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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Craig Groeschel » Craig Groeschel - When You Don't Feel Good Enough

Craig Groeschel - When You Don't Feel Good Enough

Craig Groeschel - When You Don't Feel Good Enough
Craig Groeschel - When You Don't Feel Good Enough
TOPICS: Who Do You Think You Are, Identity

So on this Mother's Day, I've got good news and I've got bad news. What do you want first? Let's start with the good news. How about that? The good news is this. No matter what you think about you, and no matter what anyone else said about you, if you are new in Christ, God's Word says that you are His masterpiece. Really good news. In fact, in God's Word, Ephesians chapter three, verse 20, scripture says, for who are you? Would you say it aloud? For we are God's masterpiece. And God has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do all the good things He planned for us long ago. Who are you? Who do you think you are? You are God's masterpiece.

If you are new in Christ, you are the masterpiece of God. That's the good news. The bad news is, most of you don't believe it. You don't. Because if you believed it, in your heart, it would change how you live. And the reason you don't believe it is because you've seen masterpieces, right? You've seen the creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel, and you say, "That is a masterpiece". You've seen a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, red, of course. And you say, "What is that"? That is a masterpiece. And then of course there's this. Every "Rocky" movie ever made. Come on, somebody. What is it? It is a masterpiece. You've seen masterpieces, and you know what a masterpiece looks like. And you say, "I'm no masterpiece".

A masterpiece, I don't know what it is for you. Doesn't have thinning hair. A masterpiece isn't underachieving in his career. A masterpiece doesn't have high credit card balance, or a car that leaks oil. A masterpiece never eats the whole bag of chips. I've seen a masterpiece, and I'm no masterpiece. How many of you would agree that the world can be cruel to you? It doesn't take long before someone cuts you down, says something about you. For me, my little pure mindset of thinking everybody liked me was blasted by a girl named Ashley. I was on a swing set, swinging with Ashley next to me, thinking that life was good and everybody was nice. And little Ashley sat by me and she said, "Gosh! You've got the ugliest profile I've ever seen".

And I remember thinking, "That doesn't sound good. I'm not sure exactly what a profile is, but it doesn't sound like I'm gonna be pleased by it". And so I said, "What's a profile"? And she said, "It's your side look. From the front, you're not bad looking. But when you turn sideways, you have the biggest nose ever". Now, some of you may say, "Well, Craig, your nose is not that big". My nose was this big when I was born. When my head was smaller, it was even bigger. And so I've kind of grown into it. But there Ashley said, "You've got an ugly profile". And I wasn't sure it was true, 'cause I'd only seen myself from the front. And I went home and got a mirror and looked from the side into the mirror and I was just terrified, horrified.

And from that moment on, anytime I met a girl, I would just be in front of her. If she moved to my side, I would move to the side. You'll never see my profile, right? And you have your own version of that. The world has taught you, you're not good enough. You're not smart enough, you're not talented enough, you're not pretty enough. And then you'll even tell yourself, "I bring my best every day! And even my best is never enough". I know what a masterpiece looks like. And I'm no masterpiece. Happy Mother's Day, where we're here to make you feel good about yourself at Life.Church.

When Paul was writing this text, he was writing to the Christian believers in Ephesus. And those believers, they knew what a masterpiece looked like. Because every day they walked past a masterpiece. They walked past the Temple of Artemis. And if you see it today, you say, "That's no masterpiece". Here's what it looks like today. It's ruins. But if you saw it then, it looked like this. It was a complete masterpiece. Back then, it was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It's rumored to have taken about 120 years or so to build. And they would walk by that and say, "Now that is a masterpiece". And they were reminded of what we often feel. We feel small, we feel insignificant, we feel unimportant.

And in a similar way, thanks be to social media today, we are reminded every single day that I'm not an influencer with a perfect body. And I'm not on vacation like my annoying friend who's on their third one this year, bless his heart. And I'm not the perfect mom, with the perfect home, making a homemade meal, all organic, of course. I'm the mom who hadn't showered in two days and it's chicken nuggets again for dinner at our house. How many know what he feels like? And the voice in your head says, "You're not good enough. Not even sure why they love you. You can't make a difference. You don't make enough. You don't look right. You're not important enough. You will never ever be enough".

