I have found that I spend a great deal of my devotional time trying to attain a greater understanding of who God is. This is, of course, a good thing to do as we should strive to reflect His character (Matthew 5:48), something that can only truly be accomplished by being in relationship with Him….and the absolute base level of maintaining a relationship with God is through the reading of scripture so we can discover more about Him and prayer that we may speak to Him and be spoken to by Him.
Recently however, I found myself wondering what scripture says about how I am viewed by Christ. As I researched all the different ways we, humankind, are referenced in the Bible, I realized that God thinks a lot of things about us. I don’t have nearly enough space to list all the different things we are to God so I decided to narrow it down to the five that I feel are most necessary for us to know and understand.
1.) You are imperfect.
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
You might think that this list is just going to be a lot of negative things but it’s important I start with this one, stick with me. The crappy news is that we are broken and undesirable beings incapable of perfection. Verse 23 above says it plainly with that first word: All. Your pastor, your worship leader, your mentor, your role models, teachers, leaders…every single one of us falls short. We are born into sin by way of Adam and imperfection is unavoidable. The good news? That’s found in verse 22 and 24. We don’t have to be perfect because we have a savior in Jesus Christ who is perfect. His perfect grace justifies us, redeems us, and covers our imperfections.
2.) You are free.
“I have the freedom to do anything but not everything is helpful. I have the freedom to do anything but I won’t be controlled by anything.” I Corinthians 6:12
We have no choice in the matter when it comes to being born into sin but we do have a clear choice when it comes to maintaining that relationship with sin. Free will is a wonderful and terrible thing all wrapped up in one nice gift from God. Wonderful because it gives us the opportunity to choose relationship with Him which makes us an active participant in that relationship. Terrible because it also presents difficulty in overcoming our own selfish, sinful desires (I Peter 2:16). Our freedom to be in relation with God makes the end result of choosing Him all the more worthwhile as we come to the realization that God’s grace is a far better reward than anything we could ever attain outside of Him.
3.) You are loved.
“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” I John 4:9-10
Hopefully you knew this long before reading it just now. It always gets me just a little to think about this one…this idea that an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present God would even consider me, nonetheless have unconditional love for me. The great part is I don’t have to understand it. There are multiple scriptures in which God not only tells us of His love for us but also describes in detail just how great and boundless is that love. In Genesis 22, Abraham was commanded by God to sacrifice his son Isaac as an offering to Him. Abraham’s love for God was so great that he was willing to obey this command in spite of losing his only son. At the last-minute, God called out to Abraham to commend his obedience and to spare Isaac. Conversely to Isaac, the sacrificing of Christ did occur. God’s love for us is so great that He wants to see us obtain life and righteousness through that sacrifice. Not only are you loved, you’re loved to a larger degree than you can ever possibly fathom.
4.) You are a child of God.
“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18
This is one of those cliché sayings you hear all the time growing up but something being cliché doesn’t necessarily make it any less true. Actually because of its cliché status, I think we all-too-often forget that this is true. If you think about how you typically interact with your earthly parents, it’s probably vastly different from your interactions with your heavenly Father. I know that I am guilty of getting caught up in the motions of how I think my relationship with God should be from time to time but I think God is far less concerned with the formalities of the communication as He is with establishing and maintaining that communication. Another important message we get from this point is pertinent for those without earthly parents. I have a good friend whose biological parents died when He was still very young. This caused him to be raised by his grandmother. He appreciates and loves his grandmother but it can certainly be difficult to never have the opportunity to connect with your biological parents. I know from his sharing with me that he takes an abundance of comfort in knowing that he never can and never will lose his heavenly Father.
5.) You are accepted.
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7
This is the single most important message of the modern-day church. Why? Because it’s an all-encompassing message of everything we are to God. Despite an abundance of love, mercy, and grace in Christ; there are many who preach the opposite of these three foundations of faith in the name of the very one who died that we might obtain them. If we are to believe that ALL are imperfect and born into sin, ALL are free to the will of sin or the will of God, ALL are loved and extended the grace and mercy of Christ, and ALL are children of God our creator and sustainer; then we must believe that ALL are accepted as such.