Updated: Feb 3, 2020
Elevate 28 - A 28 Day Challenge to Intentionally Engage with God's Word
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:14 ESV
"What God Thinks About You"
An excerpt by John Rinehart, September 24, 2015
We all want to know who we are. We seek and search and try to “find ourselves.” Many of us have taken personality tests and other assessments. We learn that we are a lion, a beaver, an ENFP, an activator, a competitor, a high I, high D. But as helpful as those tests can be, have you ever stopped to ask, “What does God think about me? Who does he say that I am?” In all my years as a Christian, I had never asked the question quite this way until recently. And what I found is that God has a lot to say about what he thinks about us — a whole Bible full. But if we could summarize it in a short space, here’s how it might sound.
You Are Valuable
I am the Creator and you are my creation. I breathed into your nostrils the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). I created you in my own image (Genesis 1:27). My eyes saw your unformed substance (Psalm 139:16). I knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). I know the number of hairs on your head, and before a word is on your tongue I know it (Matthew 10:30; Psalm 139:4). You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Have you ever stopped to ask, “What does God think about me? Who does he say that I am?”
You are more valuable than many sparrows (Matthew 10:31). I have given you dominion over all sheep and oxen and all beasts of the field and birds of the heavens and fish of the sea (Psalm 8:6–8; Genesis 1:26, 28). I have crowned you with glory and honor as the pinnacle and final act of the six days of creation (Psalm 8:5; Genesis 1:26). However, from the very beginning, you exchanged the truth about me for a lie. You worshiped and served created things rather than me, the Creator (Romans 1:25). You have sinned and fallen short of my glory (Romans 3:23). Just as I said to Adam and Eve, the penalty for your sin is death (Romans 6:23; Genesis 2:17). And in your sin, you were spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). You were children of wrath, living as enemies to me (Ephesians 2:3; Romans 5:10). You turned aside from me. You became corrupt. There is none who does good, not even one (Psalm 14:2–3). What you deserve is my righteous judgment (Psalm 7:11–12). And yet, in my great love, I gave my unique Son, that all those who believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). While you were still sinners, Christ died for you. While you were still hostile toward me, you were reconciled to me by the death of my Son (Romans 5:8, 10). Sin doesn’t have the last word. Grace does (Romans 5:20). Now everyone who calls on the name of Jesus will be saved (Romans 10:13). You who have believed are born again (1 Peter 1:3). I have adopted you (Ephesians 1:5). You are children of God, heirs of God (1 John 3:2; Romans 8:16–17). You are no longer orphans. You belong to me (John 14:18; 1 Corinthians 6:19). And I love you as a perfect Father (1 John 3:1; Luke 15:20–24).
You Will Be Transformed
As you seek me and see more of my glory, I am transforming you into the image of my Son (2 Corinthians 3:18; Exodus 33:18). One day you will be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet sound (1 Corinthians 15:52). When Jesus appears, you will be like him, because you shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2; Romans 8:29).
You will be delivered from your body of death through Jesus Christ, and your dwelling place will be with me (Romans 7:24–25; John 14:3). And I will wipe away every tear from your eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore (Revelation 21:3–4).
You will drink from the spring of the water of life without payment, and I myself will make for you a feast of rich food and well-aged wine (Revelation 21:6; Isaiah 25:6). You will enter my rest, inherit the kingdom I’ve prepared for you, and step into fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Hebrews 4:9–11; Matthew 25:34; Psalm 16:11).
But most of all, you will see my face and be with me where I am (Revelation 22:4; John 14:3).
You Represent Me
“Look to Jesus. Keep your eyes on him. He is the author and perfecter of your faith.”
REFLECT & RESPOND
This is an activity for a family or small group. Read the poem “You are Unique” by Deborah Ann. Individually, write three things about each family member or small group member that you think is unique and special. Then share with each person in a text or a note what you wrote about them.
“You are Unique” by Deborah Ann
You are unique, you are one of a kind.
God molded your heart, your soul, and your mind.
You are unique, God created every part.
He put you together right from the start.
You are unique, God designed all of you.