There's more bad news. And that is this. Without Christ, it's actually true. Without Christ, you are not enough. God's Word teaches us that, that without Christ, we are incomplete, we are sinful, we are broken. And contrary to popular cultural theology, you are not enough without Christ. Scripture tells us this. Ephesians chapter two, verse one, says this. "That once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins". In other words, without Christ, we are spiritually dead, separated from God. And Paul says, "You used to live in sin just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil, the commander of the powers in this unseen world". He says, "Hey, without Christ, all of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature".

By nature, we wanna do what's best for us, and what feels good in the moment, even if it breaks the heart of God. He says this, "By our very nature, by our sinful nature, without Christ, we were subject to God's anger just like everyone else". I hate to be this direct because this is very, very unpopular in today's culture. But we're sinful. Sin comes from the Greek word hagios and it simply means to miss the mark. Our God is a holy God, perfect in every way. And anytime we disobey or dishonor His word, His heart, His truth, the Bible calls that sin. Not popular, but true. And what does sin do? Sin actually separates us from a holy God. And the reason I'm talking about it is because today it's just so popular in culture to kind of give you the self-esteem quotes.

And I like to hear them because they kind of feel good. But so many of the current cultural self-esteem quotes fall pathetically short because they're designed to convince that you are okay. And the truth is, without Christ, you are not okay! None of us are, we're broken, dead in our sins! And everywhere you look, there's messages about self-love and self-love and self-love. And I sincerely hope that you can feel better about yourself, but not just yourself, but who Jesus can be in you. The message is about self-love. Eventually, we're just lying to ourselves if we say, "I'm okay and you're okay and you're enough". Because without Christ, you're not enough. And lying to yourself is never loving yourself.

Man, you guys are kind of quiet in here. Do I need to tone it down? Need a little feel-good stuff? Okay? Scripture tells us we've sinned before a holy God. And we have to start by acknowledging that. It's so important because if you don't admit that you're a sinner, you won't see your need for a savior. Who is Jesus? He is the one who saves us from our sins. Without Christ, we have no hope of saving ourselves. We can never be good enough. In Ephesians 2:4 tells us the very, very good, good news. Scripture tells us this, but God, I like this. There's some bad news. But God, somebody say, "But God". But God. You may wanna type that in the chat, just type it there, "But God".

Some preachers that are more charismatic than I am in a good way, when they do it, they go, "But God". I kind of thought about trying that but I'm not sure I could pull it off. I might try it. You don't know. It may happen. Sometimes, I wish I could, "But God". Someone help me out. You gotta say it. We gotta like... You're just like me. At their church, they could all do it. Somebody help me out. We were dead in our sins, but God. We were lost and broken without Christ. But God. Without Jesus, we are destined for a life separated from Him, but God. Who is so rich in mercy and He loved us so much that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. How are you made right with God?

Scripture says, oh but, but God, is only by grace that you've been saved. I need to explain this. Scripture teaches us you can never be good enough, no matter how righteous you are. Your best attempt at being good enough. Scripture says in the Old Testament, is like filthy rags before God. You can't be holy enough. You can't be perfect enough. You can stop cussing but you're still lusting. You can stop lusting but you're still judging. Or you stop judging but you're still complaining, or you stop complaining, but you're still spending more than you make or eating more than you should or whatever it is. No matter how hard you try, our sinful nature pulls us away from the heart of God. You cannot be enough, give enough, pray enough, be holy enough because you're not enough.

Without Jesus, we are not enough. And that brings us to our key verse. We'll look at it again. Ephesians 2:10. For who are you? Who are you? Scripture says, for you are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus. Why? So we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. The bad news is, without Christ, you're not enough. The good news is, with Christ, you are God's masterpiece. You are the masterpiece of God in Christ Jesus. With Christ, you are God's masterpiece. Now what does that mean? The word masterpiece comes from the Greek word poiema. We get our word poetry from this. It's a beautiful word. A good translation of poiema is this. It's that which has been created. It means workmanship. Or literally, like a poetic statement. It means masterpiece. It's God's poetic statement created by God for God's divine purpose.

Who are you? If you're in Christ, you're the masterpiece of God. In fact, I wanna show you in the Greek language, the order of the words, because they're really important. Lemme put it up on the screen. If you look at that and say, I don't understand that. You can just say, "That's Greek to me". Type that in a comment section, "That's Greek to me". Let me show you the transliteration. It is the word "autou gar esmen poiema". Autou gar esmen poiema. The very first word in that statement is the word autou, which means "of him" or "by Him," or "from Him". So this is important. The literal word order is this. Of him, for we are masterpiece. Or, from him, we are masterpiece. Or, by him, we are masterpiece. It's from God, it's of God, it's by God, that you are not who others say you are, but you are who He says you are. And if you are in Christ, of God, for God, by God, from God, you are His masterpiece.

