Summary: A look at the care that God has for us and the important difference between pep-talk self-esteem and God-spoke personal value.

A LINGERING QUESTION: Has God forgotten me?

- What if God forgot about me? Has God forgotten me? Can I be confident that God is paying attention to me?

- Reasons that we think that God has forgotten us:

a. It’s taking longer than expected for God to answer our prayer.

b. Events in our life are not going as we expected.

c. We don’t sense His presence.

d. Bad things are happening in our lives.

- Why are we open to the idea that God has forgotten us?

a. We have been beaten down by life and don’t think we’re worth much.

b. We can’t imagine in this big world that God would bother with us.

c. We have never experienced seeing God move in our lives before.

d. We just can’t make sense of what’s been going on in our lives.

e. My prayers haven’t been answered the way I expected.

- Who needs to hear these truths this morning?

a. Those who have been told that they’re worthless.

b. Those who have been waiting a long time.

c. When things haven’t turned out as you’ve expected.

AM I WORTH REMEMBERING? There is a world of difference between pep-talk self-esteem and God-spoken personal value.

- Luke 12:6-7.

- We try to boost up our self-image and self-esteem with a pep talk.

- “I am somebody!” “I can do this!” “I am worth it!”

- It all ends up being a little shallow and a little sad. It comes across as trying too hard.

- Further, the two outcomes are not particularly great. Generally, either:

a. We don’t buy our pep talk and we end up feeling badly about ourselves.

b. We totally buy our pep talk and we think we can do no wrong.

- Neither outcome is particularly good.

- On the other hand, when we have God speak words of our value to us, that comes with a weight that we could never create. He speaks with authority. He speaks with knowledge.

- There is a big difference between a young basketball player thinking he’s pretty good and having the best player on the local college team tell you that you’ve got great skills. He has more knowledge than you. He doesn’t have a vested interest in tickling your ears.

- When God speaks truth, He is speaking truth. We can take it to the bank.

- Many of us have been beaten down by life or by the harsh words of those around us, so when we hear words of encouragement and value from someone who knows what he’s talking about, that gets our attention.

- God has spoken in these verses of our incredible intrinsic value: the hairs of our head are numbered; we are worth more than many sparrows.

- It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean that you can get away with anything. This isn’t a “God-loves-you-just-the-way-you-are-and-doesn’t-want-to-change-anything-about-you” piece of nonsense.

- God loves you as you are, but He also loves you enough to not leave you as you are.

- It’s important to understand the two preceding verses (vv. 4-5). They speak of the reality of hell. It seems odd at first that Jesus would transition from talking about hell to talking about the hairs on our head being numbered. What’s going on with that? I think the two truths are related. There are those who think that everything is great the way they are and they need to know that they are facing hell if they don’t repent (vv. 4-5). At the same time, there are those who think there’s no way that God would ever care for them and they need to know that the very hairs of their head are numbered (vv. 6-7). The one truth is for the person who thinks too highly of himself; the other is for the person who thinks too lowly of himself. We need to know that God loves us (vv. 6-7), but we need what Jesus can do for us to bring forgiveness and salvation (vv. 4-5).

BUT I DON'T FEEL THAT WAY: Believe Jesus’ words, not the voices in your head.

- Some of you may be listening to this and you’re thinking, “But I don’t feel like that. I don’t feel valuable. I don’t feel worthy. I don’t feel like there’s anything here worth loving.”

- We need to acknowledge that many of us have such voices in our heads. Sometimes the voices come from internal doubts. Sometimes the voices come from the echoes of what parents said to us. Sometimes the voices come from what we’ve heard in popular culture. But we hear the voices and we believe them.

- Here’s the thing: the voices are not infallible. And, often, the voices are lying to you.

- We all know people who have enormous gifts and potential, but don’t see it in themselves. We all know people who are wonderfully generous and merciful, but see no value to what they do. The voices in their head are lying to them.

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