ODJ: what’s to like?

May 1, 2015 

READ: Ephesians 2:1-10 

Even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) (v.5).

A spiritual mentor once asked a disheartened young man, “What do you like about yourself?” He looked down and stared at his feet in silence. Minutes later he finally shared a few things he had done. The mentor patiently shifted the focus away from external behaviours to who the young man was as a person.

More silence followed.

Eventually, the young man, who had been raised in the church, began to craft an argument (backed up with Bible verses) about why there was nothing about him that was likeable. He contended that he was basically sinful, primarily defined by his fallen nature. He maintained that the first thing God saw in him was his sin and shortcomings.

Over time, the mentor helped this young man’s heart awaken to the deeper truth about who he is in Christ. Slowly he began to see himself as God’s treasured image bearer (Genesis 1:26-27). Almost as if it were for the first time, he began to understand that he was a child of the living God and that God does not direct even one condemning thought his way (Romans 8:1; Galatians 3:26). He began to believe that the Maker of heaven and earth forgave “all” of his sins (Colossians 2:13) and that he was “God’s masterpiece” being recreated in the image of the risen Jesus to “good things” (Ephesians 2:10).

So what do you like about yourself? There’s actually quite a bit to like when you’re open to see yourself as a new creation in Christ. The apostle Paul put it this way: “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person” (2 Corinthians 5:17). That’s how God views you if you’re a believer in Jesus!

May the reality of being a living and breathing part of God’s new creation inspire you today. It’s the way He views you that counts!

—Jeff Olson

365-day-plan: Nehemiah 8:1-18

Consider the words of Philippians 1:6 and what God is continuing to do in your life. 
What does the reality of a new life in Christ mean to you today? What wrong views of yourself do you need to replace with the way God views you?