Memphis Christian Church

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Defined by Love "I was formed by God's Love"

November 9, 2016

 

              God loves you!  This is the most important fact in your life.  The eternal, self-existent One who created and sustains everything that exists, loves you.   This thought of God’s love should begin and end our every day.  It should DEFINE our every goal and every action.  Yet we all have moments when we question our identity, our worth.  

 

In Psalm 139, a man whose life was riddled by questions about his worth, his own poor judgement that nearly destroyed his standing at work and in his community and cost him the life of his new born son….  this man by the name of David, reveals that there is only one thing that ultimately defines his life and that is the Love of God.   And it is this truth that yields great insight, hope and certainty about our identity, individuality and destiny.

 

Some time ago, a person reached out to me with a situation involving a very close friend.  The friend had been abused by her lover, not once, but several times.    This particular day this friend found herself physically and emotionally broken, crying mournfully, locked in a room…empty, seemingly alone, afraid.   The person who called me was desperate.  “What do I do?” they asked…  I said, “Open your bible to Psalm 139 and sit outside her door and read it to her verse by verse and pray this truth over your friend until you run out of words and then keep praying.”

         

             This week I want to remind you of three core truths that David discovered about his identity in God that you can own today.

 

1st, Before I was born, God knew my identity.  Job wrote:  “Oh, that marvel of conception as you stirred together semen and ovum – What a miracle. Before I was born, God knew my identity of skin and bone, muscle and brain!  You gave me life itself, and incredible love.  You watched and guarded every breath I took.”  (Job 10:10-12)(MSG)   

 

As God was forming you, He was watching over you in love.  Henry Nouwen said it well when he wrote:  “From all eternity we are hidden in the shadow of God’s hand and engraved on his palm.  Before any human being touches us, God forms us in secret and textures us in the depth of the earth and before any human being decides about us, God knits us together in our mother’s womb.  God loves us before any human person can show love to us.  He loves us with a “first” love, an unlimited, unconditional love and wants us to be his beloved children.”

 

2nd, God planned and formed my individuality.  

 

             Before any human being could tell you that you are beautiful or ugly, intelligent or cognitively moderate, skilled or unskilled….  Before bad relationships, good or poor parenting, educators, and therapists….  God created you, fashioned you, planned for you, declaring your individuality.  David wrote in verse 13:  “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

 

             This means that when anyone challenges your unique make up, when you feel berated or criticized by the world, when you look in the mirror and see the bruises, the tears, or the beauty and intelligence…… When you wonder why your hair is thin or full, one eye works and another is weak, that God alone, in all of His wisdom and knowledge declares your individuality.

 

3rd, Before I was born, God knew my destiny.   Remember when God said to Jeremiah In Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;  Before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  God knew exactly what He was doing.  As the call itself indicates, He had thought it through very thoroughly:   “Before your mother carried you in your womb Jeremiah, I knew you.  I know everything about you.   I chose your identity, I created your individuality….  I gifted you for the plans I have for you knowing the choices you would make, I set up opportunities for you.   And I did all of this in my love for you, knowing what would satisfy you and make you whole."

 

            You notice in Psalm 139 that David begins this journey with a question.  Vs 7  “Where can I go.  Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?    David is asking a rhetorical question?  He has already discovered the answer, but he is affirming this truth for you and me today.  Where can we go when we question our identity, our purpose, our future, our individuality?

 

“If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”

 

The answer – We go to the One who is always present.  We go to the one whose love was present when He created us.  We go to the one whose love was present when He defined us.  We go to the one whose love was present when he gave us hope and a future.   We go to the one whose love never fails, whose love never runs out, whose love meets us right where we are today.

 

              What have you allowed to come between you and the Love God has for you?   Has your identity been challenged by someone?   Do you question your individuality, your purpose because you are “different” or “damaged” or “depressed”?     Have you locked yourself in a room of regret, fear, self obsession? 

      

            David concludes Psalm 139 with these words “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  (Psalm 139:23-24)(NIV)  

 

            I encourage you to make this your prayer this week.   I look forward to seeing you in worship Saturday at 5:30pm or Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

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