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You Are a Beloved Child of God

Introduction:

      When you look in the mirror what do you see? Some of you see gray hairs or freckles or wrinkles. Some of you see someone you think is too ugly, too fat, too thin, too something. Some of you see someone who is not smart enough, not quick enough, not good looking enough, not something enough. Some of you see a mask trying to cover up the struggle on the inside. Some of you see someone who is trying desperately hard to be everything God wants them to be but keeps falling short. Some of you see someone who is desperately trying to prove to everyone how you are good enough, even though you know you canít possibly be. Some of you see every sin youíve ever committed and fear that everyone else can see them too. Some of you donít know who youíre seeing. Iíd like to share with you what God sees when He looks at you. I John 3:1 says, ďSee what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we areĒ (ESV). Whatever else you see when you look in the mirror, I want to make sure you see that you are a beloved child of God. Donít take that for granted and donít forget it.

Discussion:

I.         You are a beloved child of God.

A.      John 1:12-13 says, ďBut to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of GodĒ (ESV). Have you received Jesus? Have you believed in Him and turned to Him? You are a beloved child of God.

B.     Donít forget what God has done for you. John 3:16 says, ďFor God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal lifeĒ (ESV). God so loved the world with you in it, that He did this. Godís love was made manifest to you, I John 4:9-10 says, by sending His Son into the world so that you might live through Him. He became a propitiation for your sins by His sacrifice. That is how much God loves you.

C.     Romans 5:6-10 drives the point home for you. God sent His son for you while you were weak. He didnít do it because you were strong enough. He sent His son for you while you were a sinner. He didnít do it because you had done enough good things or you were righteous enough. God showed His love to you by sending Jesus to die for you.

D.     Why? Why does God love you? I John 4:8 explains it is because God is love. Stop and bask in that for a minute. God loves you because God is love. He doesnít love you because of your looks, your brains, your health, your wealth, your wisdom, your righteousness, your anything. God loves you because He is love, not because you are anything. Understand what that means for you today. Nothing you do today will make God love you any more than He already does. And nothing you do today will make God love you any less than He already does.

E.     You are a beloved child of God. When He looks at you, He doesnít see all that other stuff that you see. He simply sees someone He loves and wants to be close to Him. When you look in the mirror, I hope you can start to see a beloved child of God. Can you say that? Can you say, ďIím a beloved child of GodĒ? Why not try it right now?

II.       Because you are a beloved child of GodÖ

A.      Ötrust God and follow His way; it works.

1.       Matthew 7:7-11 tells us about Godís love. We are His beloved children and He knows how to give us good gifts. He wants to give us good gifts. But more than that, He has given us good gifts. James 1:17 says, ďEvery good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lightsĒ (ESV).

2.       One of His good gifts is His word. All scripture has been God-breathed that we might be competent, equipped for every good work (II Timothy 3:16-17). Paul commended the Ephesians to the word of Godís grace because it is able to build us up and give us an inheritance among the saints (Acts 20:32).

3.       Matthew 7:13-14 says we need to enter by Godís narrow way instead of the broad way? Why? Do we do that to prove how awesome we are? Do we do that to earn salvation? No. We do that because Godís way works. God has given us the gift of His word. Letís drop the competitions to prove our will from Godís word and instead simply discover His will and follow it. Why? Because His way works. His pattern will get us to heaven. That is His grace.

B.     Öseek His blessings and see His blessings.

1.       Go back to Matthew 7:7-11. God wants to give us His good gifts. He loves us and wants to bless us. But notice who He gives the good gifts. It doesnít say to those who want it. It doesnít say to those who need it. It says to those who ask. How many of Godís good gifts go unopened because we simply donít ask? James 4:2 says so often we donít receive simply because we donít ask. God wants to bless us.

2.       Matthew 6:33 says if we seek first Godís kingdom, He will provide all the other things we need. God loves you and wants to take care of you. Instead of thinking you need to take care of yourself and then get close to God, get close to God and let Him take care of you. Let Him bless you.

3.       But not only should you seek the blessings of Godís care for you, make sure you see the blessings God has given. All too often we see what God hasnít done for us yet. We see things we want and have even asked for that He hasnít given. Spend some time counting your blessings, material and spiritual. Ephesians 1:3 says God has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places. We need to see those blessings.

