Sunday 20th September

Service Transcript & Video

        The fear of feeling worthless??

So last week we started this new series FEARLESS..

Confronting the anxieties and uncertainties of a Covid 19 world

Just this week I’ve had a number of conversations with people who are struggling with all kinds of 

            anxieties… fears and…  uncertainties.. 

Anxious about:

Finance.. family… the future…

Uncertain about:

 their jobs… their health… their decisions…

Unsure about :

Who they are and if they matter…

 

Deep inside many of us  we have this cocktail of fears about ourselves….

Do we matter… does anyone care… 

Are we enough…. 

Is my life of any significance or value… 

Would anyone miss me if I was gone… 

 Is my life worthless….

 

On the outside we can appear to others as fairly healthy.. happy people…  with lots going for us in life…

and YET… at the same time WE know… that we are  really struggling with.. 

lots of questions and self- doubts…. gnawing away at us deep inside

crippling us with all kinds of insecurities and fears…

Honest Q for you??

Q. How many of you hate Americans??

Now just before all the Americans watching this live stream switch of in anger…. I want to make it absolutely clear…  There are so many amazing, wonderful, kind, attractive, Americans that I absolutely admire…

BUT…

I’m thinking of the ones who come across as so confident.. so sure of themselves… so loud and so proud…

I can be whoever I want to be..

I can do anything I want to do…

Whereas I’m from N.I.

I come from a small country town called Rathfriland… loved it

I grew up as a wee boy and teenager with holes in my jeans and tears in my knees..

I’m NOT talking about the designer tears that all the coolest teenagers wear…(powerpoint)

I’m talking real holes and real tears…

Real holes in your jeans leave real holes in your soul that  cripple your self- confidence and undermines your self-worth…

And leave you struggling and fearful that you’re not… and you NEVER WILL be…  enough

Good enough… have enough… clever enough… funny enough.. cool enough.. good looking enough… sporty enough… worth enough..

And so in NI those self-depreciating ‘fears’ become self-  fulfilling prophecies..

Because we so often become what we think we are.. 

or 

what other people and voices tell us we are…

Here’s the CORE Message from to-day

Get this and you’ve got it.

EVERY FEAR in our lives is at root… a contradiction to the truth that GOD speaks over us..

 

‘Fear’ comes by hearing contradictions to God’s WORD

‘Faith’ comes by hearing GOD’s truth and believing it.

 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”                                                       Romans 10v 17

 

So what does God’s Word say to us about 

Who we are and HOW precious we are…. 

So that we have ammunition to fight our deepest self-doubts…. 

Those anxieties and fears that  we are worthless.. 

 

  1. Do NOT fear…. GOD has lovingly and creatively crafted YOU and you are immensely precious to HIM… 

                                                        Psalm 139v13-18

New Atheists are brutal if not totally honest in their assessment of life without GOD…. 

One atheist described us as

“Meaningless pieces of slime floating around in cosmic soup of the universe whose lives are of No value and whose lives have no significance or worth.”

 

And that is true if we are simply the product of random mindless chance….

BUT 

GOD’s WORD the Bible says… because GOD says…

That each one of us… every single one of us….

 from the moment of conception to the final moment of our death…

 is lovingly, delicately, personally crafted by our Creator GOD….

 and that we are infinitely precious…. 

Unspeakably loved… and 

have immeasurable worth and value as people…. 

made in his likeness and loveliness..

 

That’s Why JESUS in Matthew 10v 29-31 can say 

“Aren’t two sparrows sold for only a penny? But not one of them falls to the ground outside your Father’s care.  He even counts every hair on your head!  So don’t be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows”

                                                               Matthew 10v 29-31

Some people cut hair.. others colour hair… Men these days like to shave their hair…

But GOD counts hair…. Who else  does that?

Why does GOD do that??

The smallest detail… the most insignificant detail of your life is known to GOD because you are significant to HIM.

 God cares about YOU

It’s the value He places on your head…

You are precious..

 

Here’s a little painting I did earlier…

Well actually…

Leonardi da Vinci did it 1503-1519

Q. How much is this masterpiece worth??

                   It’s valued at  £645 million 

 

You are God’s masterpiece… His work of art… 

made in His own imprint…   Ephesians 2v10

Q. How much are YOU worth??  

You are a UNIQUE person… incredibly precious and special…

Don’t let your own self doubts… amplified by the voices of other people or Satan’s whisper…  ever take that from you.

