You Matter

You matterYes, you.

I know that it’s sometimes hard to hold to, this truth that you are important.

But it is true.  You have been chosen by God for this place and this time in this world.

Your heart matters to Him, so much that He would not allow sin to hold power over you and keep you from His presence.  He sent Jesus to redeem you, because He loved you and He wanted your heart for His own.  Your heart, created by His non-erring hand, is valuable to Him…

..and you are valuable to the rest of us, to your brothers and sisters in Christ, and to the people in your life who don’t know Him.

You have a story to tell.  Whether it’s through your actions or through your words… maybe through music or painting… maybe through the food you take to those who are hurt or hungry… perhaps in the phone call you make when someone crosses your mind… perhaps in the faithful way you do your job and speak kindly to those around you… however you tell it, your story is important because it is the truth of a God who loves us, who reaches into our lives and sets us free.  This is a treasure in your hands, my friend… the fact that He has made you new, has called you Son or Daughter, has filled you with His Spirit. We bear witness to His grace… and when we all tell our piece of the Great Story, His Good News, we reveal Him to the people around us.

When we all tell our stories, I believe He is revealed to the entire world.

But here’s what can happen ~ Satan, our enemy who seeks to destroy and to devour any image-bearer of God, sneaks in and tells you that no one notices you.  You might as well be invisible, whether you’re sitting at home or on a church pew or walking around at work.  You don’t have anything to offer… everybody else says it better.  Everybody else knows more.  Everybody else… well, they have it covered.  Who needs you?

If he can persuade you to believe that you are insignificant, he silences your testimony.  He silences your story… because he wants to silence the Gospel.

Do not believe his lies.  Do not be silenced.

God has chosen you.  He has called you to be a witness of His mercy.  He has created you with all of those gifts and personality-quirks that make you you…

and we need you.

There are particular writers that teach me something in every book they pen…writers like John Eldredge, Madeleine L’Engle, and Donald Miller.  I was looking over my shelves and kind of talking to myself about how much this or that particular book means to me… and I said this ~ “they just speak my language.”  What do I mean?  These particular writers use the idea of ‘story’ and mythic language to tell how the Gospel has changed their lives… they use character and narrative, poetry and other great books that have been written over the years as examples.  This way of communicating Biblical ideas may not be a way that would reach everyone… but it reaches me, because I have loved big, beautiful books since I was a little girl.  The language of metaphor and the symbolism of fantasy… these are things that I understand.  This is a big part of my own language.  I am beyond grateful to have writers who are speaking to my specific needs… God has used their hearts to draw mine closer to Him.

Yet they had to be willing to speak their story.  They had to believe that God had given their hearts value.

Someone needs your story.  Someone is waiting to have somebody else understand where they are coming from ~ ‘to speak their language’.  Someone is wondering if anybody out there has been through what they are going through.  Someone is in desperate need to hear that this kind of storm will pass, that God makes a way… that, even in their despair, they are loved.

Paul puts it this way in 2nd Corinthians 1: “All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah!  Father of all mercy!  God of all healing counsel!  He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” (The MSG)

So, yes ~ you matter.  What you have been through matters.  Your walk with the Lord matters.  Your trials and your victories ~ every piece of your life ~ in the Master Artist’s hands, it all matters.

You were created and redeemed to give glory to God in everything that you do ~ to shine like a star, to hold out the Word of life. (Phil. 2:15)

God calls you His own.  When those creeping lies of worthlessness, insignificance, and invisibility try to attack, I know that it can be so hard to hold your head up.  I think that the enemy knows our weak moments, when our emotions are already vulnerable, and strikes when we are susceptible to agreeing with his accusations.  So be alert in those times and, whenever you feel those emotions stirring ~ hold out your Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God and stand firm in His truth.  James 4:7 assures us that when we resist the devil, he will flee from us.  So resist ~ as Webster defines it ~ withstand the action or effect of.  Don’t allow his lies to devour your emotions, your moment, your day… your testimony.  I’ve been there.  If we dwell on those false ideas, our whole day… or worse, a whole season of our lives… can be swallowed up by despair.  But in our armor that God gives and empowers, we can “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.’ (Ephesians 5:15)

Extinguish the lies!  The enemy has no place in defining your heart ~ your heart belongs to the kingdom of light, made new in the grace of God, a ‘treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Cor. 4:7)

Polish up your Sword, friends.  Hold up your head and know His truth.  He sees you.  He knows you.  You are loved.  Your testimony has worth.  Your life gives Him glory… so yes, always yes ~ you matter.

It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.  Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.”~Ephesians 1:11

We are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” ~Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

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