You’re Worth Being Found

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Some people believe that calling someone spiritually lost is a put-down. But it’s not. It’s actually a great compliment to be called spiritually lost.  

There’s a difference between losing something and misplacing something. If I misplace something, it means it wasn’t important to me. But if I lose it, it’s valuable enough for me to try to find it. You misplace a bobby pin; you lose your glasses.

People are only lost if they’re worth finding. Think of it this way: The value of a masterpiece doesn’t go down when it’s lost; it goes up.

Human beings lose a lot when they aren’t connected to God. When you’re disconnected from God, you lose your direction, God’s protection, your potential, your happiness, and your future home in heaven just to name a few. But there’s one thing you don’t lose: your value.

God loved you enough to send his very best: Jesus. The most famous verse in the Bible says, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

You matter so much to God that he underwent a rescue mission to come get you. He came to Earth as a little baby so that one day he could die on a wooden cross for your sin.

Jesus came to Earth because you needed him. God sent his Son to do something you could never do on your own: pay for your sins. If you didn’t need it, God wouldn’t have done it. 

Your sins have made a relationship with God impossible on your own. That’s why Jesus came to Earth to save you from everything you’ve done wrong, so that you could be forgiven and restored into a right relationship with God.

Why would God give up his divine privileges, his glory and honor, to come for your rescue? Because he loves you. He loves you more than you will ever understand. Trying to understand God’s love is like an ant trying to understand the Internet ants just don’t have the capacity. And you don’t have the capacity to fully grasp God’s love.

But you don’t have to understand God’s love. You just have to accept it and believe that you’re infinitely valued by the God of the universe, who gave his very best for you.

Are You Stuck In Spiritual Neutral?

“Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!)”Ephesians 1:4-5

A while back, a man came into my office and said, “I’m a Christian, but I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere in my spiritual growth. I’m kind of stuck in neutral.”

I said, “What do you think the problem is?” 

He said, “I think my problem is I just don’t love God enough.” 

I said, “That’s not your problem. Your problem is not that you don’t love God enough. Your problem is that you don’t understand how much he loves you.”

Love is always a response to love. The Bible says, “We love because he first loved us”(1 John 4:19). When you say, “I don’t love God,” it’s because you don’t understand just how much he really loves you.

In fact, God loved you before he even created the Earth. The Bible says it like this: “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love” (Ephesians 1:4).

To understand your life’s purpose and calling, you have to begin with God’s nature. God is love. Love is the essence of his nature. 

And the focus of his love is you. You were created to be loved by God. 

If you grasp that profound truth and let it sink into your soul, you will find great strength, confidence, and peace. God created the entire universe in a specific way to support the existence of human beings so that he could create you and love you. 

The most important thing you can know is that God created you to love you. The most important thing you can do is to know and love him back. Loving God back is your number one purpose in life. Ants and snails do not love, but you were made in God’s image, so you can love.

Most people go their entire lives missing their purpose. They know all kinds of things stock quotes, sports scores, the latest technology but they don’t know God. They miss out on discovering the depth of God’s love and all the blessings he has in store for them.

But that doesn’t have to be true for you. God’s priority for your life is clear. It’s important to serve, obey, and trust him. But your first purpose is to love him.

How Could God Forget You?

Jesus] looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name! ‘Zacchaeus!’ he said.” Luke 19:5

For all of Zacchaeus’ life, he’d been ridiculed and rejected, first for his appearance and then for his sinful life. It’s what he’d come to expect from everyone until Jesus changed everything.

Zacchaeus was a tax collector, a Jew working for Rome. He gathered more taxes from the Jewish people than Rome required so he could get rich off of the excess. Zacchaeus was taking advantage of his own people!

But here’s what happened when Zacchaeus met Jesus: “[Jesus] looked upat Zacchaeus and called him by name! ‘Zacchaeus!’ he said” (Luke 19:5).

Jesus not only looked at Zacchaeus. Jesus also showed that he knew him by calling Zacchaeus by name. Imagine the shock Zacchaeus must have felt! How did Jesus know his name?

The name Zacchaeus means “pure one.” But that’s the last way most people probably would have described Zacchaeus. He was a corrupt government official; he was anything but pure. But when Jesus called Zacchaeus by name, it was as if he was saying, “Hey, pure one, I’m coming to your house today.” Jesus was affirming what he knew Zacchaeus could be, not what Zacchaeus was on the surface.

God does the same for you. He not only knows where you are; he knows who you are. He knows what you’re going through, why you’re going through it, and how you feel about it. He knows you better than you know yourself. He cares about you personally.

You may be afraid to get close to Jesus because you think he’s going to scold you for all the things you’ve done wrong. But Jesus wants to affirm you for who he’s created you to be. He wants to let you know how much he loves you.

The Bible says, “Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15-16).

