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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Craig Groeschel » Craig Groeschel - Overcoming Feelings of Worthlessness

Craig Groeschel - Overcoming Feelings of Worthlessness

Craig Groeschel - Overcoming Feelings of Worthlessness
Craig Groeschel - Overcoming Feelings of Worthlessness
TOPICS: Ever Wonder Why

If you're ever not sure of God's love for you, it's likely because you're thinking of the wrong kind of love. There are several different types of love, and I wanna talk today about two of those, for the sake of this message, many different types of love, but we'll talk about two. The first one, if you're taking notes, is this, there is a type of love that loves because the object is valuable. There's a love that loves because the object is worthy of love. A love that loves because the object is valuable. And this is the most common type of love, this is a love that you know well, you love something because it's valuable, because you work for it, and you earned it, maybe you love your countertops. Or you love your mom's China, or you love your baseball card collection, or you love your purse, you love your shoes, you love your outfit, 'cause every time you wear it, people say, oh, you look so fly in that.

There is a love that loves because the object is valuable. My problem is I never felt valuable. I never felt worthy. I never felt like I measured up to my own expectations, much less the expectations of God. There are at least two types of love, and one is a love that loves because the object is valuable. There's a second type of love, and that is a love that loves and gives value to the object. It's a love that loves, not because the object is valuable, but it gives value to that object. And I'll explain it this way, what I want you to do, and everybody needs to participate, is I want you to take a moment and think about your favorite childhood cuddle toy, your cuddle toy. Everybody had one, I hope you did, if not, I'll send you one in the mail for Christmas. It might have been a bear, it might have been a monkey, it might have been a rabbit, it might have been a blankie.

How many of you had a favorite cuddle toy as a child, raise your hands? Here's what I'm guessing about your cuddle toy, chances are most of you gave it a name. How many of you named your cuddle toy? And what I also know about your cuddle toy is it probably wasn't perfect. Chances are it was very, very flawed. I'm guessing it might have had a hole in it or you might have torn it. If you loved yours like I loved mine, your cuddle toy probably was stinky. It probably smelled really bad. But even though your toy wasn't perfect and even though it was flawed, what did you do? You loved your toy.

Can you think of your toy, can you visualize it? Let me show you mine. Mine was named Bobby. And that's me with my sister and that's me with Bobby the bear. This one is me, the naked baby Heisman right here. Next one. That's me with Bobby doing a naked baby Heisman. Even when I didn't have clothes on in the middle of the field, which I have no idea why I had no clothes in the middle of the field. My mom is here and I'm wondering, mom, why did I not have any clothes on in the middle of the field? But thankfully I had Bobby the bear to cover all of the most important things in the middle of that photo. Here's what's crazy about Bobby the bear is there was nothing valuable about my bear. He wasn't expensive, he wasn't a collector's item, he didn't do any tricks.

Some of your bears nowadays, they do tricks, you pull a string and they like, say your name. Like, I love you, you know, whatever, mine didn't do that. My bear, if I tried to sell in a garage sale probably wouldn't bring a quarter. But I loved Bobby the bear. Are you ready for something that's gonna freak you out? Bobby the bear wasn't just my bear, Bobby the bear was actually my mom's bear. So like Bobby the bear has been around since, like World War II. And if that's not crazy enough, get ready, 'cause it's about to get wild up in here. Guess who I still have? The father of six children, four grandchildren, a fantastic church, a great marriage, in my mid 50s, and I still have Bobby the bear. And I don't think there's any way you can tell from a distance just how wrecked this bear is.

I gotta give you a little glimpse of this, can you pull up here close? I want you to look at this, this bear, there used to be like skin down here, all that skin's loved off. Look at these eyes, they're crooked. Why? 'Cause my mom's so that one higher than that one when the eye came off. That nose right there, used to be black. You know why it's black now? That's Magic Marker black on Bobby the bear. This bear is valuable to me. Not because of how it looks, not because what any one of you think about my bear, I love my bear because he's my bear. I'm in my mid 50s and I still got my bear. We pulled Bobby out and I showed it to Amy, she's like, you still got that bear? I said, yeah. So I told her, I said, I think I'm gonna sleep with the bear. She said, that bear's nasty. She said, you can sleep with him, but you can't sleep with me. She said, your bear's nasty. Yes, my bear is nasty. She said, your bear is a ragdoll. Yes, my bear is a ragdoll, but he's my ragdoll.

