Archive for May 8th, 2017

from JO’s sermon tonight:

too often, we base our value on how someone is treating us, how successful we are, or how perfect of a life we’ve lived; the problem is, all of those things can change. if you’re getting your value out of how people treat you, if they hurt or disappoint you you’re going to feel devalued. if you’re basing your value on your achievements, how much you make, what kind of car you drive, the title behind your name, then if something happens and you no longer have that position, your business goes down, then your value will go down. some people don’t feel good about themselves because they’ve made mistakes in life, they’re not where they thought they would be; now they’re living insecure, feeling inferior; they’re basing their value on their performance.

your value should be based solely on the fact that you are a child of the most high God; the Creator of the universe breathed His life into you. how someone treats you doesn’t change your value; what they say or do doesn’t lessen who you are. the mistakes you’ve made don’t decrease your value; that’s what you did, not who you are. you can buy a bigger house, drive a better car, but that doesn’t make you any more valuable; that increases your net worth, not your self-worth. you were already valuable when you had a small apartment and no title behind your name; that new position may give you more influence, but not more value. you can be a stay at home mom raising your children; you may not have the influence of a CEO, but you have the same value.

value is not based on what you do, what you make, who you know; that’s superficial, those things can change. your value comes from your Creator. God breathed His life into you; you have the DNA of Almighty God, royalty in your blood.

but the enemy works overtime trying to devalue us; he’d love for you to go through life letting what people say make you feel inferior, comparing your life to someone else’s, thinking that you’ll feel good about yourself when you catch up to them, live in that neighborhood, perform perfectly, break the addiction. nothing you do, achieve, overcome, will make you any more valuable; you are valuable right now. God calls you a masterpiece. you are one of a kind; you didn’t come off of an assembly line, mass-produced, God made you unique. put your shoulders back, start carrying yourself with confidence; you have been fearfully and wonderfully made.

Luke 4:1-3 (NIV)
4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted[a] by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

he was trying to make his value be based on his performance, his ability to perform a miracle.

Luke 4:4 (NIV)
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’

he was saying, in effect, “I don’t have to do anything to prove who I am, or perform to feel good about myself; I know who I am.” the enemy couldn’t deceive him into basing his value on performance, so he tried to get him to base his value on possessions:

Luke 4:5-8 (NIV)
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

he was saying, “I don’t need possessions to prove my worth and value. I don’t have to have what you think is important to feel good about who I am”

the enemy tried one final thing, popularity:

Luke 4:9-11 (NIV)
9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

he was trying to get Jesus to show off; everybody would see and be amazed, he’d gain instant popularity, but Jesus didn’t need popularity to know who he was, the son of the living God.

the enemy tried to deceive Jesus into proving who he was. a lot of people live in a proving mode; they can’t feel good about themselves unless they prove to people that they’re important, talented. it’s a constant struggle to out-do, out-perform, out-dress; it’s very freeing when you realize that you don’t have to prove anything, impress people. take the pressure off. it takes a lot of energy to compete, prove, impress. if you live in a proving mode, it’s like you’re on a treadmill; as soon as you prove to one person that you’re OK, you’ll see somebody else that you need to impress, it’s a never-ending cycle. get off the treadmill; you don’t have to prove anything.

these days, there’s so much emphasis on name brands; sometimes, we have so many other names on us, we don’t know our own name. we’re counting on all the name brands, outside labels, to make us feel important. there’s nothing wrong with owning them, but don’t let them be the reason that you feel good about who you are. the latest thing will soon be outdated; if you live possession-based, you have to keep running from thing to thing, and it will wear you out.

relax; you can’t get any more valuable. you can buy more clothes, get more friends, but that doesn’t change your value. are you trying to prove your worth, value, by who you know, what you wear? or, can you say like Jesus, “I don’t have to have popularity, possessions, or performance to feel good about myself; I am secure in who I am, who God made me to be”?

when Jesus was riding into town on Palm Sunday:

Matthew 21:7-9 (NIV)
7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

he received a hero’s welcome, but a few days later, those same people…:

Matthew 27:22 (NIV)
22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”

when Jesus went to trial, and needed his closest friends to support him, his disciples, the ones that he had poured his life into, weren’t anywhere around.

if you base your value on people’s support, how much they approve and encourage you, if they stop doing that, you’ll feel devalued. if they tell you that you’re great, you’ll feel great, but if they change their mind, you won’t feel great anymore. people will say that you’re beautiful one day, and not care for you the next. if you don’t know who you are without them, if they leave, you’ll be lost; your identity was caught up in who they made you to be, and you’ll try to find somebody else to tell you who you are.

let your heavenly Father tell you who you are; get your value, self-worth, approval, from Him. He says that you’re a masterpiece, one of a kind, a prized possession. it doesn’t matter if somebody criticizes you; they don’t determine your value, and they can’t change it, so what they say doesn’t make you any less a masterpiece. you don’t need their approval, encouragement, or validation; don’t give away your power, and put your value and identity into somebody else’s hands. even good people can’t give you everything you need; somebody that loves you very much cannot keep you approved, validated, feeling secure. sometimes, we’re putting pressure on people to keep us fixed; let them off the hook, they’re not your savior.

people have issues, they don’t know any better; messed-up people can mess you up. if you’re basing your value on what they give you, you could end up dysfunctional. don’t let messed-up people ruin the rest of your life; if somebody hurt you, there’s a tendency to internalize it, and think that there’s something wrong with you; no, they’re treating you out of their hurts. hurting people end up hurting other people; that’s the enemy trying to steal your sense of value. if somebody did you wrong, instead of internalizing it, think that maybe they felt so unlovable that they tried to project it on you. if your parents didn’t approve you, don’t let that keep you from your destiny. base your value on what God said about you; that’s going to lift you up.

Isaiah 49:16 (NLT)
16 See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.

He’s always thinking about you.

don’t spend your life trying to get something that people cannot give; let it go, or you’ll be frustrated.

David didn’t have his father’s approval; when the prophet Samuel came to anoint one of Jesse’s son’s, Jesse didn’t even bring David in from the fields. sometimes, the people closest to you can’t see the greatness in you, they discount and dismiss you; don’t take it personally, just keep being your best and getting your approval from your heavenly Father.

Jesus’ brothers, the people that should’ve supported him the most:

John 7:5 (NIV)
5 his own brothers did not believe in him.

people may leave you out, but God doesn’t. if David had to have his family’s approval, he would never have taken the throne. quit trying to make people be for you who are never going to be for you. if you needed their approval, you would get it; if you’re not getting it, that means that you don’t need it to become who you were meant to be. sometimes, it’s God teaching us to go to Him and not to people; David’s brothers made fun of him, his father discounted him, he was stuck out in the fields, but instead of complaining or feeling inferior, he turned to God. He’s the one that wrote:

Psalm 27:10 (AMPC)
10 Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].

we all have people that are not giving us their approval. don’t live frustrated, trying to convince them to affirm you; let it go, keep your head held high, knowing that you’re approved by your Creator. you may feel average, ordinary, but because of your Maker, you are extremely valuable.

Psalm 139:14 (NIV)
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful

if you’re going to recognize your value, you have to see yourself as wonderful, not because of who you are, because of Who made you. life will try to make you feel like you’re anything but amazing; disappointments, betrayal, rejection, will try to steal your sense of value. people may try to make you feel average; do you want to believe what they say about you, or what God says about you? the scripture says:

1 John 4:4 (NLT)
4 you belong to God

you may feel average, think you look ordinary, nothing special about you, but because of who you belong to, that makes you extremely valuable. don’t let people discount you, or your own thoughts push you down; put your shoulders back, you belong to God. you don’t have to prove anything, try to impress people, just be who you are; be amazing. if you’ll do this, every chain that’s held you back is being broken; you’re going to live free, confident, secure, valuable, and become the masterpiece that God created you to be.

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