Weird huh! Just thinking about that makes some feel weird, out of place, but it is a command of God…I’ll get to that in a minute
Do you ever look down on yourself?
Do you ever feel that you aren’t good enough?
Do you find yourself responding to people out of insecurity?
Do you find yourself critical of your family heritage?
Do you wish you had been born into a different family, race, class?
Do you always have to hide who you are, you are afraid to be who you are?
Are you afraid to spend time alone?
Are you always conforming to the wants of others and becoming who and what they want you to be?
Do you fail to acknowledge and appreciate your own achievements?
Are you very self-critical?
Do you fail to take care of yourself, physically?
Some of these things can be positive if kept in a balance…we want to serve and love people and sometimes it takes loving like this to do that… but all of them can be signs that you don’t love yourself.
Here I go again bringing that up! Two weeks ago I shared this about when Jesus was confronted by a lawyer regarding which law was best
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Two weeks ago I focused on our need to love others and that is absolutely needful but… allow me to stress another point
We must love ourselves if we are going to truly love others….don’t get weird on me…stay with me
I mentioned this last week Peter and John were on their way into the temple when a lame beggar asked them for money
But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”
Notice what Peter said, “what I have is what I can give to you!”
As a Christian what is inside you to give? If God is love yet you reject yourself, the way He created you, your family heritage, your gifts, your calling if you don’t feel like you have anything to offer what is that saying to God?
Loving ourselves came seem counter to Jesus command to lay down our lives for others and for him….but what value is it to give up something that you don’t value in the first place
I know you have heard this but “God doesn’t make junk”
The basis of our walk in Christ is love. The honest and real way we will change the world is by our love. The power of the gifts flowing through us is based on our love.
When we don’t love ourselves…
We are being critical of God and His love for us
We get mad at God. We don’t believe he is going to come through for us. We feel somehow we are less valuable or less important than others
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
We are acting as if we aren’t part of the family of God
We feel as if God will take care of so and so, God will meet their need but he won’t meet mine.
We are afraid to trust in the promises of God because somehow they don’t apply to us. He sees and knows everyone else but isn’t interested in us or what we are going through
We demand that God does things our way…he loves us too much to do that children would eat candy until they are sick, would get hurt if we didn’t protect them
1 John 3:1
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!
1 John 4:7,8
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
We have rejected the value God places on us
We feel we have to work to please God or to strive to make him happy with us
We are constantly angry or worn out trying to be “good enough”
We strive to get his attention so he will “look at you”
He already loves you more than you can comprehend and all he longs for is that you will know how much you are love and love him in return
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving kindness, I have drawn you.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
This is what we need to grasp today
God so loved you, saw you as so valuable that he sacrificed his son’s life for your life (pop illustration) you are just that important John 3:16
He sees you as so valuable that he has chosen you to be the object of His great love Jeremiah 31:3
He so values, loves and trusts you that He has created a very specific plan for you, designed to use your skills, intellect, personality and all to be a blessing for you Jeremiah 29:11
We can’t fully function in the power of God apart from knowing that we are truly loved, valuable, and have His Spirit of love preeminent in our lives….the ability and authority we have to bring freedom, joy, peace, salvation, strength to others is directly related to the way we see ourselves in the light of God’s love
1 John 4:12,13
No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this, we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
Psalm 139 if needed
O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book, they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
What you have inside of you is all you can give out, the level of your belief limits the level of your impact in the lives of others.
Some today need a heart healing to come to the place of loving themselves, others, others need the Holy Spirit to release them to forgive themselves and/or others. Some today know that God simply wants to do a work in them to help them love themselves and others more