Deep inside all of us have a deep desire to feel worthwhile. We all want to feel significant. We all want to feel that we matter. We all want to feel that if we were to die, somebody would miss us, that we're not just taking up space and that our life has meaning, significance and purpose.
In fact, we spend much of our life being motivated to do things that we hope will answer the question, "Do I matter?"
The truth is, no matter how much money we make in life, no matter how much success we achieve, no matter how much pleasure we experience, no matter how many relationships we have and no matter how popular or famous we become, none of it is going to matter until we've established a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It’s then that we begin to discover how much we matter to Him and base our self worth on that. Nothing else is going to satisfy. Nothing else lasts.
How do I know that I matter to God? There are so many examples found in the Bible where God talks about how much you matter to him, that he cares for you, that he created you for a purpose.
But for today, I will focus on two ways to know that you matter to God:
Every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year of every decade God is thinking bout you. From the moment He decided to make you, He's never stopped thinking about you. You don't think about God all the time, but He thinks about you all the time. Why? Because you matter to Him, and He's interested in every area of your life.
"Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!" (Psalm 139:16-17)
That is amazing. The Creator of the universe thinks about me constantly and thinks about you constantly. That shows how much you matter.
"God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us." (Romans 5:8)
Do you want to know how much you matter, how much you're worth? Look at the cross. Jesus Christ says to you, "I care about you this much. You matter to me this much.” God thought you were worth dying for.
"I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands." (Isaiah 49:16)
One day you can stand before Jesus Christ and say, "Jesus, do I mean anything to you?" He'll hold out His hands with nail scars and say, "This is how much you mean to Me. I have engraved you on the palms of My hands." Psychologists tell us that our self worth is based on what we think the most important person in our life thinks about us. So whoever is the most important person in your life, what you think they think about you is where you get your self-esteem. I want to suggest that you make Jesus Christ the most important person in your life. Nobody is ever going to love you more than He does – nobody.
If you base your self worth on what other people think of you, on your opinions, then you're going to collapse when you're criticized, rejected or ignored. But if you build your self worth on the fact that God made you, loves you, thinks about you constantly, loves you unconditionally, forgives you, sent His own son to die for you, it doesn't matter what anybody else says about you because they can't take that away, that relationship with Christ. That is the foundation for really feeling good about yourself. He affirms your worth. When Jesus Christ becomes the most important person in your life, your self worth soars.
And knowing how much you’re worth to God helps you affirm the worth of others.
"Receive ye one another, as Christ also received us." (Romans 15:7)
"Comfort yourselves together, and edify [build up] one another." (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
How well do you affirm those in your life? If you were given a dollar bill for every person you affirm and God took away a dollar bill for every person you criticized, would you be rich or poor?
Parents play a key role in affirming worth. You do it by spending time, listening, paying attention, by affirming. There is tremendous power in kindness. It is the most powerful force in the world, because it's love in action.
The Greek word for kindness is the word "crestos.” It is one letter different from the Greek word "Cristos" which is the word for Christ. When the first church began 2000 years ago in the Roman Empire, they often confused crestos with Cristos and they thought Christians were simply people who believed in kindness – the kind faith. What a thing to be confused with! The ministry of kindness is for every single individual if you're a believer.
It is interesting to me that in Matthew 25, Jesus says that on Judgment Day at that judgment, the one thing we'll be judged for is how we treated other people. "I was an hungred, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: Naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me." How we treated other people. What we're talking about is not some minor issue. It is the heart of Christianity. Love in action.