That's the good news. The bad news is most of you don't believe it. And so I want you by faith to start declaring it. Would you repeat after me? You can type this online as well. Somebody say, "I am". I am. God's masterpiece. God's masterpiece. Who are you? I am God's masterpiece. Created in Christ Jesus. Created in Christ Jesus. To do good works. To do good works. Which God prepared for me to do. Which God prepared for me to do. One more time, I am. I am. God's masterpiece. God's masterpiece. Created in Christ Jesus. Created in Christ. To do good works. To do good works. Which God prepared for me to do. Which God prepared for me to do.

Now wait a minute. Okay, Craig, you said we're not saved by good works. You just said, but now you said good works. Here's what we need to understand. Is you are not saved by good works, but for good works. You're not saved by what you do, but because that you're saved, God has created you as his masterpiece for His purpose. You are made by God for a purpose. And the purpose isn't for you! It's not like life's not about you. It's like you're made by Him to serve Him and glorify Him by loving people. I heard a preacher say one time, he said, "If you don't know the purpose of a thing, all you can do is abuse the thing. If you don't know the purpose of a thing, all you can do is abuse the thing".

Reminds me of when I was in the fourth grade and I had an next door neighbor named Missy who was in the fifth grade that I liked. She was a cougar. She was older than me. And Missy's not Ashley. And yes, I was girl crazy. And Missy came over to my house, she was in the fifth grade. I told you my dad was way into baseball. He was playing softball at the time. And he left out in the middle of the house. My mom will tell you this is true, his athletic protective cup. Now if you don't know what that is, I'm not gonna give you a lot of hand motions, but I will tell you it's triangular in nature. It's somewhere about this size. It's plastic and it has little holes in it. So if you can imagine plastic, triangle, holes in it, she picked up his athletic protector cup and she said, "What is this"?

And we all started diving toward her in slow motion. No! And what are your options if you don't know what it is? She said, "What is this"? Picked it up and said, "Oh, it's an oxygen mask". And which is one of the many reasons why I never kissed her after that. As the preacher said, if you don't know the purpose of a thing, all you can do is abuse the thing. And he went on to say, "If you wanna know the purpose of the thing, don't ask the thing. Ask the one who created the thing". In other words, if you wanna know your purpose, don't ask your best friend. Don't ask popular opinion. Don't ask everyone on social media, "Who do you think I am? Why do you think I'm here"? If you want know the purpose of the thing, ask the one who created the thing, of Him, by Him, for Him. You are God's masterpiece. He created you with a divine purpose even in advance of your birth. And it was King David who said this about his creator God.

In Psalm 139, David said this, "If you want to know the purpose of the thing, ask the one who created the thing". It was God who created him. And he said, "For you, God, created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother's womb". Poiema, like a poetic statement. "I praise you God, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. God, you saw my unformed body". And watch this. "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be".

In Him, by Him, for Him. You are a masterpiece created in Christ Jesus to do good works which were prepared even before you were born to do for the glory of God. You're the masterpiece of God. Created by God for His divine purposes. And what's crazy to think about is that God gave you good works to do before you were even born. In other words, there may be someone here today, that God created you to pray for someone who's sitting by you before they walk outta the building. It's your assignment. There may be someone in your life who can't pay a bill and you can pay the bill. And God created you, gave you the ability to help meet the need of someone nearby. There may be someone who's far from God and you have the light and the love of Jesus dwelling within you. And you are created your purpose to show the love of God to them in a way that helps draw them to the good news of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Purpose. You are created by God, of Him, for Him, by Him, for a divine purpose. And purpose is a cool word.

Now, sin's not. But purpose is a cool word. 'Cause everybody wants a job with purpose. And everybody wants a relationship that gives a purpose. And everybody wants a hobby that gives them purpose. But as a follower of Jesus, you don't just find purpose. You bring purpose to everything that you do. Because of who you are in Christ. There is purpose in your parenting. You're not just changing diapers. You're raising a generation to know and serve the goodness of God. There's purpose in the way you interact with people at work. You're not just doing a job, but you're doing everything for the glory of Jesus. There's purpose in how you manage your money. You are stewarding what God has entrusted to you, so you can be generous and be a blessing everywhere that you go.