 

  1. Do NOT fear….You are precious. God sent His One and Only Son to the Cross… to rescue and redeem you.

Lewis Hamilton the racing car driver is estimated to be worth £213million

Messi…  £400m

Simon Cowell   £450 million

The Queen £350 million

 

Q. So how much do YOU think you are worth compared to them??

Answer: In God’s eyes…. Every single person is worth exactly the same… doesn’t matter how rich you are or how poor you are… doesn’t matter what other people think of you

 or 

how they make you feel about yourself…

GOD says and GOD demonstrates HIS great love for us… his affection for us… our worth in HIS eyes…

“ But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”      Romans 5v 8

“ For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors,  but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”                                                1 Peter 1v 18-19

“No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them— the ransom for a life is costly,  no payment is ever enough—so that they should live on forever and not see decay.”                                Psalm 49 v7-9

Whenever those self – doubts creep in and begin to cripple us again… 

We need to go back to the Cross of JESUS… day after day after day and remind ourselves in the strongest possible terms…

That No matter what other people say about us..

No matter how we feel about ourselves…

This is HOW MUCH God values us…

This is our true worth and value to GOD.

This is the price that GOD was willing to pay… 

to save and rescue sinners like us and make it possible for us to be brought back into the most loving saving beautiful friendship with Him…. 

Here on earth and   then for all eternity..

 

And it’s God’s free GIFT.. offered to us in the Gospel…

We each need to reach out and receive this free GIFT…

 by taking those 2 steps of repentance and faith…

We are saved, forgiven, brought back into this wonderful NEW life with JESUS….

NOT because we are good people or 

NOT because we have done good things

But … 

Simply …solely…. only…   trusting JESUS and trusting  that

 JESUS has.. done it all.. won it all.. paid for it all… 

 by His death in our place upon that cruel Cross…

Q. Have you ever personally received salvation as a free GIFT by responding to the GOSPEL??

 

  1. Do not fear… believe what God says is true about you and Not your own self-doubts and fears.

                                                                           Judges 6 

I love this story of Gideon in Judges 6 if you still have your Bibles open… turn to it for a few moments..

God’s description of Gideon and Gideon’s perception of himself couldn’t have been further apart…

They’re miles apart..

God says 6v12

“The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”

Gideon says v15

“How can save Israel… My clan is the weakest I am the least in my family…”

It’s back to those fears inside us….

We’ve done little.. accomplished little.. achieved little… therefore we are worthless..

Those fears of being useless… are amplified by the voices of other people who’ve spoken negative things into our lives since childhood… 

and

 magnified by the lies of Satan’s whispers in our ears…..

 

Every fear in our life is at root… a contradiction to the truth that GOD has spoken over us in the Bible…

‘Fear’ comes by hearing contradictions to God’s WORD

‘Faith’ comes by hearing GOD’s truth and believing it.

 

What Gideon desperately needs to hear and believe is GOD’s truth and God’s truthful assessment of Who He is and WHAT he can become…

And so do you… 

I have a prayer on a scrap of paper that I pray reguarily.. Mon-Friday

 

“LORD I am empty.. weak.. powerless… of course I am.

LORD I feel my emptiness.. my weakness.. my sinfulness.. of course I do…

             That’s WHY I need YOU LORD…

That’s Why I need to take a step of faith and put my trust in YOU.. and step out from the possible (what I know I can do in my own strength)

 into the impossible…(what I know I can not do in my strength)

Because weakness is not an obstacle in the Kingdom of GOD.. 

in fact weakness is a prerequisite to being used by GOD.

LORD I believe that YOUR power works best when I am at my weakest

So that’s why I need to get my focus away from these feelings inside me and look upwards to You and remind myself

WHO You are… how GOOD  You are.. how GREAT You are… Your faithful promises and Your unfailing love..”

 

If you let them… Your fears.. your self doubts… your anxieties and your uncertainties will cripple you… because you just do Not have the resources and strength inside you to deal with everything that this world throws at you.

There are NO quick fixes… but for a follower of JESUS we need to keep looking out and looking UP to God…. and keep taking hold of JESUS by faith… time and time again… 

His precious promises   His unfailing love…  His wonderful Holy Spirit who NEVER leaves us…

             V16 THE LORD answered Gideon …

I will be with you and YOU will strike down all the Midianites together.”

DIdn’t JESUS make that very same promise to the disciples and to us..  Matthew 28 v20

“I am with YOU always to the very end of the age.”

Wherever You go this week…  school.. home… friends… tough places… difficult moments…

JESUS is with YOU and JESUS is enough to overcome all your deepest fears…

You are precious…You are valued… 

You are   loved…  You matter…

GOD says it… It’s the truth. 

Will You believe Him??

 

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