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Grace that Heals

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We all have hurts, habits and hang ups. Nobody just sails through life. We all have problems. We all have hurts. You have some hidden wounds. You have some emotional scars that nobody else sees but they're there and they hurt. I have also learned that one of the major causes of those hurts is rejection. We all face it at different times in life.
We feel rejection from parents, peers, partners, friends, kids…
Some of you remember hurtful things some said to you years ago… and it still hurts today.
today we want to see how God’s Grace heals the hidden wounds of our lives.
Psalm 147:3 NLT
3 He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
That sounds good, but how do I deal with the fact that it still hurts?

How Does God Heal a Broken Heart?

God heals a broken heart by changing the way we think.

Romans 12:2 NLT
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
We have to change the way we see God, the way we see pain, and how we see ourselves. If you want to change your life, if you want to get well, get over hurt, you've got to change the way you think.
Proverbs 23:7 NKJV
7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you.
If you see yourself as a loser… you will act like a loser. (victim, un-creative, failure, success, strong, …)
There is a correlation between our beliefs and our behaviors. The Bible says that our beliefs will determine our behavior. IOW the way we think determines the way we act.
Here’s the problem we all have with this fact. A lot of what we belief is wrong. We picked all types of beliefs growing up and too many are still believing those things. Beliefs like, you will never amount to anything… you will never be as good as your… or you will never change. You believed what some people said to you and you still believe it.
ILL - Wide Screen TV’s originally made everyone look wider than they were.
God never lies about what he says about you… he always tells the truth.

Five things that God says about you because of his GRACE

1. I am acceptable.

All of us want to be accepted. We spend most of our lives trying to be accepted by different groups in different situations. The desire to be accepted influences the way you dress, speak, act and even th color of your hair. (kids in youth group with the green hair… they didn’t want to be like eveyone else, but all their heads were green
I became the best Tuba player in GA because I saw the favor the band director gave towards the tuba section so I switched to that instrument.
You remember some of those things you did as a kid… someone dared you and you did it. Why? You wanted to be accepted.
Some people think that if they could be perfect then everyone would like them. Jesus was perfect and they killed him.
Paul teaches us that God’s grace gives us acceptance.
Romans 15:7 NLT
7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.
Notice there is no condition on His acceptance. He didn’t say you were accepted because you memorized the old and new testaments. etc
When you accepted Jesus into your life, you crossed a line into God’s family and he accepts you.
1 Peter 2:9 The Living Bible
9 But you are not like that, for you have been chosen by God himself—you are priests of the King, you are holy and pure, you are God’s very own—all this so that you may show to others how God called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
You were chosen… priests of the King… God’s very own...
Ephesians 1:4–5 NLT
4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
God chose you.
As kids, we all wanted to be chose to whatever team there was. You did not want to be the last one chosen. God has chosen you! when you understand that, you will feel better about yourself.
You may have grown up in a home where you could not do anything right. You had a parent you just could not please. If you made a C, they wanted a B. If you made a B, they wanted an A. No matter what you did, it was never good enough.
Some of you are still trying to gain your parent’s approval… they might be gone, but you are still trying. You are thinking that you will prove them wrong… they are still controlling you.
That’s their problem not yours. People don’t have the capacity to accept unconditionally like God does. There are 7 billion people in this world and it’s ok for two or three of them not to like you.
Everyone might a abandon you, but not God...
Psalm 27:10 NCV
10 If my father and mother leave me, the Lord will take me in.
God says You are accepted but there’s more…

2. I am valuable.

You are worth something. Have you ever thought about that? You have great value… because of God’s grace.
How do you judge the value of something? Who owns it and what someone will pay for it.
Ownership determines the Value of something. Something owned by a someone famous is worth more than something owned by me.
1 John 4:4 NLT
4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
God puts you in His family. All of a sudden you now belong to God. Everyone is created by God but everyone does not belong to God. Only those who belong to God are those who choose to say, "God put me in Your family" because of my faith in Christ.
John 1:12 NLT
12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
That’s value.
How much was paid for something determines the value of something.
1 Corinthians 7:23 The Living Bible
23 You have been bought and paid for by Christ, so you belong to him—be free now from all these earthly prides and fears.
The greatest ransom ever paid was when Jesus Christ paid for your sins and you were bought with a price and God exchanged His own son for you. God said, "You are valuable enough that I will give My own Son to die for you." That's how valuable you are.
Isaiah 43:4 NLT
4 Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.

3. I am lovable.

That one sure feels good when you've had a broken heart. When you've been rejected you don't feel too lovable. When somebody has rejected you -- a girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife/parent/whatever -- you don't feel lovable, you feel like a loser. "Nobody loves me! I'm not worth anything! I'm not loved by anybody." You're wrong.
Isaiah 54:10 NLT
10 For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
There are two characteristics that make God’s love different from Human Love.
God’s Love is consistent.
God doesn’t change his mind. He is not fickle. He doesn’t love you today and kick you to the curb tomorrow.
God’s love is unconditional.
No matter how hard we try, we cannot love unconditionally like God does. Human love often has strings… I love you when… if…
God says I love you period. He loves you when you mess up… when you miss out on your QT...
God says, in Christ, I am acceptable, I am valuable, and I am lovable. Even when I don't feel very lovely, He still loves me. His love is consistent.

