You Are Exquisite
I must admit, I have been surprised by the positive response to this past Sunday’s sermon on 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20. I even had a friend who lives in Missouri get in touch with me to tell me that he really needed to hear that message. I think your response communicates to me that too often we are absorbed into negative self-reflection. It is true that we should be ‘sin detectives’ where we investigate the vestiges of sin into our lives in order to mortify each with the gospel. But we can go too far and not balance that investigation by envisioning the worth that God has placed upon us. Each of us have been created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). No other creature can claim that privilege. And by that, we have become the crown of God’s creation. Psalm 8:3- tells us ‘When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. And of course, as Hebrews 2 teaches us, the ultimate fulfilment of this Psalm is our Lord Jesus- the God/Man. God chose mankind to be form that his son would incarnate. That is the ultimate honor.
But Church, let me take it a step further. You are the object of his affection. You are the one whom he chose to redeem from sin. It is to God’s glory that he loves us and saves us. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said it so well when he wrote, ‘I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 - ESV). And because he redeemed us, we have the great privilege of seeking to live in honor of Christ by striving to look like him in his holiness. We do so to reflect the great love that he showed us. So in our efforts to eradicate sinful behaviour, don’t view yourself as worthless- you are not! You have been chosen by God, the Father. The Son of God gave his life for you. The Holy Spirit inhabits your soul. Therefore, you must be valuable in God’s eyes.
You were created for God’s glory (Isaiah 43:7). So learn to relish in who He created you to be. Praise him for what he created others to be. Live your life well to show your appreciation for how God created you. Know that when we do so, God is glorified.
Isaiah 62:1-5 (ESV) 1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch. 2 The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give. 3 You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 4 You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married. 5 For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.