Sermons

Summary: This is the 3rd sermon in the series "Don't Be Discouraged". You matter to God.

Series: Don’t Be Discouraged [#3]

YOU MATTER

1 Peter 2:4-10

Introduction:

I was teaching the kids recently and I was telling them that we are supposed to love others as we love ourselves. As I continued to talk to them and ask them questions I began to discover that there was a problem- Most of these kids don’t really love themselves. How can they love others when they don’t love themselves?

Do any of you remember going to the carnival or circus and walking into the “Fun House”? The “Fun House” was full of mirrors; but these weren’t your normal mirrors. Some of these mirrors made you look really tall and skinny while some of the mirrors made you look short and round. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that many of our kids, especially our teenage girls, see themselves in the “Fun House” mirrors. You know, as I think about it- I believe that many people of all ages don’t care much for themselves. That is evident by how down on ourselves we are.

1 Peter 2:4-10

As a part of God’s family, I’m…

1. Acceptable.

“You are a chosen people.” One of the greatest needs that people have is acceptance. We want people to like us and include us in their group. People struggle for years to get the acceptance of their parents, colleagues, peers, friends, etc…

As a child of God, you are accepted by God. God chose you. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what color your skin is, whether you’re male or female, rich or poor, etc…; Jesus died for you. “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

We can be accepted by God through the blood of Jesus. It is through Jesus’ blood that we are justified. God sees us just as we had never sinned.

As a part of God’s family, I’m…

2. Valuable.

“You are God’s special possession.” Not only are you accepted by God; but you are valuable to God. How much do you think you are worth? Now before you answer, I’m not talking monetarily. What determines value?

There are 2 things that determine value in life:

 It depends on what somebody is willing to pay for something.

How much is your house worth? Not as much as you think it is and probably not as much as it was a year ago. Your house is worth what somebody is willing to pay for it. No more.

 It depends on who has owned it in the past.

Sometimes somebody who has owned something makes it valuable. For example, would a car owned by Elvis Pressley probably be more valuable than a car you owned? I read about a pair of sticky, smelly, and worn out shoes that sold for $7,000 at an auction because they happened to be owned by Michael Jordan. Often, if somebody who is well known owns something, then that gives it additional value.

Based on these 2 things, what's your value? Ask yourself, “Who owns me” and “What was paid for me”? "You've been bought and paid for by Christ." You belong to Him. Jesus paid for you with His life. God is building a spiritual house, (the Church) on the foundation of Jesus Christ and He is using each of His children as living stones. God loves the Church so much that He died for it.

Just as clarification, Jesus died for us, not just our sins. Many of our youth are struggling with this concept- They know that Jesus died for their sins; but that’s it. We are made in the image of God; but because of sin, we find ourselves separated from God. When Jesus paid the price for us on the cross, it was so that He could buy us back from eternal death.

As a part of God’s family, I’m…

3. Capable.

“You are a royal priesthood.”

In the Old Testament, priests did 2 things:

 They had the right, privilege and responsibility to go directly to God.

They could pray to God, talk to God, worship, and fellowship. Everybody else had to go through a priest. The priest went one-on-one with God.

 The priest had the privilege and responsibility of representing God to the people and serving the needs of other people.

Those are the very 2 things that are true of you when you become a believer.

 You have a right now to go directly to God- Direct access.

You don't have to pray through anybody else. You don't have to confess through anybody else. You don't have to fellowship with God through anybody else. God says, “You have a direct line now”. You yourself are a priest. You have just as much right to go before God as I do or anybody else. The Bible says that when Jesus died on the cross there was this veil in the Temple that separated the Holy of Holies where God's Spirit was from where man was. Only priests could go behind that veil, once a year. When Jesus died on the cross, God ripped that veil from top to bottom, symbolizing there is no more barrier. The word "priest" in Latin means "bridge". The priest is a bridge builder between God and man. God says you're that now.

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