4. I am forgivable.

How many of you are glad that we are forgivable?
Some of you live thinking that God is amd at you all the time and is always trying to smack you down.
Joke - A guy was going up to his cabin. On the way, driving up, he ran out of gas. He got out of his car but he forgot to put the brake on and so the car backed over the cliff. So he starts walking up to his cabin. On the way up the mountain, a terrible storm came in. He got completely soaked and drenched. He's shivering to the bone and knows he's going to get pneumonia. He's feeling lower and lower. Finally he sees his cabin and as he looked at it, lightning struck it and it caught on fire. He began to cry out, "Why me, God? Why me?" And all of a sudden he hears this voice from heaven, "Because some people just tick me off!"
Some of you feel that way about God. You're Christians, yet anytime anything goes wrong in your life you think, "God's getting even with me. He knows that stupid thing that I did." And anything that goes wrong in your life you attribute it to God getting revenge.
God doesn’t do that.
Isaiah 43:25 TEV
25 And yet, I am the God who forgives your sins, and I do this because of who I am. I will not hold your sins against you.
This is not based on anything you do or did. It’s based on God’s grace. God doesn’t carry grudges. He doesn’t hold our sins against us.
Romans 8:1 NLT
1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
There’s a lady in a church and she's a whiner. She whines all the time, cranky. Every week she tells the pastor about something she's felt guilty about. "This week pastor, God really convicted me about..." and she names whatever she feels bad about that week. She was doing this week after week, every Sunday after church. One day the pastor said, "Does God ever say anything nice to you?"
Does God ever say good things to you? or is all you hear, you are not good enough…?
You have taken the image of your parent and tried to put it on God… and it doesn’t match up.
Ephesians 1:4 The Living Bible
4 Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault—we who stand before him covered with his love.
If you don't accept the grace of God, you're not covered with His love. But when you say, "Jesus Christ, I accept what You did for me on the cross and I want You to be number one in my life," you are covered with His love.
When you give your life to Jesus, God forgives our sin because Jesus paid the price for our sin.
Colossians 2:13 NLT
13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.
When Jesus died on the cross, he paid the price for all of our sins. God says you are forgivable.

5. I am capable.

It doesn’t matter what someone else says, God say you are capable.
Philippians 4:13 NCV
13 I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength.
Our strength comes through Christ… not anyone or anything else. People suffer with low self esteem and it’s no wonder… we try to live our lives without the Lord.
Anytime you allow anything to take the place of God as number 1 in your life, you will be plagued with insecurities. Genuine security cannot come from something that can be taken away. Money, status, looks, popularity, health, family… Your security has to come from something that can never be taken away and that’s your relationship with Jesus Christ.
How do we change this? How do we reverse our thoughts?
We change by filling our minds with what God says about us. We have to listen to the truth and that comes from God.
It’s like scales… the more of God’s truth you put on your side the more the scales the more they tilt in your direction.
1 Peter 2:10 The Living Bible
10 Once you were less than nothing; now you are God’s own. Once you knew very little of God’s kindness; now your very lives have been changed by it.
You belong to the Lord.
Romans 15:13 NLT
13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
God wants you to have a confident hope that in Christ you are worthwhile.
You need to know that you have a church family here at River Church that cares for you.
Take this sermon and review these things that God says about you. (acceptable, valuable, lovable, forgivable, capable)
Your self esteem, your self worth, tends to be defined by what you think the most important person in your life thinks about you. To a large degree the way you see yourself and the way you feel about yourself is determined by what you think the most important person in your life thinks about you. If that's true, I want to suggest that you make Jesus Christ the most important person in your life. He says you are acceptable and valuable and lovable and forgivable and capable. The bottom line is, who are you going to believe? Somebody else or what God says. It's your choice.
ILL - Fred Cradduck was vacationing in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. He and his wife were seated at a table when an old man came up to them and asked, "How are you doing? Are you having a good time? Are you on vacation?" "Yes," said Professor Cradduck. "We are on vacation and, yes, we're having a good time." "What do you do for a living?" the old man said. Professor Cradduck wanted to get rid of the man so he said, "I'm a professor of preaching." Which is true. But he was sure that a title like that would drive off any unwelcome intruder but it didn't. "Oh, you're a preacher!" the old man said. "Let me tell you a preacher's story." Before he could object, the old man had drawn up a chair to the table and started to unwind his tail. He said, "I was born an illegitimate child. I never knew who my father was and that was very hard for me. The boys at my school had names they called me and they made fun of me all the time. When I walked down the main street of our little town, I always felt that people were staring at me and asking that terrible question, `I wonder who's the father of that little boy.' So I spent a lot of time by myself. And I didn't have any friends. One day a new preacher came to town and everybody was talking about how good he was. I had never gone to church before. But one Sunday I thought I'd go hear him preach. He was a good preacher so I kept going back. Each time I would go late and I would leave early so I wouldn't have to talk to anyone else. Then one Sunday I got so caught up in the preacher's message that I forgot to leave. Before I knew what was happening he had said the closing prayer and the service was over. I tried to get out of the church but people had already filled all the aisles and I couldn't get past them. Suddenly I felt a heavy hand on my shoulder. When I turned around, that big tall preacher was looking down at me and asking, `What's your name, boy? Whose family are you? Whose son are you?' When I heard that question I just shook. But before I could say anything, he said, `Why, I know who your family is! I know whose son you are. There's a distinct family resemblance. You're the son of God.'" He said, "You know, mister, those simple words changed my life." The old man got up and left. A waitress came over and asked, "Do you know who that was?" "No," said Professor Craddock. The waitress said, "That's Ben Hooper, two term governor of Tennessee."
A man learned what God said about him. He learned that he was God's child and it changed his life. When you begin to see yourself as God really sees you, you will be liberated from the pain of rejection because it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks if God says I'm acceptable and valuable and lovable and forgivable and capable.
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