06 May I have changed my mind – I am unique
1 Peter 2:9,10 NIV 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, THAT YOU may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
You are chosen, royal, you’re God’s favourite! Of extreme value to Him. The truth is you always were:
In Matthew 10 we are told to consider how God takes care of the birds, and yet how much more valuable than these are we. He knows even the number of hairs on your head.
Even before you were formed, before the foundation of the world, God knew you, He designed you faultless, blameless and perfect. (Jeremiah 1:5, Ephesians 1:4, Romans 8:29)
Why is this so important for us to know? Because we are tempted to think:
I am not as important as others
I am not as good looking as others
I am not as ______ as others
There is something wrong with me because they are more successful at _______
Comparison forges a view of ourselves based on the image of others.
Or maybe we are tempted to think:
God is angry with me
I’ve done _____ so I deserve _____ so I punish myself because _____
It is humble to think low of myself
It is godly to not have too much money
It is normal to feel guilty, shame or unworthy.
We can develop mindsets through a misunderstanding of who God is.
Or maybe cultural expectations have left us feeling trapped. Our family or culture can expect us to behave in a certain way that restricts our freedom. It is, of course, not wrong to conform to certain expectations, but when they trap our freedom to be what God has intended us to be then it becomes a problem.
Poverty is one of these traps. Poverty is a mindset not a condition of your finances. You can have a lot of money and still have a poverty mindset. Poverty is thinking you are trapped by your circumstances, thinking you don’t have enough resources, and holding back rather than being generous.
Peter is reminding us of who we are, our true worth. So the question isn’t simply “How much am I worth?” but “Do I understand how much I am worth?”
You’ve been made in the image of God, no other creature in all of creation has been made in God’s image – you are unique.
You are chosen – that is, you are hand-made and hand-picked. God is boasting to angels about you all the time! As Dr Phil Pringle puts it ‘God wanted one of you, He didn’t have one of you, so He made one of you!’
You are royal – that is, you are made to rule in life, not subject to the powers in this world, but to live above these as a king or queen.
You are a Priest – you are considered a minister to and for God. That’s how much He trusts you. You’re on His team my friend!
You are holy – without fault … oh but I am … I know … but see through His eyes; He made you Holy, to be set apart, that’s not about your behaviour but a position you have been given.
Your are a nation – you are in community – part of the family – in the tribe – you belong, you are not a misfit, an outcast, you fit.
You are His special possession – you are owned, not by other forces or powers, but by Him – the owner sets its value. It doesn’t matter how much I spend on an item of clothing, it’s me the owner that sets what people think is the value of that item. Who owns you determines your value. You are His special possession!
vs 9 THAT YOU may declare the praises of him…
THAT YOU – this talks of our purpose. Our purpose is to bring worship to our Creator.
When we worship what is created we devalue ourselves. When we place our confidence in money, relationships, alcohol, work or other things more than God we set up idols that destroy the way we see ourselves. However, when we worship Him we reflect WHO we are worth.
WHAT WE WORSHIP DETERMINES WHAT WE BELIEVE OUR WORTH IS
So question isn’t just “Do I understand how much I am worth?” – but “What gives me the most worth?”
There are many things that will happily sell you the lie that they will improve your self-worth. Money, brands, sex, your performance to name a few.
There is not one gram of performance that can value your life higher than it already is! THERE IS NOT ONE MORE SOCIAL MEDIA ‘LIKE’ THAT CAN VALUE YOUR LIFE HIGHER. There is not one thing in this world that can add to your self-worth.
Transformation is pulling down these strongholds & worshipping the creator not the created.
Your value was set before the foundation of the world, so what you do cannot change your value.
You are reaching for other things because you don’t know your worth. You are worth more than that! You are priceless!!
Let me share with you 2 simple steps I took to help reshape how I saw myself:
TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF MY THINKING
When I was in my 20s (recently of course!) I desperately needed to go through some change of patterns. My thinking had got stuck on patterns like:
‘The harder I work the more I please God’
‘The more guilty I feel the more sincere is my remorse for something I had done’
Then I heard someone speaking from Psalm 139, which tells us God knows all there is to know about me, He formed me in my mother’s womb, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, all my days He has already seen, His plans for me and thoughts about me are precious.
I meditated on it everyday. Listened to this message once or twice every day for a few weeks. I chewed it over, I replaced old thought patterns with new thought patterns, and new emotions began to attach to these new thought patterns.
It became the foundation of who I am today – I was transformed. Since then I have committed myself to continue the process!
Romans 12:2 NIV Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Ephesians 4:23 NKJV be renewed in the spirit of your mind
You can control the atmosphere in your mind with the climate control of Truth
You can stop those self destructive patterns, saying things to draw negative attention, putting yourself down, thinking low-value rather than highly valued.
If you put petrol into a diesel engine you don’t expect it to work. Yet we feed our minds with many things that stop us functioning the way we were wonderfully designed.
We change from inside out. However, we can reinforce it from outside in:
TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF OUR LIVING
Why? You said it doesn’t matter what I do, my value stays the same. TRUE.
However, your actions reinforce what you believe of yourself. So if you do things that devalue you, you will gradually degrade your sense of value. How you see yourself and how others treat you changes.
God values your life beyond even a comparison with the whole world. Don’t devalue you. Don’t transfer your worth to other things by worshipping that which has little value, worship Him.
To be a butterfly, you have to leave the caterpillar behind, let the transformation work of the cocoon happen. Be committed to a life of transformation.
Do those things, say those things and think those thinks that value your life as God does.
You are a sensation to the Father. You are not a disappointment that He is only just bearing with. You are a delight to Him. Chosen. You are unique.