And what I want you to understand is this, this is exactly how God loves us. This is how he loves us. 'Cause you ain't nothing but a ragdoll. You're flawed, you're broken, you're wounded, and there's nothing hidden from God. He knows about every single one of your flaws, he knows about the scars on the outside and he knows about the secrets on the inside. You're a ragdoll, but you're God's ragdoll. I'm gonna put Bobby right here just so he can watch. You stay there, Bobby, you just chill. How do we know how much God loves us? Romans 5:8 says, God showed us, scripture says, "God demonstrates", he displays, "His own love for us in this, while we were still", ragdolls, "While we were still sinning", While we were disobeying and breaking the heart of God, he still displayed his love for us, "While we were sinners, Christ died for us".

And that's why I want you to hear it, like you've never heard it before, and maybe feel it like you've never felt before. Not just hear it in your mind, but feel it and believe it in your heart that our God loves you with an unconditional, immeasurable love. It's the kind of love that doesn't look for what's worthy in an object, but it's the kind of love that gives worth to that object. In other words, our God doesn't love you because you're worthy, but God's love makes you worthy. That's how good he is. That's how powerful he is. It's his grace. It's his goodness. And therefore, love isn't just an action, it's not just what God does, but it's his essence, it's exactly who he is. And scripture tells us that in 1 John 4, the Bible says that, say aloud, what is God? He is love. God is love. That's what he is, it's not just what he does, it's who he is, God is love.

And watch this, "This is how God showed his love among us, he sent his one and only son", and this is why we gather. The virgin gave birth to a son and they called him Jesus. "He sent his one and only son into the world that we might live through him", watch this. "This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins". This verse is ridiculously powerful but it is way more powerful when you think about who wrote it. You wanna play a little Bible trivia just for fun? If you wanna play, say, I'll play. You wanna play? Here's the game. This verse is found in 1 John, are you ready for this? Who do you think wrote the book of 1 John? The answer is John, this isn't a trick question, okay, this is John.

Just to be clear, this isn't John the Baptist, he was in heaven by this time, this was John who had a brother named James, and if you don't know, they were disciples, and they were not what we would call disciple material. These guys didn't graduate top of their class, they weren't on the best behavior list, these guys were brash, they were rough, they were loud, they cussed up a storm, they were what we might call fishermen with a reputation. And let me tell you what they weren't called, they had a nickname, but their nickname was not the two Gentle Lambs, and their nickname was not the Bible Brothers, these two guys were known as the Sons of Thunder. I'll tell you what, if I had a brother and a nickname in Bible times, I think I'd want to be one of the Sons of Thunder.

That's just cool, I'm seeing Harley's and leather in the best sort of way, okay? And we don't know for sure what they did to earn that title, but we get a glimpse of why they were called the Sons of Thunder in Luke 9. The context of Luke 9, Jesus was coming into town and the people they weren't kind to Jesus, they didn't welcome Jesus, and let me tell you what the Sons of Thunder didn't say, when the people were not welcoming to Jesus, they didn't say, well, lets them invite them to life group anyway. Let's just bake them some brownies, let's make them feel really welcome, they didn't say that. What they did was this, Luke 9:54, here's what happened. "When the disciples James and John", when the Sons of Thunder saw this, "They asked the Lord, Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them"?

That's the Sons of Thunder. This was the guy for his whole life, he didn't just start the fights, he finished them. This was the dad, like some of you, that got kicked out of all of his kids' soccer games. Okay, this was the one that always caused trouble and found trouble wherever he went. And then one day John started spending time with Jesus, and every moment of every day, even though John didn't do anything to earn the love of Jesus, and even though there was no way he could ever deserve the love of Jesus, Jesus simply loved John. And we don't know when it happened, it probably took some time, but little by little, John's identity, the way he saw himself, started to change.

How do we know? Because three times in his gospel, John referred to himself as the one that Jesus loved. Three times he called himself the one that Jesus loved. No longer the Son Thunder, no longer John the hothead, no longer John the screw up, but he was the one that Jesus loved. And I believe with all my heart that God sent me to tell somebody, no matter what your parents said about you, or no matter how somebody else made you feel, or no matter where you fell short, or no matter what you thought, or no matter what you said, or no matter what you did, you are the one Jesus loves. You are the one. Don't just hear it in your mind, feel it in your heart. You are the one Jesus loved. Jesus said, if a shepherd has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, the good shepherd leaves the 99, why? Because he loves the missing one.

