How you see yourself really matters: Stuff you should know.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see the glory of God on your face as you look at your reflection? Do you see Jesus Christ radiating from your inner being? Or are you caught up in an old image of who you were? Are you someone who only sees regret and mistakes from your past as you look in the mirror? When we learn to get God’s view of us – who we really are — everything begins to change and the belief that we’re unworthy, unloved, inadequate, or more important than anyone else begins to disappear.
Something To Talk About:
What does God see when He looks at me? God does not judge our outer appearance, but rather, inspects our hearts. “…The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7). We are all a work in progress but we are:
- I am completely accepted: When you accepted Christ, He accepted you. God’s acceptance is not based on your performance. In fact, it’s not based on anything you do. It’s based on who He is and what Jesus did. In a sense, God says to you: “You are acceptable because I created you, love you, and sent my Son to die for you.” Titus 3:7 says, “Jesus treated us much better than we deserve. He made us acceptable to God and gave us the hope of eternal life” (CEV). God loves us with everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and to as many as receive Him, He gives he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12).
- I am extremely valuable: You are valuable because of who you are. You are made in God’s image, according to His likeness (Genesis 1:26). A long time ago, even before God created you and before He created this universe, you were the focus of His love. “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes” (Ephesians 1:4). You are valuable because of what you cost. Your redemption came at a high price, the death of God’s only Son on the cross. “So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins” (Ephesians 1:6-7).
- I am eternally loved: Nobody loves you as God loves you. God’s love is consistent. It’s not fickle. It’s not unpredictable. In fact, God says, “I have loved you . . . with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself” (Jeremiah 31:3). God’s love for us is everlasting. That means He loved us from the very beginning of time, and He continues to love us now. No matter what may happen in life, God will continue to love us and keep us close to Him in His loving embrace. But with God, you’ll never have to ask, “Will God love me today?” His love is eternal. Psalm 100:5 says, “The LORD is good; his love is eternal and his faithfulness lasts forever” (GNT).
- I am totally forgiven: Some Christians are fully convinced that they have sinned too much, too long, or too greatly to be forgiven. Sadly, some even believe they have used up their get out of sin “forgiveness” card. But that is not true. God never sets limits on restoring you to Himself. We are totally forgiven if we ask forgiveness and repent for whatever we’ve done. Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” Psalm 103:12 says, “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. And Isaiah 43:25 says, “I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake….”
- I am fully capable: Did you know that you are fully capable of becoming exactly who God made you to be? You are not incompetent. You are not a nobody. God says you are fully capable. In fact, every believer in Christ is a priest: “…You are royal priests . . . As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). Because Christ lives in you, you are fully capable of doing what you need to do. Your capability is not based on your own human power. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” 2 Corinthians 3:5 says, “It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.”
- How does the drive to be accepted by others affect you?
- Do you find it easy or difficult to accept the truth that Christ has accepted you? Why?
- Read Titus 3:7. Take time to meditate on the profound sacrifice Jesus made on the cross to make us acceptable to God.
- After hearing this message, what did you hear God say to you about how precious you are to Him?
- When you don’t look to the cross, where do you usually turn to find your value? How might this week be different if you walked into each day confident of God’s love for you?
- What is your initial reaction to the concept of forgiveness? Do you react in denial, anger, self-righteousness, or judgment?
- What characteristics in your life might indicate that you haven’t fully forgiven past hurts, even if you know in your head what you need to do?
- What are some common barriers that keep people from relying on God’s strength?
- What does a person’s life look like when they always try to do everything in their own strength?
- The only way we grow in our identity in Christ is by seeking the Lord because He is the one who restores and transforms us. Agree or disagree and why?
- How will you or your group put into practice what you’ve learned today?
Take One Thing Home with You:
Having an understanding of your identity in Christ is essential to living your life in the way He intended. You will never have to work to fit in or be someone you’re not. Jesus has rescued you, redeemed you, and brought you into His family forever. God has the answer to our identity issues. It is all about who He is and what He can accomplish in our lives if we let Him. In all things, at all times, He is with us. Every problem, every feeling of inadequacy, every painful circumstance, He is there with abundant resources to offer us. Embrace the fact that you are His child, and remember how much He loves you. Our accomplishments in life can be significant, but they don’t qualify us for God’s love. They don’t add any value on our behalf in God’s eyes. His love for us is truly unconditional, for once we have our identity in Christ, we become who we really are: Children of God.
When you see yourself as Christ sees you, others may begin to see you that way too. If you are steady and secure in your identity in Him, your actions, speech, and life will express God’s love. You may find more opportunities to share the gospel, and Christ will be all the more glorified.