There is purpose in how you interact with everyone that you come across because you are designed of Him, by Him, for Him, with a purpose to do good works. Oh, I could do it right there. Good works. But God. That He prepared in advance for you to do. And Romans 8:28, it's a powerful verse, and you may not have seen it this way. "We know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him". Watch this. And have been, say it with me. Called, according to His what? To his purpose. You have a purpose. If you wanna know the purpose of the thing, don't ask the thing. Don't ask the thing's friends. Ask the one who created the thing. Go to the Father, who of Him, by Him, for Him, from Him, created you exactly as He wanted you. With every gift and every talent and every ability.

Even an ugly profile. Because little do you know, years later, when I met Amy, and we went on our first date, and she got in my Christian car, a Honda Accord, 'cause all the disciples gathered in one Accord. And she had never seen me before on a blind date. And we walked from her apartment, down the stairs. And the whole way, I had her with me, until we got in the car. And eventually I couldn't drive like this. And so I had to look forward. And she told me, "I love your nose". I said, "You what"? She said, "I love your nose". I don't know if I should say this, because it's kind of personal. But she actually said, "It's a strong, sexy Roman nose". I said to her, "Have you ever touched a strong, sexy Roman nose"? Because even the thing that you may not like about yourself, God may use to do something special through you.

The good news is you're a masterpiece. The bad news is most of you do not believe this. So I want you to say it again. I want I want you to say it by faith. I want you to believe it. Who are you? Say, I am. I am. God's masterpiece. God's masterpiece. Created in Christ Jesus. Created in Christ Jesus. To do good works. To do good works. Which God prepared for me to do. Which God prepared for me to do. That's who you are. You're a masterpiece. And some of you say, "Oh no, I'm not. I'm still a mess". And I'll tell you right now, "I am too. I'm still a mess". We're all new in Christ, theologically, spiritually, but practically, we still do dumb things. In fact, someone asked Michelangelo, how he made his masterpiece. I'll show you a picture. This is from the top up. This is the part where he doesn't need the athletic cup in this photo right here. Just to say, and they said to Michelangelo, "How did you create this masterpiece"?

And I like this quote. He said, "I created a vision of David in my mind and simply carved away everything that was not David". That's powerful. In fact, that'll preach. Because God created you in His mind as His masterpiece. And even if you're still a mess, do you know what God is doing? He's chipping away everything that isn't Jesus. As iron sharpens iron, He's working in you, working on you. He's using the hard things to develop you. He's using the pain in your life to conform you to the image of Jesus. You may say, practically, I'm still a mess. But spiritually, He sees the perfected work of Jesus in you. And he's chipping you away anything that is not like Jesus, to make you more like Him.

So if you wake up, you have, I got problems, I got problems, I got problems. I got problems. I'm gonna tell you right now. Make sure you're solving the right problem. Because some of you, you think your problem is comparing, or obsessively controlling. Or that you always date the wrong guys. Or that you eat more than you should, or that you overspent again, or that you can't stop yelling at your kids or you can't quit lusting. And because you think that's the problem, you're trying to solve that problem. And the reason you can't solve that problem? Because that isn't the real problem. That's a symptom of the real problem. And the real problem is a false identity. We don't know who we are. Because when you know who you are, you'll know what to do.

And so if your problem is a false identity, believing the lies of your spiritual enemy, the way to solve that problem is to get a new identity. How do you get a new identity? Lemme tell you what it's not. It's not through your works, but it's by His grace. Because we're dead in our sins. Without Jesus, we are not enough. But God, but God. But God, by His grace, makes you alive in Jesus. And it is never ever by you being enough. But it's by Jesus being enough in you and through you. Without Christ, you're not enough. You are incomplete. You'll always be dissatisfied. You'll always fall short. You'll always be wondering, "Is there something more"?

There is! And his name is Jesus. He is the son of God who loved you and died in your place, so your sins could be forgiven. And so you could be new in Christ. Then you take on a new identity. If anyone is in Christ, scripture says, the old is gone, the old is gone. And behold, you become new. Without Christ, no amount of pop psychology can ever truly make you enough. But with Him, you have more than enough. You have the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwelling in you. You are the masterpiece of God.