4.       Regarding physical blessings, remember that it is through God we live, move and have our being (Acts 17:28). Donít take for granted the daily blessing of breathing, eating, clothing, shelter. Last week as I was told to shut down my a/c because of sewage that had flowed into and told we had to leave our home. My initial reaction was to be upset and to complain. But then I remembered that many people who suffered flooding a few weeks ago would gladly trade places with me. Further, it dawned on me that instead of complaining and thinking God is picking on me because I have to go without air conditioning for a few days I should give thanks that Iíve had it my whole life and have it back again now. Instead of complaining that I had to leave my house for a few days, I should be thankful that Iíve had brethren who willingly opened their homes to my family and me. That is Godís blessing in my life. How many blessings has God given you this week?

5.       God loves you. You are His beloved child. Seek His blessings and see His blessings.

C.     Ödonít get bogged down in fear.

1.       Romans 8:14-15 says we are the adopted children of God, therefore we donít have to fall back into fear. No matter what happens to us or around us in this life, we can rest in the comfort that God hasnít lost us. God loves us. Instead of cowering in our little corner of the world in silent panic, we can cry out to God, ďAbba! Father!Ē He will be there for us.

2.       Paul continued in Romans 8:31-39 explaining why we had nothing to fear. Nothing can force us out of Godís hand. No sickness, financial turmoil, persecution, struggle, nothing. Satan canít take us out of Godís hand. We donít have to fear that. As long as we are holding on to God, we donít ever have to fear that He will let us go.

3.       Too often we get caught up in trying to figure out what the things going on around us mean. What is God trying to say to us? Does this turmoil means God doesnít love us? No. No matter what happens, we donít have to fear. We are beloved children of God. We can rest in His love, allowing Him to be our strong and mighty tower (Psalm 18:1-3).

D.     Öwhen you mess up, run to God not away from Him.

1.       Look again at Romans 5:6-8. God sent Jesus to die for you while you were a sinner. He didnít do it while you were doing your best to be righteous on your own. He knew your sins and sent Jesus to die for you. In fact, God knew every sin you would ever commit in your entire life. Psalm 139:1-6 makes it clear; God knew everything you would ever do. Not one single thing caused Him to step back and say, ďOh my, guess I canít save that one.Ē God looked at every sin you committed and said, ďIím going to send my only Son to save you from that.Ē

2.       Sadly, when we mess up big, we have a tendency to turn from God. We want to run from Him. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, we are ashamed and try to hide (Genesis 3:8). We may hide by cutting ourselves off from God and His people. We may hide our sin by trying to cover it up with a lot of seeming righteousness. We may think that if we hide it from the folks in the church, weíve hidden it from God. We try to hide it until weíve done enough to make up for it. Why do we do these things? Because we are sure God is going to bring down His wrath on us if we let Him know what weíve done. But that is not how it works with God. Godís wrath comes upon us when we try to hide our sins, not when we bring them to Him (cf. Proverbs 28:13).

3.       What would have happened to Peter if when he began to sink in the water he tried to hide from Jesus (Matthew 14:25-33)? But he didnít try to hide, he turned back to Jesus and Jesus saved him. What would have happened to the woman with the issue of blood that made her unclean had hidden from Jesus (Luke 8:43-48)? But she didnít hide; she came to Him and touched Him. What would have happened to the sinful woman in Luke 7:36-50 if she had hidden from Jesus? But she didnít; she came to Him, washed His feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. What would have happened to the prodigal of Luke 15:11-32 if he had decided his folly meant he should hide from the father? But he didnít; he came to his father seeking mercy.

4.       What will happen to us if we try to hide from God? We must not. We are Godís beloved children. Our sins donít make Him hate us. Our sins donít cause Him to dislike us. Our sins do not cause God to love us any less. He already knew we would commit that sin when He sent His only begotten Son to die for us. You are Godís beloved child. When you sin, donít run from your loving Father. Run to Him. Run to His arms, accept His forgiveness and direction. Even if, like the prodigal, the Fatherís other children donít accept you properly, donít let them deter you from running back to God. He loves you.

Conclusion:

      What do you see in the mirror? Learn to see what God sees. When God sees you, He sees one of His beloved children. He sees someone He loved so much, He sent Jesus to die for you. Please, donít run from Him. Turn to Him; trust Him; seek His blessings; take comfort in Him; hang on to Him. I John 3:1 says, ďSee what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we areĒ (ESV). Wow! How could we want anything else more than that? Thank you, God, for Your love. How could we love anything else more than God? Letís love each other and love God.

      Next time you look in the mirror, say out loud, ďI am a beloved child of God. Today, Iím going to live like it.Ē

 


Glory to God in the church by Christ Jesus
Franklin Church of Christ