Sermon25-15April07-1of2 Seeing YourselfasGodSeesYou(RWSeeing ThroughGodsEyes)
SEEING YOURSELF AS GOD SEES YOU
from Seeing Through God’s Eyes
Part 1 of 2
15 April 2007
“Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light.” Matt. 6:22 (Mes)
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.” Eph. 1:18-19 (NIV)
HOW GOD SEES ME BECAUSE OF HIS GRACE
1. GOD SEES ME ______________________________________________
“Jesus treated us much better than we deserve. He made us acceptable to God and gave us the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:7 (CEV)
“God saved us – not because we were good enough to be saved but because of His kindness and grace – by washing away our sins ... all because of what Jesus Christ our Savior did, so that He could declare us good in God’s eyes.” Titus 3:5-7a (LB)
“You have been chosen by God Himself.” 1 Pet. 2:9 (LB)
2. GOD SEES ME AS ______________________________________________
“Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to Him than any birds!” Luke 12:24 (NLT)
“You belong to God…” 1 John 4:4 (NIV)
“You have been bought and paid for by Christ, so you belong to Him...” 1 Cor. 7:23 (LB)
“God says, ‘You are precious to Me.’” Isa. 43:4 (GN)
SEEING YOURSELF AS GOD SEES YOU
Part 1 of 2
15 April, 2007 2113 words
Last Sunday, Easter Sunday, we talked about how God can transform our lives; but only when we open our mind to His power; when we open our heart to His Grace and when we open our life to His Love. The question is: Why would we want to do that?
By way of an answer, both today and over the next few weeks we’re going to reflect on seeing life from God’s point of view.
In Matthew’s gospel we find these words: “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief your body fills up with light.” (Matt 6.22) He’s not talking about physical eyes and physical light. He’s talking about spiritual insight. He’s talking about seeing in a new way, spiritually. The apostle Paul calls it: seeing with the eyes of your heart; seeing from God’s perspective. In fact, Paul prays this prayer for us in Eph.1 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints and His incomparable great power for us who believe.”
As we begin to reflect on Seeing Life From God’s Point of View, let’s start by considering yourself as God sees you. That’s so important because the Bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” If you see yourself as a hopeless case you’re going to live life as a hopeless case. If you see yourself as a victim, you’re going to let other people victimize you all your life. If you see yourself as not too creative, you’re unlikely to create anything.
If you see yourself as a failure in life, you’re going to be failure.
Scripture says that our beliefs determine our behaviour. The way we think determines the way we act. And what we see comes out in our lifestyle. The problem is a lot of stuff you believe is not true. So you’re acting on false or inaccurate information about yourself.
I remember when I was little often being taken to the carnival in Kelvin Hall in Glasgow, always just after New Year and in the fun house they had these kind of wavy mirrors. Q: When you look at those mirrors as you look at the image of yourself, the image is distorted because it’s not a perfect mirror; it’s an imperfect mirror.
When you were growing up the adults around you were the mirrors of your life. They reflected back to you how you began to see yourself. The problem is there are no perfect adults so as a result all the images that you got of yourself even from people who loved you were distorted. We all grow up with an inaccurate picture of ourselves because some adult tells you something as a kid and you think, “This is an adult, he/she must know.” And you tend to believe it whether it was right or wrong, said in anger, said in jest, said in hurtfulness. You internalized it, stored it in your memory and you’ve operated on that for years and years. And it’s false.
So you have to start seeing from God’s point of view. Because we all grow up with these distorted images that we get from our parents, our peers, from other people. I bet you some of you can remember things that were said to you twenty or thirty years ago like: “You’re never going to amount to anything…” and you just took it in and you’ve been acting on that information for a long, long time.
Everybody has wounds. Everybody has emotional scars. Everybody in this church. Everybody has emotional scars. So how do you get rid of them? How do you deal with the past?
The antidote is to learn to see your life, learn to see yourself, from God’s point of view.
This service and next week’s may be one of the most important services in your entire life. If you really grasp what it means to see yourself as God sees you, it’ll change your life. Jesus said, “You know the truth and the truth will set you free.” So when we learn to see ourselves the way God truly sees us it makes all the difference in the world.
Both today and next Sunday I’d like to tell you of God’s view of you; five things that God says about you because of His grace. If you have accepted Jesus Christ into your life, you’ve accepted His grace and God says I see you very, very differently than the way you see yourself.
How does God view you?
1. God says I see you as acceptable.
Titus 3:7 says this “Jesus treated us much better than we deserve. He made us acceptable to God and He gave us the hope of eternal life.” The most hurtful thing in life is rejection. When you’re rejected by a parent, a spouse, a former spouse, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a teacher, when you’re rejected nothing hurts you more than rejection. So as a result we spend most of our lives doing everything we can to avoid rejection. We want acceptance more than anything else in life. We want acceptance from our parents. We want acceptance from our peers.
We want acceptance from our neighbors. We want acceptance from people we respect, people we envy.
We want acceptance from people we don’t even like! We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t even know. Why? Because this power to be accepted is so profound it drives everything in your life, so much of it. It drives the kind of clothes you wear, the kind of car you drive, the kind of house you buy, the career you choose. So many of your decisions in life you’re not aware are really based on this desire for approval. The desire to be accepted. To be recognized, to be significant.