He has a purpose and plan for all that you do.
You are unique, God fashioned each crease.
He shaped you into His beautiful masterpiece.
You are unique, marvelous in every way.
Tis why you should sing to Him, your praise today!
This activity was provided by the Teacher Love Project - a Why Not Charleston community education initiative. The Teacher Love Project aims to provide love and encouragement to teachers that will elevate their wellness and care and therefore, enhance student achievement. We must care for those who care for our children - we must love each other because God loved us first.
"We love because he first loved us."
1 John 4:19
by Taraea L. Griffith
Heavenly Father thank you for your unfailing love, because of your unfailing love you lead us who are your redeemed. In your strength you guide us to your holy dwelling. Lord because of your servant Moses we know your heart which is to be very careful to keep your commandments which is to love you first Lord and walk in all your ways and serve you with our heart and soul.
This love causes our enemies to perish and that love will be like the sun when it rises in its strength producing peace in the land. We are glad taking refuge in you singing for joy O Lord our God. Spread your protection over us who love your name as we rejoice forever. Show us the wonder of your great love saving us by your right hand as we take refuge in you. Your love O Lord reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies it is such a priceless treasure that both high and low men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. May your unfailing love and salvation come to us according to your promise, and we vow Lord to never let love and faithfulness leave us. We bind them around our necks and write them on the tablets of our hearts. With this prayer Lord God may your love abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight as we direct our hearts to your love and Christ’s perseverance.
In Jesus Name Amen
Sources: Ezekiel 15:13, Joshua 22:5, Judges 5:31, Psalms 5:11, 17:7, 36:5, 36:7, 119:41, Proverbs 3:3 Philippians 1:9, 2 Thessalonians 3:5
Taraea L. Griffith lives in Charleston with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She is a poet and writer, and making an offering of her special gifts and talents as a Why Not Charleston 2020 contributor.
THRU THE LENS - FINDING YOURSELF IN GOD'S WORD
A blog by regular men and women about finding themselves in God's word.
"God Created You in Love"
By Ashley Russell
When God created man, He made him distinctive, different from the other things. “God created man in His own image . . . male and female He created them.” (Gen 1:27) He clothed them with intelligence, a conscience, and a will. He made them like Himself—a companion, a friend of God. The psalmist David describes how God knows each one of us intimately: “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways” (vv.1-3).
I don't know about you, but I often times struggle with this subject of who I am Christ. It is no accident that my hair is curly, that I have blue eyes, and that I'm short, or should I say vertically challenged. God made me the way I am for a purpose!
God blessed with two handsome boys. Austin is now 16 and Caden is 13. Both are the same height. When they were little people would always ask me if there were twins. I would smile and say no. I sometimes still get that question! I'll admit, they do look a lot alike. I was always concerned about Austin's height and ended up taking him to an endocrinologist for testing. As a mom, I wanted to make sure everything was genetically correct. The testing came back and all was good. He was healthy, what more could I ask for.
It wasn't until a few years later that I started to realize that God created us this way for a reason, for his purpose, his great plan. It doesn't matter how tall you are, how many people you know, if you've published books, or anything like that. What matters is your relationship with God and how he uses you for his Glory. "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
(Ephesians 2:10) My prayer is that my boys will grow up knowing that they too were created this way for a purpose.
Not only are we wonderfully made, but because of Christ’s death on the cross, we can also be wonderfully restored to a right relationship with God. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation . . . . All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17-18 NIV). Because we were made in God’s image and His Spirit dwells in us, we have a greater capacity for spiritual transformation and service than we could imagine.
Can we rest in this truth that God created us in his image and for a purpose greater than our understanding? Let us all seek to become the person God has created you to be.
I thank you for creating me in your image and making me who I am.
I pray you would continue to use me for your greater purpose.
Continue to reveal the gifts you have given me so I can use them to
further your kingdom. Thank you for the opportunity to be a reflection on you.
In Jesus name
Ashley Russell lives in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina with her husband, Jon, and two boys, Austin & Caden. She is a creative entrepreneur, a local business owner, and a Why Not Charleston contributor.