Beautiful Despite the Mistakes
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
It is said that in making Persian rugs, the artist stands before the rug while a group of boys stands behind to pull the threads after the artist starts. If one of the boys makes a mistake, the artist adjusts the pattern accordingly so that when the rug is finished, nobody can tell where the mistake was.
This is what I want you to live convicted about: nothing about God's love for you or the way He relates to you will ever change. God knows that you make a lot of mistakes. But aren't you glad He does His artist's work to make your life beautiful despite those mistakes?
No mistake you make could ever make Him change His divine intent. His interaction with you will never become corrupted because you bring to Him a corrupted mind or a corrupted spirit. Whenever you bring twisted language to Him, He still responds with the enormity of His love, because you are valuable to Him.
I'm so glad that God puts up with all my personalities. He puts up with all my attitudes. He puts up with all my complaints. He puts up with all my idiosyncratic ways. He puts up with all my emotional and tumultuous mood changing. No matter how I ascend that mountain, no matter how I begin my prayers, as soon as I’ve pushed my way into His presence, He receives me just like on any other day. Why? Because His word for my life is invariable.
God can take the most awful of your experiences and put spiritual significance on it until it works out for your good. You are so valuable to Him that one of your prayers can bring all of Heaven to bear on your circumstances. Your value to Jesus is invariable, incorruptible, and inestimable.
Know Your Worth
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Romans 8:37 (NKJV)
One of my little brothers in the ministry, Steve, lost his uncle and soon after discovered that his uncle had bequeathed to him a valuable assortment of very high-end timepieces. Because Steve was not into them at the time, he had no idea of their individual or collective worth.
But one day, Steve took one of those rare timepieces to be repaired and he mentioned to the repair person one of the other watches he had at home. He talked about it in a way that let the repair person know that Steve was severely underestimating what he had in his possession. When the repair person discovered how many valuable watches had been given to Steve, he told him that he needed to change his mindset. He gave Steve advice to protect and care for the watches: get a safe, store what you don't wear, have them professionally appraised, get them tuned up, only wear certain pieces for casual outings, learn what is appropriate to wear for certain situations, etc.
It wasn’t long before Steve’s arm began making different movements, so that you couldn’t help but notice his watch. His demeanor changed when he had his valuable watches on. He had to subtly let you know that he knew what he was wearing. We laughed because his wardrobe was soon upgraded to match his watches. He made sure that you understood that he was wearing something valuable.
Friend, you are like God’s cherished timepiece—of immense value. Once you understand how much value you hold in God’s eyes, when you look in the mirror (no matter what circumstances you are facing), you cannot see anything less than “more than a conqueror.” When you understand how much worth you carry in the mind of God, you can't have an anemic outlook on your life. You can’t settle for less than living in God's imaginative purposes for you. You can't go around comparing yourself to other people and feel like you come up short. Not when you know how much value Jesus has placed on your life.
And here’s the thing about out our gracious God: every day He wants to show you off and let the world know what a miracle really looks like. Don’t live like He’s ashamed of you; live in the light of the knowledge of just how precious you are to Him.
The Seed of Faith
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 (NKJV)
In Canada, a believer operated a large green farm of some 2,500 acres. A visitor asked this farmer how he planted his seed. The farmer reached into a bin, pulled out an ear of corn, and proceeded to pop off the kernels. One by one, he placed them in the soil with his fingers. Then he asked the visitor, “Do you believe that we plant seed this way?”
The visitor answered, “No, sir.” The farmer replied, “You’re right, because that’s certainly not how we do it.” He then pointed to a distributor that was some 30 feet wide. “We take a double tandem truck, fill it with certified seed, back it up to the distributor, open the slots, and pour in massive quantities of seed.” He went on to say, “If you’re ever going to be cheap, don’t be cheap with the seed. One bushel of seed invested yields 30 bushels of grain harvested. Thirty to one is not a bad return if you’re ready to believe and willing to invest.”
Friend, whatever you decide to cut back on in your life, don’t cut back on the seed of your faith. In fact, pour your faith on Christ’s sufficiency, sparing nothing. Believe Him for everything. Sow your seed exceedingly and abundantly. Take all the seed you have and toss it in His direction, trusting that if you can give Him faith the size of a mustard seed, He can give you back mountain-moving possibilities and options.
If all you have is a little belief yet left, don’t use that belief on things that fade, rust, decay, and corrupt. Instead, take that same ounce of belief and toss it in His direction, because if you do, you will not come up empty. How do I know? Because the Bible promises that He shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. You have access to an all-sufficient God who is never cheap. He gives abundantly from the bountiful harvest that is grown from the seed of faith.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV)
Our lives are hugely affected by how much we perceive our worth to be. For example, we work on our jobs for more than just compensation. We work on them because we feel our work to be a statement of our value; we want to be compensated for both our labor and our worth.
We tend to engage relationships and nurture connections where we are most valued, and we drift from the connections where we are not. We don't mind the pull on our lives when it comes from people who value us. Contrastingly, we feel stress when we are pulled on by people who we know really don’t care about us. Two people can call you, both needing the same thing. For the one who values you, you’re honored to do everything you can to come through for them. But for the one who makes you feel used, the result is lack of enthusiasm, to say the least. There's a different side of you that emerges when you feel valued versus when you don't.
Here is what Jesus wants you to know: when it comes to your relationship with Him, He thinks you are worth so much. If God would care about a lowly sparrow, then how much more are you valued by Him?
Understanding this truth means you can't have an anemic outlook on your life. You can’t settle for less than living in God's imaginative purposes for you. You can't go around comparing yourself to other people and feeling like you keep coming up short. Not when you know how much Jesus has placed value in your life.
Every day, He wants to show you off and let the world know what a miracle really looks like. You’re worth too much to be doubtful and timid. You’re worth too much to be walking around like you have no options or opportunities. You are worth so much that you need to know how to protect your treasure and attract people to your life who discern your value and interact with you accordingly.
Jesus finds inestimable value in you, and you will never fully fathom the enormity of His love for you. Live in light of that truth!
A Resurrected Savior
“God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)
Christ is able to provide and sustain and protect without anything other than the counsel of His own will. His work in us is unto an eternal end and will find total completion, with no mistakes and no defects. He knew exactly and precisely when, where, and to whom you would be born. He knew the hills you would have to climb, the mountains you would have to scale, the valleys you would have to walk through, all of the experiences that would be attached to your life, and the circumstances you would be required to survive.
All things were created by Him and in Him dwells the fullness of God. Every human alive can be made totally complete in Him. All wisdom and revelation are hidden in Him. Everything is under His authority. All our sins have been forgiven by Him. He is the firstborn of all creation, able to do immeasurably more than we could ever imagine. He existed before creation itself. He was the I AM long before Abraham came into being. He needs no motivating and requires no human intervention. He is consistent in His provisions and never changes in His steadfast love. He is always prayer-answering, always way-making, always blessing-giving, always grace-providing, always mercy-extending, always need-supplying. He never runs out, and never runs away. He is complete in and of Himself.
And this truth of His all-sufficiency must become your conviction. His all-sufficiency is always brought to bear on your human circumstances. It’s the reason you pray and worship. It's why you approach His throne with boldness and walk in authority. Whenever you think in a restricted and limited way and give into negative thoughts and anxiety-driven imaginations, please hear the apostle Paul when he says that there is available for you enough grace to abound in every good work. Christ’s all-sufficiency is more than enough to cover the demands of your life today.