When Jesus stretched out his arms and the soldiers put nails through his hands, your name was already engraved there. When you get to heaven, there will be no scars on anyone except Jesus. He’s going to have those scars for eternity to remind you of how much he loves you. 

Through those scars, it’s as if he says, “Do you think I could forget you? Not a chance! This is how much you matter to me.”

Fulfill Your Calling Through Service

“All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”1 Corinthians 12:27

You need to be connected to a church family so you can fulfill your calling to serve other believers in practical ways. The Bible says, “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27).

Your service is desperately needed in the body of Christ just ask any local church! Each believer has a role to play, and every role is important. There is no small service to God; it all matters.

Likewise, there are no insignificant ministries in the church. Some are visible and some are behind the scenes, but all are valuable. Small or hidden ministries often make the biggest difference. 

In many homes, the most important light is not the large chandelier in their dining room but the little night-light that keeps them from stubbing my toe when they get up at night. In the same way, there is no correlation between size and significance when it comes to service in the body of Christ. Every ministry matters, because we are all dependent on each other to function.

What happens when one part of your body fails to function? You get sick. The rest of your body suffers. Imagine if your liver decided to start living for itself: “I’m tired! I don’t want to serve the body anymore! I want a year off just to be fed. I’ve got to do what’s best for me! Let some other part take over.” 

What would happen? Your body would die. Today thousands of local churches are dying because of Christians who are unwilling to serve. They sit on the sidelines as spectators, and the body suffers.

God has called you to a service far beyond anything you could ever imagine. As Ephesians 2:10 says, “He has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do”.

Whenever you serve others in any way, you are actually serving God.

Who Gets The Gift Of You?

“There are different spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. There are different ways of serving, and yet the same Lord is served. There are different types of work to do, but the same God produces every gift in every person.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

If you’re like most people, you struggle to know who God has made you to be. But once you understand the unique ways God has shaped you, you can start focusing on those and make better use of your life.

The moment you step across the line and put your faith in Christ, God gives you four major gifts:

Forgiveness. Romans 5:15 says, “For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ”. When you put your faith in Jesus, the first thing he does is wipe out everything you’ve ever done wrong. You are forgiven! There is no condemnation.

Eternal life. God has long-range plans for you. The Bible says in Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. You’re never going to work your way or earn your way into heaven. The only way you’ll ever get into heaven is by God’s free gift that you accept by faith.

The Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5 says, “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us”How do you know when you’re letting God live through your life? When you embody the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Special abilities. In the Bible, these special abilities are called spiritual gifts. They are different from material or physical gifts. They’re the abilities you need to do the job that God wants you to do. Most people who are believers don’t even know they have spiritual gifts, much less what those gifts are. But if you’re a follower of Jesus, you do have them! 

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, “There are different spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. There are different ways of serving, and yet the same Lord is served. There are different types of work to do, but the same God produces every gift in every person”.

What is a spiritual gift? God has a purpose for your life, and your spiritual gifts are the equipment he gives you to do what he asks you to do. God will never ask you to do something he doesn’t give you the ability to do!

Your Abilities Are God’s Map For Your Life

May he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him.” Hebrews 13:21

Once upon a time, some animals wanted to start a school. They decided the courses would include running, climbing, swimming, and flying. Then they decided that all of the animals should take all of the courses.

That’s where the problem started. 

The duck was better than his teacher at swimming, but he only made passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. So they made him drop swimming and stay after school to practice running. This caused his webbed feet to be badly worn, and his grade dropped to average in swimming. But everybody felt less threatened and more comfortable with that except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of his class in running, but because of so much makeup work in swimming, he caught pneumonia and had to drop out of school. 

The squirrel showed outstanding ability in climbing, but he was extremely frustrated in flying class because the teacher insisted that he start from the ground up rather than the treetop down. He developed charley horses from overextension, so he only got a “C” in climbing and a “D” in running. 

The eagle was the problem student and was disciplined for being a nonconformist. For instance, in climbing class he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but he insisted on flying to get there. Finally, because he refused to participate in swimming class, he was expelled. 

As you might imagine, the animals’ school didn’t work. 

Different animals are designed to excel in specific areas, and they can’t be expected to do all the other things. A duck is made to be a duck not anything else.

It’s the same for people. God has designed each person different from all the others. When you expect everyone to fit in the same mold, the result is frustration, discouragement, mediocrity, and failure. 

God made you to be you. He has given you unique abilities, and he wants you to use them the way he intended. 

Are you wondering what God’s will is for your life? Look at your abilities. They’re your road map; they point you in the direction you should go. When you know what you’re good at, then you can know what God wants you to do with your life. 

The Bible says, “May he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him”(Hebrews 13:21).

Through your abilities, God has equipped you to do his will. As you use those abilities, you’ll start to see how he produces “every good thing” in your life.

