“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Agatha Christie wrote on one occasion that she married an archaeologist. When asked why she replied, “Because the older I get the more he’ll appreciate me.”
From the moment we take our first breath, we begin to age. At first we embrace it enthusiastically and it just can’t happen fast enough. Then suddenly, or gradually, reality sets in…the years pass more quickly. We begin to spend more time on our wardrobe, shopping for makeup, and searching for flattering hairstyles.
Our culture worships youth and beauty and we buy into the lie that our shells and our age define our value. Fortunately, God is not impressed nor is He deceived by our physical appearance. 1 Samuel 16:7b says, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.”
What if instead of defining ourselves by our looks or age we defined ourselves by the things that God values?
- God values women who seek Him first (Matthew 6:33) God desires and created us to be in relationship with Him. No other person or thing can satisfy us like He can.
- God values women who are faithful (Proverbs 31:30). No matter how much we love God, living the Christian life is a challenge…the infant crying in the night, relationships in conflict, finances out of control, the wayward child, and discouragement in ministry to name a few. Our faithfulness is revealed in our daily lives as we live out our commitment to God and to others.
- God values beauty that comes from within ( 1 Peter 3:3-4). Bodies deteriorate but our spirits are renewed day by day as we walk with God.
- God values women who are humble (Philippians 2:3-4). We live in a culture that says, “ It’s all about me!”. This preoccupation with self is rooted in pride… the desire to lift up and exalt ourselves beyond our place as a creation of God. There are many biblical examples of pride and its consequences (Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar). Humility, although out of fashion, is of great value in God’s eyes. While we should not think less of ourselves, we should think of ourselves less. (Unknown)
- God values women who live lives of service for the Lord (1 Peter 4:11). Peter makes it clear that we are gifted by God for two purposes…to serve others and to bring glory to God. Many think that serving God has to do with ministry related activities but serving God is much more. Serving God is a life style. Whatever we do out of love for God is service.
Let’s stop counting the years and celebrate the reality that our age or how we look does not determine our value …God does.
Truth to Claim: We are valuable to God.
Application: Live lives defined by who God says we are instead of who our culture says we are.
Solo Deo Gloria
I have often been asked the question “who are you?” People want to know my name, my family, my occupation, my character, or my beliefs. It’s sometimes difficult to know how to answer the question.
I may reply in various ways depending on the circumstances.
- I am Kay Mitchell
- I am a registered nurse.
- I am a daughter, a wife, a mother and a grandmother.
- I am a Bible teacher.
- I am a writer.
While all of those things are true, there is another identity deep inside me about which I am passionate – I am a Christian.
The name Christian is the name I received the day I accepted God’s gift of salvation in Jesus Christ – I became a Christ-follower.
Being a Christ follower has a great benefit package!
- We are loved by God the Father. (Romans 5:8) We are loved by the Father not because of what we’ve done, but because we are His children. (John 1:12)
- We are valuable. We were purchased at a steep price. (1 Corinthians 6:20) Why? Because of His deep love for us He desires a loving relationship with us.
- We are justified and declared innocent. (Galatians 2:16)
- Our sin no longer defines us. (1 Corinthians 15:57) And as if forgiving us isn’t enough, God chooses to forget our failures. (Isaiah 43:25)
- We are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus. (Romans 5:17) As a Christ-follower our sin was exchanged for Jesus’ own righteousness.
- We are a new creation! (2 Corinthians 5:17) God didn’t repair the old me, He created a new me in Christ.(Galatians 2:20)
Many other benefits are ours as well. Failure to know our benefits in Christ can cripple our faith. Satan works diligently to program our minds to feel unworthy. It is one of the most devastating strongholds among Christians today. The truth is that in our own power and effort we are unworthy – but, through the Blood of Jesus we are made worthy.
Although as Christians we have an awesome benefit package we also have a challenging job description. We like to talk about the benefits and freedom that we enjoy in Christ, as well we should, but we must also remember the responsibilities that accompany those benefits and freedoms. The same Bible that talks about Grace, Freedom, and Forgiveness and that home in Heaven also tells us what our responsibilities are in this world.
- We are called to be Witnesses, Teachers and Disciplers. (Matthew 28:19-20) God’s ultimate plan is to reconcile the world to Himself. We are His instruments in accomplishing that plan.
- We are to be Defenders of the Faith and Students of the Word. To do so we must keep our minds focused on Christ and study His Word. (2 Timothy 2:15) We cannot defend what we do not know.
- We are to be Attenders, Supporters, Encouragers, Givers and Workers in the church. (Hebrews 10:25) God wants us to use our time, our money and our personality for His kingdom and glory.
- We are to be Worshipers who Pray and are Thankful. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) We cannot help but worship God with prayer and thanksgiving when we remember all that He has done for us and has promised to do for us.
As Christ-followers we should live each day with thankfulness for our God-given benefits and with a determination to be faithful in fulfilling our responsibilities as Christians.
Truth to Be Claimed: Being a Christian has both benefits and responsibilities.
Application: Thank God for the benefits of being a Christian. Ask God to help you fulfill your responsibilities as a Christian in a manner that brings honor and glory to Him.
Solo Deo Gloria