What Makes You So Special?Introduction:
1. Constant criticism takes its toll (children as well as church).
2. A reality of life is that there are many Christians who have a poor image of themselves.
a. They question their self-worth; wonder of what use they are in the world; have a problem understanding how God could really love them;
b. Some have been told they will never amount to anything; others have failed at their attempts to succeed in life; others have trouble loving themselves and thus can’t understand how anyone else could.
3. Recent statistics.
a. Churches of Christ constitute the 12th largest religious group in America.
b. Churches of Christ are the 6th fastest growing church in America.
c. Churches of Christ rank 4th in the nation in total number of congregations.
d. Churches of Christ rank 5th in the nation in the number of counties in which there is a congregation.
e. Churches of Christ rank 1st in the nation in distribution of congregations.
f. Churches of Christ rank 1st in the nation in weekly attendance.
g. Churches of Christ rank 1st in the nation in giving.
4. Let’s examine some reasons why you are special.
I. You Are Made In The Image Of God
A. Genesis 1:26-27
B. 1 Corinthians 11:7 “Image and glory of God.”
C. We have been given the spiritual, not physical qualities of God.
1. We cannot receive his physical qualities for he has none.
2. (John 4:24) God is a spirit.
D. Whether good or bad, we have an innate worth because God’s image is stamped on us.
E. Our worth is determined by who we are, not how we live.
1. Committed Christian - drunkard; the moral man - the thief; the good citizen - the murderer; the faithful spouse - the prostitute.
2. All are considered worth the sacrifice of the Son of God.
F. No matter what you have done, whether you have been a success or a failure; whether you are attractive or hard to look at...you can stand tall because God created you in his image.
II. Jesus Died For You
A. 1 Peter 3:18
B. Ills. of soldier in WWI who lost/gave his arm for his country.
C. Jesus did not lose his life; he gave his life.
D. John 15:13
E. Romans 5:6-8
F. If the price paid for an object reflects the value of that object, then we are indeed valuable.
III. God Wants To Adopt You Into His Family
A. Ephesians 1:5
B. Ills. of Father’s in Waiting room (Minnesota Twins, 3M, 7-11 or 7-Up)
C. Note the reason for the adoption...it was what brought God pleasure.
D. Unlike some adoptive parents, God doesn’t just choose the healthy, pretty, and those who are the right color.
E. 1 John 3:1
F. We are God’s by choice, not by force or accident.
1. There is no reason why anyone should doubt their self-worth.
2. We are valuable to God.
3. Though we’re not perfect; we make mistakes, we sin, we’re not as smart as we could be, or as beautiful or handsome as some people are, God still loves us.
4. Ills. of boy and piano...
The concert hall was packed. While getting seated, a mother noticed that her little boy was missing. To her horror, she saw her six year old son on the stage and sitting down at the artist’s piano. He made himself at home and began to play Chop Sticks. All of a sudden the master pianist emerged from behind a curtain, wrapped his arms around him and whispered, “Keep playing.” As the boy continued to play the artist played a beautiful melody that blended in beautifully with the little boy’s efforts. The crowd then exploded in smiles and applause.
Likewise our efforts may seem to be rather feeble, but God whispers in our ears to keep going, and he can make something beautiful out of our lives.