What Value Do I Have?

Self-worth is a heady subject, no pun intended, but it’s one that needs to be addressed. This morning after another popular celebrity committed suicide, I saw a statistic that 45,000 Americans committed suicide last year. That statistic was quoted as a ‘trend’ that is up from years past. Another trend that has been pervading the United States is to be an atheist. I’ve heard from people who grew up in families, who went to church that they just aren’t sure about the whole “God thing.” The same people ask me or my friends, who they think have a connection to God, to pray when they are in need. It doesn’t matter, I’ll gladly pray for them, because I went through the questions myself many years ago and determined that there was way too much evidence that God Does Exist than that he does not. No matter which camp you’re in; we all search. I believe God is present and does care for us, so let me share with you what I think my value and your value is as a person. 

God created humans for relationship, with each other and with him. When a person does not have relationship with God, he or she is missing a piece of their lives and they search and continue to search their entire lives for that missing piece, unless or until they find God. That is why we see seemingly very successful people such as actors, chefs, designers, millionaires, etc. commit suicide. Sadly, they have not made peace or found peace with their creator. They’ve searched for peace and fulfillment in careers, relationships, money, alcohol, and drugs and they have not found the peace they desire. They won’t find it without a constant and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s just beyond their fingertips and they’re usually the ones who fight it the hardest. Another group that fight God and can be the hardest won cases are usually the intelligentsia. I happen to be amongst this crowd. I don’t say that in a bragging way, but sometimes our minds get in the way of our faith. We prefer to prove things, rather than just believe. We want hard physical evidence, yet it’s all around us, in the sunrise and sunset, in nature and the geometry of a flower. It’s in the way science works and our bodies are uniquely created. When we realize God IS, we start to see it everywhere; the wonder of the creator and the amazing genius behind his creation. What we once deemed as a ‘bad’ bug has benefits that we haven’t discovered, but eventually do with our limited minds. God’s mind is infinite. We cannot contain all that he has, but we learn, and continue to learn all that he has for us, if we are willing. 

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In the same way we learn the mysteries of the world around us, hopefully we learn the value of ourselves and how important we are to him and those around us. We may think that if we didn’t exist it wouldn’t change a thing, but there is a chain reaction that we never see if we take our lives in our own hands and end it. We are valuable, not only to our family, no matter how scorned we may be or have been, we are valuable to God. It doesn’t matter what hidden things we have in our lives, God knows them all and still accepts us. There is not anything that keeps us from His Love! He created each one of us with a purpose and a destiny. We have a destiny to fulfill on this earth and he wants a relationship with us. But we must put our preconceived notions of God being angry or disappointed in us away, because that is not who he is. He accepts us exactly as we are, who we are, where we are. Sinner, saint, drunk, sober, smart, stupid, addict, or free; all are welcome in his loving arms that are full of peace. Peace that man cannot understand until we enter them without reservation and by humbling ourselves with the trust and faith of a child. Picture how trusting little children are, how they don’t see good from bad. Children don’t perceive the things we do as adults, because they haven’t been hurt, if they’ve been raised in a loving home. Picture them running into a stranger’s arms willingly and then run to God’s open arms in the same trusting way. He’s waiting. He’s there to fulfill that piece of the puzzle you won’t find anywhere else. He’s there to give you value and call you his child, his beloved. God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, will comfort you and give you all that you need to feel worthy and loved where others have failed you. Then get into the Bible and study it daily and ask God to reveal to you what he wants you to hear in your reading. Don’t let this world and the people and pressures of life make you feel that you are not worthy because you are. You’re worthy to me and to Jesus. You are LOVED!! You have Merit, you have Worth! If you are a Christian who struggles with self-worth, remember to think on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and worthy of praise; as Paul instructs in Philippians 4:8, because anything else is a lie.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” – Mark 10:15

And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 3:6

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

 

 

Capture Their Hearts

As I was praying for a loved one, I prayed for God to arrest their soul and then I thought how odd that sounds. But it is not off-base. Paul wrote and corrected the Corinthians that we must break down every stronghold of reasoning a person has to not believe in God. We don’t do it by pounding them with arguments or force, but by sound teaching. We give them convincing truths that show the doctrine of their life is led by deception and we do so in love. We show them the fallacies in their choices when the opportunity arises, but always in meekness and love.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

Many times people get caught up in causes or ideas that consume them and keep them from the purpose of life in general, which is knowing Christ. If they don’t have a personal relationship with him, then the cares of this world, no matter how worthy, can distract them from seeking out God. I have even seen Christians sacrifice time fellowshipping with God to work on a cause they’re passionate about. The problem with this, is without communion or time spent with God and guidance from the Holy Spirit, they eventually burn out. There is nothing in this world that can satisfy us more than our relationship with our Heavenly Father and communing with Him.