God Gives Ability To Help Others

“Now you belong to him who was raised from death in order that we might be useful in the service of God.” Romans 7:4

God created you to help others. Regardless of your job or career, you are called to full-time Christian service. A “non-serving Christian” is a contradiction in terms.

The Bible says, “He saved us and called us to be his own people, not because of what we have done, but because of his own purpose” (2 Timothy 1:9).

Jesus came to earth with a mission. God has a mission for your life, too. 

“You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you” (1 Peter 2:9).

You may think that being called by God is something only missionaries, pastors, and other full-time church workers experience, but the Bible says every Christian is called to service.

God has given you unique talents and abilities to benefit others, and he’s gifted others with talents and abilities to benefit you. If you don’t share your talents with those around you, they’ll be cheated. If they don’t share their talents with you, you’ll miss out. 

For instance, if you’re someone who doesn’t know what a carburetor is, isn’t it great that other people have mechanical skills? On the other hand, maybe you make the best chocolate chip cookies in your neighborhood and can share that gift with people around you.

Everything in society says, “It’s all about me.” Yet nothing could be further from the truth! God is calling you to use your gifts to help others. 

When you use your God-given abilities to help others, you are fulfilling your calling. The Bible says, “Now you belong to him who was raised from death in order that we might be useful in the service of God” (Romans 7:4).

Jesus glorified God by fulfilling his mission. God wants you to follow that example.

What Is At The Center Of Your Life?

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”Matthew 22:37-38

God wants to be at the very center of your life. He doesn’t want to be on the edge of your life, and he doesn’t want to be just a segment of your life. The God of the universe the God who made you and loves you wants to be the hub of your heart and the axis of your existence.

Here’s another way to look at it: God wants to have a love relationship with you.

The Bible says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).

The truth is, you’re going to center your life around something. You may center it around your career, your family, or your hobbies. You may center it around making money or being popular. 

But putting anything besides God at the center of your life is an idol. Exodus 20:3-4 says, “You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea”.

How do you know when something has taken center stage in your life instead of God? It’s simple. When God’s not at the center of your life, you start to worry and stress out; you get fearful. These are the warning lights that God is no longer the nucleus of your heart.

In contrast, how can you tell when your life is centered on God? You’re at peace. You stop worrying. The Bible says, “A sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” (Philippians 4:7).

Ask yourself this: “What’s going to be the center of my life for the rest of my life?” 

It’s the most important thing you will ever have to decide.

God Says You Are Capable

“I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”Philippians 4:13

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).

What are you supposed to do as a priest? God says, “I am sending you . . . to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me” (Acts 26:17-18).

I developed The PEACE plan because of this truth that every believer is a priest. The PEACE Plan wasn’t created for pastors. It was created for every believer around the world to serve in the following ways: Promote reconciliation and plant churches, Equip ethical leaders where there’s corruption, Assist the poor where there’s poverty, Care for the sick where there’s disease and illness, and Educate the next generation where there’s illiteracy.

Because Christ lives in you, you are fully capable of doing these things. Your capability is not based on your own human power. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength”. And 2 Corinthians 3:5 says, “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God”.

But many people live with a gnawing sense of insecurity. They don’t feel capable. Why do people feel this way? One reason is that they’re still believing negative things people said to them years ago. But those things weren’t true then and they aren’t true now.

Here’s what is true about you: You have God’s Spirit inside you, you’re a priest, and you can do everything through Christ’s strength. In him, you are fully capable.

You Are Totally Forgiven

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”Romans 8:1

When you give your life to Christ, God doesn’t just reverse your sin he releases it and forgives you completely.

The Bible says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

Without Christ’s forgiveness, you live with guilt and shame. The apostle Peter put it this way: “At one time you did not know God’s mercy, but now you have received his mercy” (1 Peter 2:10). What happens when you receive God’s mercy? He wipes out your sins. It’s as if all your sins are written on a whiteboard and he takes a giant eraser and wipes them all away.

It’s called grace.

Some people, even Christians who have accepted the love of Christ, still don’t understand grace. When something bad happens in their lives, they think, “God’s getting even with me.” But does God really treat his children that way? Does he get even with his kids? No, he doesn’t. That kind of response wouldn’t be grace. 

Here are two reasons you can be confident that you are totally and completely forgiven by God:

God’s nature is to forgive. Have you ever thought, “I wonder if God gets tired of me coming back to him and asking for forgiveness over and over”? God has answered that question: “I am the God who forgives your sins, and I do this because of who I am. I will not hold your sins against you” (Isaiah 43:25). He forgives because of who he is wow!

Jesus has already paid for all your sins. Ephesians 1:7 says, “For by the blood of Christ we are set free”. God forgives you not because you’ve somehow earned forgiveness but because Jesus has already done the work to make forgiveness possible. Jesus’ death on the cross paid for every sin you’ve ever committed and ever will commit.

God is merciful and forgiving. He wants to forgive you. Will you receive his mercy today?

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