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You Are Precious to God | Zephaniah 3:17, 1 Peter 2:4-10

Do you know how much you are loved? Christ loves you dearly. He wants to fill us with all of the confidence we need. He wants to help us to accomplish the things He’s called us to do in this life, and He wants us to know that we can operate out of love. We don’t have to operate out of guilt or out of “I’m not enough” or “I’m not doing enough.” He just loves us. Dive with me now into the pool of first Peter chapter two.

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For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Do you realize what we just read in Zephaniah chapter three verse 17? God sings over you. I want you to think for a minute of a time when you’ve had the privilege of singing over a tiny baby. I just saw a video yesterday of me singing over my little nephew. He was just a few months old. His name is Matthew, and I was singing, Jesus loves You over him in this really sweet, high pitched voice. You don’t want to hear me sing, trust me, but it was so beautiful to me. You want to know why? Because the love was oozing out of my voice. You don’t sing over somebody who you don’t love, and the reason I’m kicking off today’s episode with Zephaniah 3:17 is because I want you to know that you are precious to God. He loves you so much.

This is the Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica, and I’m so happy you’re here. If you and I could just get a hold of that, if we could just know how much God loves us, I don’t think that we would look to other people and things to fill us. It’s Him. He wants to fill us with all of the confidence we need. He wants to help us to accomplish the things He’s called us to do in this life, and He wants us to know that we can operate out of love. We don’t have to operate out of guilt or out of “I’m not enough” or “I’m not doing enough.” He just loves us. Dive with me now into the pool of first Peter chapter two. We’re going to pick it up in verse four. This is the apostle Peter, a man who truly understood the love of Jesus, a man who messed up royally like we all do, but who received the forgiveness, who got a recommission from Jesus. This is what he writes years later. I don’t know how many years because I’m not a theologian, but here we go.

You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. 5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 6 As the Scriptures say, “I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem, chosen for great honor, and anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.

I want to go back over a couple things here. You are a living stone, and I am too, that God is building into his spiritual temple. He’s the cornerstone. He’s the important part. They always started with the cornerstone back in the old days, maybe they still do. I’m not an expert in construction. That was the important part of the building, the focal point, the beginning, and we get to be a part of this building as His living stones. If you’ve never heard the song Cornerstone, Google it today. It’s by TobyMac and Zach Williams and it’s awesome. So we find out that we are living stones and we are holy priests. Oh my goodness, that is incredible. He tells us that we offer spiritual sacrifices that please God, because of Jesus. This is good news that you and I are diving into today. Okay, verse seven now,

Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him, “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.” 8 And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them. 9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.

And you might be thinking, what exactly does being a royal priest mean? Let’s read on.

As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.10 “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”

So you and I have gone from darkness to light. We’ve gone from no identity as a people, to God’s people. We’ve gone from having no mercy, to having received God’s mercy. You see, we’re equipped to do whatever he calls us to do, and it means that whatever you do today, you do as one of God’s people. If you clean a toilet or lead a meeting, dress a toddler or forgive somebody… If you take a walk or go to the grocery store, you’re doing it as a child of God, and you and I, we can walk in that confidence. I know it feels like we can never do enough, but just walking as children of God is honestly enough. So give Jesus the five loaves and two fishes worth of your time, your energy, and see what He does. Get expectant. You don’t have to strive all the time. By the way, I’m talking to myself. Jesus wants you and I to thrive, to live with our palms open, not our hands clenched in frustration and stress. Do your best today and let God do the rest. It’s going to be enough. Also, you are enough, period. There’s no need to compare yourself to your neighbor or your coworker or anybody you see on Instagram. You’re beautiful. Nobody has your fingerprints. You are valuable. You’re like a gem in the necklace of time, part of a unique and special plan God has for you. You know what the definition of precious is? Of great value, not to be wasted or treated carelessly. You are precious to God. He takes care of you, kind of like the Louvre takes care of the Mona Lisa, but so much more. He sings over you, and you only sing over someone you love. Yes, you are loved.

Thank you for making time for the Bible for Busy People today. If being part of this community is a blessing to you, it’s super easy to share this podcast with someone you love. We’re all about spreading the hope of Jesus like butter. So, if you’ve got a moment to write a review, boy, we’d really appreciate that. Maybe you need a little prayer today, or you are ready to take that next step with God… I invite you to check out our show notes. You’re going to find lots of encouragement there. This podcast is one branch on a tree called Purposely, a podcast network designed with practical podcasts to help you find, and thrive, in God’s purpose for your life. If you’ve got a pulse, you’ve got a purpose.

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