February 15, 2002, Vol.2,
Two new articles every two weeks.
Bible Question? E-mail
THIS ISSUE: "Your
Value in Christ" (see below)
and "Can We Expect Signs
Before the End of Time?"
Your Value in Christ
by Tom Rainwater
The way a Christian perceives himself will directly affect
his conduct, and thus his eternal destiny. Each disciple of the
Lord must have a proper self-view in order to be fruitful in
the kingdom. He should not think more of himself than
he ought, nor should he think less of himself than what
the Lord does.
Overinflating Your Own Value
Many brethren have fallen from grace because they let pride
and over-confidence rule their hearts (Proverbs 16:18; 1 Corinthians
10:12). Simon Peter is an example of a disciple who couldn't
please his Lord unless he properly viewed himself as being subject
to Christ's will (Mark 8:31-33). The apostles could not adequately
serve the Lord until they stopped competing with one another
and became humble like little children (Matthew 18:1-4). One
cannot live in self-centered pride and be in a right relationship
with God at the same time (Proverbs 8:13; 1 Corinthians 4:6,18,19;
1 Timothy 3:6; 3 John 9-11).
God wants you to humble yourself before Him (James 4:6-10),
and to remember that you are an "unprofitable servant"
doing what is your duty to do (Luke 17:10). You are undeserving
of your salvation, thus there is no reason to boast. Jesus deserves
all the glory (1 Corinthians 1:27-31) .
Getting A Proper Perspective
In order to prevent pride and promote humility, you are commanded
by God to frequently evaluate your own spiritual condition.
"For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing,
he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work..."
Galatians 6:3-4a. (NASB)
"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine
yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that
Jesus Christ is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test?"
2 Corinthians 13:5. (NASB)
You must closely examine your own life to ensure that you
keep to the straight path of righteousness, without wavering
off course to destruction. Remember that God sees you exactly
as you are (Hebrews 4:11-13). Since the Lord is your judge, you
must abide by His instructions.
"But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the
law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful
hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what
he does." James 1:25. (NASB)
However, some Christians, in abandoning pride, go too far
in the other direction. They fall past humility into a form of
self-loathing. Perhaps because of life's circumstances or habitual
thinking, they come to believe they are worthless in the kingdom
and of little value to the Lord. As feelings of doubt and depression
increase, they may decide they don't like themselves, and thus
lose confidence in their ability to obey the Lord or do anything
spiritual. They have forgotten their true value and potential
Friends, this is not humility; it is self-pity. It is the
temptation to be swallowed up by too much sorrow. Proper humility
leads to spiritual productiveness, but self-pity leads to spiritual
stagnation. Consider these differences: Pride says, "I can
and I will by myself" (Daniel 4:29-33). Humility
says, "I can and I will by the Lord's will"
(James 4:13-16). But self-pity says, "I just can't."
Why did the Israelites panic at the doorstep of Canaan and
decide to retreat at the grim report of the ten spies? (Numbers
13:30 - 14:4ff). Why did the Israelite army cower in fear at
the challenge of the Philistine giant, Goliath? (1 Samuel 17:4-11,24).
Why did Elijah run away and hide in a cave? (1 Kings 19:1-18).
These people became inactive because they lost confidence in
themselves as servants of the Lord. They were thinking "I
can't" and thus they didn't.
It wasn't until God reminded Elijah of his place and purpose
that the prophet got up and went back to work. For us, the Scriptures
frequently prod us to obedience by reminding us of our worth
and place in the kingdom of Christ.
Realizing Your True Value
value comes from the fact that we are wonderfully made in the
image of God (Genesis 1:26,27; Psalm 139:14) and possess a soul
which has greater value than all the world's riches (Matthew
16:26). God further demonstrated our value by sending Jesus to
die on the cross for us (Romans 5:6-11). Our price tag is the
blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-21). Though in humility we
know that we do not deserve the love, attention, and sacrifice
of Deity, nevertheless, we must by faith believe what the Bible
says about our value in the eyes of God.
As children in God's family, we are co-heirs with Christ (Romans
8:17). We are "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, His own special people" (1 Peter 2:9). Angels
minister unto us (Hebrews 1:14) and rejoice in our obedience
(Luke 15:10). Jesus is preparing a place for us to live with
Him in Heaven forever (John 14:2).
So, how valuable are we?
Indeed, the way we perceive our own value has a direct effect
on our conduct. Knowing all these wonderful things keeps us humble
and motivates us to serve Jesus with confidence and hope. The
Apostle Paul understood that. He said, "For the love of
Christ constrains (motivates) us" (2 Corinthians 5:14).
That knowledge gave him the confidence to say, "I can do
all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians
True happiness in life comes from gaining a proper perspective
of yourself from Scripture and living accordingly. There is joy
in knowing who made you, who sacrificed Himself for you, and
in giving Him the glory for it all.
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