I don't know who this is for, but I want you to hear it and I want you to feel it, you are the one that Jesus loves. It doesn't matter what you did, it doesn't doesn't matter how dark you feel, it doesn't matter the regrets that you carry or the shame that you endure, you are still the one that Jesus loves. And so what I want you to do right now, wherever you're watching, at a Life Church location, watching on YouTube, watching at Church Online, watching three years from now, what I want you to do is I want you to close your eyes for just a moment, I want you to feel it and I want you to say it, just say it very, very softly, say, I am the one. Say it, I am the one that Jesus loves. Everybody say, I am the one that Jesus loves.

Now all together with your eyes closed, just kind of feel it right now, and just say it in one sentence, say, I am the one that Jesus loves. This isn't a statement of pride, this is a statement of truth. That's how good God is. He's here and he's loving you. He's actively loving you in this moment. And the amazing thing about our God is this, that our God didn't shout his love from heaven but he showed his love on earth. When the virgin Mary gave birth to a son and they called him Jesus, why? Because he will save his people from their sins. He is the savior who will save people from their sins. What does it mean to sin? Sin is not a popular word in our culture today, sin simply means missing the mark, it means falling short of God's standard, and we've all done it. I've done it too many times to count, and so have you. And this is the very reason why we don't feel worthy, we feel unworthy of God's love because we know that we've sinned against God.

And that's why I wanna tell you about a God who loves you with a different kind of love. This is not a love that loves because the object is valuable, but this is the kind of love that gives value to the one that it loves. And so on the week that we celebrate the birth of Jesus I want you to hear it, feel it, and believe it, you are the one. You are the one. Whatever you did, let it go. The shame, the pain, the regret, he still loves you. And on this Christmas week I pray that you would be "Convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the past, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation would be able to separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord".

And that is why we gather. His name is Jesus and he came to save people from their sins. So Father, we ask today that our hearts would be open to your love, no matter where you're watching, as you're praying today, for those of you who are followers of Jesus, you're Christians, and maybe you have some family members or some friends that you're going to see in the next few days that do not know the love of God. If you'd like to lift them before God today, just say a prayer, maybe God might give you the chance to show them that love.

Wherever you're watching from, those of you that would say, yes, I am a follower of Jesus, but there's someone that I know, someone I love that doesn't know the love of God, and I wanna pray for them today, would you just lift up your hands? Just wherever you are, you can type it in the comment section, I'm praying for someone that I love right now, just type it in the chat.

And Father, we just pray right now that those that we know that don't know you would be open to the work of your Holy Spirit. God, give us the chance to show your goodness, to show your love. God, we may invite them to church, we may just be a witness, we may be very bold. Give us wisdom and give us the words to say, and we ask, God, that you would do what only you can do to reveal your love, your loving kindness that draws us into repentance. That we could experience your love, your goodness, your grace, and your life.

As you keep praying today, wherever you're watching from, there are some of you that you may feel the weight of what you've done wrong. I remember feeling just this tremendous guilt, how could God love someone who's been as bad as I've been? What I didn't realize is the love of God wasn't based on my goodness, but it was based on who God is and his love, and his love is very different than the love you see in this world. His love is a love that gives value to the object.

You are so valuable that God sent his Son, Jesus, born of a virgin, who did not inherit the sin nature from an earthly father, but the heavenly nature from a Heavenly Father, Jesus, the lamb of God, who loved us while we were sinning and gave his life, died in our place, and rose from the dead so that anyone, and this includes you, who calls on the name that is above every name, he will forgive your sins and he will make you brand new. You are the one that Jesus loves.

Wherever you're watching from, those who say, I need his grace, I want his forgiveness. We're just gonna step away from the past, we're gonna repent of our sins, and as we call on the name of Jesus, he hears your prayers, he forgives your sins, and he makes you brand new. No matter what you've done, no matter how bad it feels, you are the one that Jesus loves.

If you say yes, I wanna receive his love, yes, I give my life to him. Today I surrender and I give my life to Jesus, that's your prayer, just lift your hands high right now, all over the place, right here in this section. Others of you today saying yes. Lift up right here are, say, yes, Jesus, I surrender to you. All over the place, just lift your hands up and say, yes, Jesus, I give my life to you. Those of you online, you can just type it in the comment section, just type it in the comment section, I'm giving my life to Jesus. And if you would today, wherever you're watching from, would you just pray aloud? Nobody prays alone, pray aloud, pray:

Heavenly Father, thank you for your love. I receive it. Jesus, forgive my sins. Save me, make me brand new. Fill me with your spirit so I could know your love and show your love. Thank you for new life. I give you all of mine. In Jesus name I pray.

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