Who do you think you are? I am. God's masterpiece. God's masterpiece. Created in Christ Jesus. Created in Christ Jesus. To do good works. To do good works. Which God prepared for me to do. Which God prepared for me to do. Before you were even born, God knew he would place you at this moment in history, give you the gifts that He gave you, put you around the people that are around you. Why? Because there are good works prepared in advance for you to do. You're not looking for purpose. Everything you do represents the purpose, of Him, by Him, for Him, through Him. You are God's masterpiece. So when you believe it, when you know who you are, guess what? You will know what to do. Live out of the grace of who God created you to be. Who are you? You are his masterpiece.

So Father, do a healing work. We give you permission. We ask you God to go after the root of many of our problems, our identity. Teach us who we are in Christ.

As you're praying today at all of our different churches, those of you online, I wonder how many of you would be honest enough to say what I would have to be honest enough to say. And that is you often, or occasionally, have a negative view of yourself. Would you raise your hand up? I don't feel like I'm enough. I'm embarrassed by what I do. I'm ashamed. Put your hand up. Online, you can just type in there. "I often have a negative view of myself".

Father, I wanna pray for my brothers and sisters. And God, for those that are in Christ, I pray that by the power of your Word, your Word that always accomplishes its purposes, that you would do what I cannot do. God, that you would be enough. That God that we would admit and acknowledge, we are incomplete without you. And so we lean into you. We trust you, we surrender to you, we pursue you. We want more of you. Jesus, would you be enough? And God, I pray that somehow, and God we flesh this out in our LifeGroups and over meals that you would help us to recognize, to truly believe, that what you say about us is true. No matter what anyone else says. God, for your children that are in Christ, they're your poetic statement. They're a heavenly masterpiece, created by you, for you, from you to do amazing loving works that you prepared for them to do. God, renew our minds. Help us see ourselves.

God, as you see us, as a masterpiece, created by you, to glorify you, do a healing work today, we pray. As you keep praying without looking around today, there are some of you, you're gonna say, "Yeah, I ain't no masterpiece. I don't even know where I stand with God". And I wanna be really clear again and tell you what scripture says. And if you would be really honest, you'd have to admit this. You know you've done some things wrong. You've hurt people, you've lied, you've said some mean things, you've done some things that you feel ashamed of. Where do you think that comes from? Like you just like some kind of just universal agreement?

Now there's actually that there is a God who is true. And God's put eternity inside of us. We have a conscious conscience that is because of God. And you recognize you've done some wrong things. The Bible calls it sin. Sin separates us from God. But God, but God. But God, in his love for you, didn't leave you dead in your sins. He loved you so much that He sent His son Jesus, who was sinless. He had never sinned. He was perfect. And the sinless son of God died on a cross as the sacrifice for the forgiveness of your sins. There are those of you today, you don't know where you stand with God. You feel the weight, you feel the burden. Lemme tell you, you're not here by accident. You're here because God loves you, because He's drawing you. His loving kindness is drawing you.

This is the good news, the gospel. It's good news. You can't save yourself. But when you put your faith in Jesus, the son of God, He forgives all of your sins and He makes you brand new. There are those of you today, you are here today by the purpose of God to discover who you can be in Christ. There are those of you online. This is your moment to step away from your sin, to surrender to the grace of Jesus. When you call on His name, He hears your prayers. He forgives your sins. You become new. You are dead in your sins. But God reached out to you. But God saves you. But Jesus made you new today.

Those of you who need salvation, step away from your sin. Call the name that is above every name. He'll hear your prayer. He'll save you from your sins today. You become new. That's your prayer. Wherever you are, at the count of three, lift up your hands. One, He loves you. Two, He's here for you. Three, you give your life to Him. Lift up your hands, right over here. Praise God for you. Both of you here, others of you today, say yes. Lift up your hands and all of our churches say, "I call on Jesus today. I'm surrendering my life to Him". Those of you online type in the comment section. "I am surrendering my life to Jesus". Wherever you're watching from today, would you pray nobody prays alone. Pray:

Heavenly Father, forgive all of my sins. I trust you Jesus, to save me. To be the Lord of my life. To be my king. Fill me with your Spirit so I can do your will, so I can live your purpose. As your masterpiece, made new in Christ to do the good works you prepared me to do. Show me who I am, your masterpiece. Thank you for new life. I give you all of mine. In Jesus name, I pray.

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