living.
The ocean depths say, “It’s not in me,” while the sea declares, “I don’t have it.”
Gold cannot be exchanged for it, and silver cannot be weighed out for its price.
Wisdom cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire.
Gold and glass do not compare with it, and articles of fine gold cannot be exchanged for it.
Coral and quartz are not worth mentioning. The price of wisdom is beyond pearls.
Topaz from Cush cannot compare with it, and it cannot be valued in pure gold.

Where then does wisdom come from, and where is understanding located?
It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing and concealed from the birds of the sky.
Abaddon and Death say, “We have heard news of it with our ears.”
But God understands the way to wisdom, and He knows its location.
For He looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.
When God fixed the weight of the wind and limited the water by measure,
when He established a limit for the rain and a path for the lightning,
He considered wisdom and evaluated it; He established it and examined it.
He said to mankind, “The fear of the Lord is this: wisdom.
And to turn from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:12-28)

The Very Important Title

The Very Reverend.

I don’t know who he was, but his photo and name flashed across the screen, advertising his upcoming appearance. It was his title that caught my attention.

Apparently (after doing some Google research), it’s not an unusual title in some customs and denominations. I mean no disrespect, but I began to wonder how it would seem if we began to use the practice with other titles.

The Very Mother

The Very Teacher

The Very Officer

The Very Cashier

The Very Son

The Very Athlete

The Very Musician

The Very Business Owner

I am all for being the best we can be in anything we do.  But “The Very” seems to add an air of importance that undermines what is most important in faith and everyday life: The Very Servant. How can we humbly serve, put ourselves last, and die to ourselves to live in and for Christ when we call attention to our position, worthiness, and service?

Why do we have to call attention to ourselves or attain a lofty title in order to find worth? Worth isn’t actually ours to define, determine, and assign. The Very Sovereign God has that covered. Only He doesn’t need to add anything to His name or identity. His worth is in who He is. He reveals Himself through His many names. But He never exaggerates. He claims the truth. When we try to exalt ourselves, we end up humbled by Him.

It’s much better to choose to be humble, because it positions us well in the first place. And it reflects reality and truth. We aren’t Truth; that identity is fully accomplished and encompassed by Jesus. But we get to be His servant, which means we get to reflect, seek, and rely on Him.

And that thrills and fulfills me…very, very, very much.

Being Resolute in God’s Value of Me

These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you. You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. So you are filled with a joy that cannot be explained, a joy full of glory. (1 Peter 1:7-8)

How do you assign value to yourself in everyday life?

What do you believe God thinks of you?

If you could change one thing about the way you see your value, what would it be?

God didn’t mess up his design of you. He’s God, and he’s incapable of messing up. He created you in his image. You have his imprint on you. You can distort the image he’s placed on you by the way you live, but you can’t eliminate the image of God within you. No matter what you do, you cannot veer so far from God that he cannot reach you. You can never completely eliminate the image with which he’s created you. You’re designed from the inside out. When we neglect or refuse to acknowledge the worth God has given us – whether we inflate or deflate ourselves – we are trying to say we know more about how we’re made and who we are than God does. We try to take control and assign value in an area in which we have no authority. Whether we think too much or too little of ourselves, we’re wrestling God for authority. We lose. God decides our worth, and he thinks we’re worth sending his only Son to die for us. Yes, God sees our shortcomings, but he sees them only in the context of our potential. He knows the possibilities with which he created us, and he will continually strive to guide and mold us to our completion. When we don’t acknowledge his will and our value, we miss out on his plan, which is exactly what he doesn’t want us to do. Let’s let him show us our value and fully live as he intends.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Study your image. Then close your eyes and ask God to let you see through the darkness of your closed eyes as he reveals the truth of your value. Trust his value.