We want to be accepted and we want to be loved, we want people to see our value. God says this was settled a long time ago. Titus 3:5-7 “God saved us, not because we were good enough to be saved but because of His kindness and grace by washing away our sins. All because of what Jesus Christ our saviour did [not because of what we did but because of what Jesus did] so that He could declare us good in God’s eyes.”
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past. God doesn’t care how many things you’ve done wrong in your life if you have invited Jesus Christ into your life God declares you worthy. He says you are acceptable to Me.” Not because of my own merit but because of His grace. You may have accepted God, you may have accepted Christ. But do you realize Christ has accepted you?
God says, “You are good in My eyes because of Jesus. You are acceptable to Me.” God has already accepted you. There’s nothing you can do to make God love you any more and there is nothing you can do that will make God love you any less. You are acceptable because it’s based on His grace.
You know as a child you loved to be chosen. It’s good to be chosen for an award, to be chosen for recognition. It’s fun to be chosen for a promotion. It’s fun to be chosen and singled out. You remember when you’d go out at P.E. or at break time and they’d have two captains choosing teams and they’re choosing the people. If you got chosen first you felt really good. And you were praying, “please don’t let me be chosen last.” Because everybody knows the last person chosen is the duffer. And you didn’t want to be the duffer - because it hurts to be rejected. We all want to be chosen. We all want to be selected. Because it gives you a lot of confidence; it does a lot for your self-esteem.
Look who’s chosen you. 1 Peter 2:9 “You have been chosen by God Himself.” Friends,
there is no higher authority than that! God chose you to be His child, to love you and to live with Him for eternity. Not everybody’s going to get to do that. You’ve been chosen. You’ve accepted Christ into your heart. You’ve accepted the grace of God. You have been chosen to spend eternity with God and that’s better than anything else in the universe.
Some of you grew up with parents you could never please. No matter what you did you just couldn’t get their approval. You saw it in your dad’s eyes, your mum’s eyes and what they said to you. If you got C’s on your report card they expected B’s. If you got B’s they expected A’s. Then they expected straight A’s. No matter how hard you tried you just couldn’t get it right. It always just felt like this little bit of shame, this little bit of put down – never measuring up to mum or dad’s expectations.
Today, even still, you may subconsciously still be trying to earn your parents’ approval, to earn that acceptance.
But you need to stop trying to live for the approval of somebody who’s never going to give it. Instead, start living for God who says, I already accept you.
Live for His love and approval.
God not only sees you as acceptable,
2. God sees you as valuable.
If you’re going to learn to see yourself the way God sees you, you’re going to have to see your value. You’re not just acceptable. You’re worth something. You’re worth a lot. The Bible says this in Luke 12:24 “Look at the birds. They don’t need to plan or harvest or put food in barns because God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to Him than any birds.” If God takes care of even the birds how much more is He going to take care of you because you are more valuable.
So let me ask you a question. How much do you think you’re worth? I’m not talking about your net worth; I’m talking about your self-worth. Your worth has nothing to do with whether you’re rich or not.
Your value is dependant on who you belong to. So who do you belong to? “You belong to God.” (1John 4.4) You don’t get any bigger than that. You belong to God! He made you. He created you. He died for you. He saved you. You belong to God. Imagine your worth.
About 5 years ago, there was a famous Kuwaiti oil sheik whose daughter was kidnapped. He put an announcement over the Internet that said he’d pay any price because she was the daughter of the king.
Friends, you are a daughter or son of the King. You are a child of God. And He has already paid the price on the cross to get you back. Jesus said, “I love you so much I’d rather die than live without you.”
How much is your house worth? It’s not what you think. It’s worth whatever somebody’s willing to pay for it. If you’ve got a piece of art in your house, how much is it worth? Whatever somebody’s willing to pay for it.
Look at how much you were paid for. “You have been bought and paid for by Christ, [by the way, with His life.] so you belong to Him.” (1Cor. 7.23) The greatest ransom ever paid was for you. God exchanged His own Son for you. Even if you were the only person who ever lived in the world, Jesus Christ still would have come to the earth and died for you. That’s how much value He considers you to be. Jesus did not die for junk. And you are not junk. God says you are acceptable and you are valuable. The cross proves your value. The people who told you growing up that you’re worthless, were wrong, dead wrong. You are of infinite value. If God says you’re of value it doesn’t matter what anybody else has said to you.
Nobody can change lives except Jesus and that’s the sole reason for the existence of the church. This is the place you can hand it over to him and begin to live the new life with Jesus in control.
Do not be afraid - give your life to the one who can heal broken hearts and bitter memories and damaged self-esteem. You are precious to God. (Isa.43.4)
Let’s pray: H/F because of Jesus we are acceptable and valuable in your eyes. Thank you for your Grace that lifts us high and never lets us down; that is freely available to anyone who accepts you into their lives. Help us to reflect on what we have heard and to see ourselves through your eyes; that we are precious to You. Amen.
WT 300 – My Jesus, my Saviour