Colossians 2:8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.

So when I prayed for God to arrest their soul, what I meant was I wanted him to gain their full attention, so that they would see their need for Him and a relationship. But until they believe in him and receive him, they may not pay attention to our words. This is where our prayers are more powerful than a loved one’s words to them, because God is able to use others to open their hearts. Once that seed is planted, it will grow and eventually blossom. I pray he captures the hearts of those who don’t believe or who have turned their backs on God. I pray that he might send someone who with a simple phrase or action that might open their minds and hearts to Him.

Song of Songs 4:9 You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace.

In the verse from Song of Songs, if the church as a whole is the bride and Jesus is the bridegroom, then we must remember we already have captured his heart. With one glance towards him, a cry out to him, or one tear – one ‘jewel’ he is there for us.

Think of how even the disciples, who intimately knew Jesus, did not recognize him as he walked down the road with them, after his death on the cross. He appeared to them as a stranger because they were still caught up in their grief. What are we caught up in that we might not recognize his presence in our lives now? Their hope was gone and they had given up. Yet later, they realized he was alive and sought him out and found him with the other disciples breaking bread! It can be that way for every lost person!!

Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

May their hearts come alive to the word of God, may he capture their hearts.

Always Pray

My husband and I were discussing prayer and whether to pray over and over for the same situation or to pray believing when it’s in line with the will of God, that we would only ask once. I believe we pray to get an answer and do have to ask repeatedly for an answer at times, but to me, that is different, than if we ask something in line with the will of God. We both strongly believe in the prayer of agreement with other believers. We didn’t come to a conclusion really, on fervent prayer. He brought up the passage in Luke 18, where it speaks of the widow who continually goes before the judge. I remembered that the judge was not a just judge, but the woman was righteous. I didn’t see her praying so much, as continuing to appeal to the judge, so I studied it today and decided to share my study of the Greek words. This still doesn’t mean that I’m right, and those who ask over and over for the same thing are wrong, it is just how I view this particular situation, and where my faith is. Jesus told us to pray, “Our Father who art in Heaven… your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven… ” This is a point we feel many miss about this prayer, IF we are following after Jesus as our Savior, we Are commissioned and we Are to Call things into Earth as they Are in Heaven, not to Beg for them to be so, because it IS God’s will for earth to submit to heaven and be like heaven. We as believers are His heaven, heaven is not a place in the sky, but a place where Christ dwells. We are to bring heaven TO earth.

 

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Luke 18:1-8 “Then he spoke a parable to them that men always (pantote – in every situation) ought to pray, and not lose heart (ekkakeo – lose courage) saying: “There was in a certain city a judge (krites – umpire appointed by people – Not God) who did not fear God nor regard (entrepo – respect) man. Now there was a widow (chera – a woman without a husband) in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me (edikeo – execute righteousness & justice) from my adversary.’ (antidikos – opponent in a lawsuit) And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles (kopos – grieves me with Christian virtue) me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming (telos – fulfillment of a matter) she weary me.’” (hupopiazo – wears someone out)

Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust (adikia – unrighteous) judge said. And shall God (edikesis – who is full of righteousness & justice, who vindicates from wrong) not avenge His own elect (eklektos – chosen, preferred, selected*) who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long (makrothumeo – has patience, endures, waits) with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. (2 words here — en – amongst them & tachos – in quickness, swiftness, & with speed) Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, (erchomai – comes & goes; as in his people see Romans 15:29) will He really find faith (pistis – firm persuasion, based on hearing, not sight, reliance on the Word of God, see Hebrews 11:1) on the earth?” (ge – creation)

*Eklektos is also the root word for the word eclectic. I thought they sounded similar, so I looked up the root word for eclectic out of curiosity, knowing the meaning of the word. Of course, the body of Christ is many members, even though it says ‘chosen’ this means a variety of backgrounds grafted into one vine. The word eclectic means: selecting or choosing from various sources. A good synonym is ‘inclusive.’ When we follow Jesus’ example of Perfect Love, we are inclusive.

So let us pray in every situation claiming on earth as it is in heaven, set apart as Jesus was, one body of many members fit together to reach many. Never ceasing to seek God’s direction in everything we do, let us always pray.