Last week was an amazing week being with people who are planting churches. Early on in the week we met with pastors in D.C. talking about revival in the city. For years pastor have been gathering together to pray for a spiritual awakening, one that has never happened in this city. We talked about how we can plant 8 churches on the same day in 2017.
Wednesday through Friday I met together with 5 guys who were planting churches in Pittsburg, Austin, Vermont and Maine. Each one had a story of God’s grace in their lives. One of those was Andy. He told us a story of how he grew up angry. He was abused and hated everyone. At one point he went into serious depression and every day for six months, he took his revolver, put one bullet in the chamber, spun the chamber, put it to his head and pulled the trigger. He figured that if he was still alive, that day meant something. When he gave his life to Jesus, everything changed. His anger turned to love. He now loves everyone. Now he is planting a church in Maine.
We, like Andy, although we may not be as troubled emotionally, all look for significance. We need to know if our lives matter to someone else. We search for significance. We search for the sense that we matter to someone and that what we do actually matters. We want our life, long or short, to count for something. In his book, “The Search For Significance” Robert McGee tells us that the feeling of significance is crucial to man’s emotional, spiritual, and social stability and is the driving element within the human spirit.
“Millions of people spend a lifetime searching for love, acceptance, and success without understanding the need that compels them. We must understand that this hunger for self-worth is God-given and can only be satisfied by Him. Our value is not dependent on our ability to earn the fickle acceptance of people, but rather, its true source is the love and acceptance of God. He created us. He alone knows how to fulfill all of our needs” (pg. 11).
If we are left on our own, we will fall into a performance trap, believing falsely that if we perform well, God will somehow like us more and possibly accept us into Heaven. The Muslim foundation is built on this – you have to please God and at the end, you hope that if you have done enough good, He will accept you.
This means that your identity is entangled with your success, which ultimately leads to a sense of hopelessness. How much of your life is wasted trying to impress others or gain their approval.
“We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like” (Dave Ramsey).
Here is what you need to know about God – He loves you and sent His son to tell you that he loves you – and there is nothing you can do about that!
This is what Jesus died to tell you. He died to tell you that he loves you and that your life matters. God’s solution to the fear of rejection is based on Christ’s sacrificial payment for our sins. Through this payment, we find forgiveness, and total acceptance through Christ.
There is a word we use in Christendom, it is “reconciliation”. It means that those who were enemies have become friends. It means that your were formerly alienated, and even hostile, toward God and now you are reconciled with him through his death.
Romans 5:6-11tells us, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”