You are not junk, you are God’s treasure. God does not make junk nor does He make mistakes. You are so valuable to God that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem (buy you back) when Satan tried to make junk out of you. Don’t forget Jesus didn’t die for junk. You are not junk.
Realizing that you are created in the image of God and are not junk will revolutionize your life. If you don’t let this revolution take place you will go through life feeling like junk. As a result you won’t believe it nor receive it when love is shown to you. We see this illustrated in the interaction between Aldonza and Don Quixote in the musical “Man from La Mancha”. Aldonza believed she was trash or junk. Note her reaction when Don Quixote tries to show her love by calling her “My Lady” and “Dulcinea”:
“I’m not your lady; I’m not any kind of lady. I was spawned in a ditch by a mother who left me there, naked and cold and too hungry to cry. I never blamed her. I’m sure she left hoping that I’d have the good sense to die. Then, of course, there’s my father; I’m told that young ladies can point to their fathers with maidenly pride; mine was some regiment here for an hour – I can’t even tell you which side. So, of course, I became as befitted my ‘delicate’ birth, the most casual bride of the murdering scum of the earth…”
“and still are my Lady!”
“And still he torments me! How should I be a lady? For a lady has modest and maidenly airs and a virtue I somehow suspect that I lack. It’s hard to remember these maidenly airs in a stable laid flat on your back. Won’t you look at me, look at me, God won’t you look at me; look at the kitchen-slut reeking in sweat, born on a dung heap to die on a dung heap, a strumpet men use and forget… If you feel that you see me not quite at my virginal best, cross my palm with a coin and I’ll willingly show you the rest…”
As I share with you that you are not junk, you are God’s treasure, made in His image your response may be that of Aldonza when Don Quixote said to her:
“…never deny that thou are Dulcinea!”
“Take the clouds from your eyes and see me as I really am. You have shown me the sky, but what good is the sky to a creature who never knew better than crawl – of all the cruel devils who badgered and battered me, you are the cruelest of all! Can’t you see what your gentle insanities do to me, rob me of anger and give me despair? Blows and abuse I can take and give back again, tenderness I cannot bear. So don’t reach out to me when your sweet Dulcinea you call, I am only Aldonza… I’m no one. I’m nothing at all!”
“Now and forever, thou are my lady, Dulcinea…!”
Time passes. The fact that Don Quixote’s words have gotten through to her is evident as she returns to him when he is on his death bed.
“Please… try to remember, you looked at me and called me by another name… Dulcinea, Dulcinea – once you found a girl and called her “Dulcinea”. When you spoke the name, an angel seemed to whisper, “Dulcinea, Dulcinea.” Dulcinea, Dulcinea… Won’t you please bring back the dream of Dulcinea? Won’t you bring me back the bright and shining glory of “Dulcinea, Dulcinea?”
“Perhaps … perhaps it was not a dream —“
“You spoke of a dream … and about the ‘quest’ …?
“The quest … the words … tell me, tell me the words …”
“To dream the impossible dream … but they’re your own words … to fight the unbeatable foe … Don’t you remember? To bear with unbearable sorrow – you must remember! To run where the brave dare not go.”
“To right the unrightable wrong… yes, to love and chaste from afar … yes, to try when your arms are too weary to reach the unreachable star…!”
“Thank you my lord!”
Jesus desires to transform us from being Aldonzo’s who think we are junk as a result of the wounds we have experienced in the past into the realization we are made in the image of God. Read the gospel of John and you will see Jesus helping people rediscover that they are image bearers of the Living God.
In this gospel of John and through out the rest of the scriptures you will discover God’s special message to you at this hour is, “I love you and never forget you are not junk you are my treasure.”
By reading the Bible you will discover God doesn’t make junk. If you have never experienced the fullness of the love of a father or mother you will see God is now saying, “you are the apple of my eye. The one I desire to hide in the shadows of my wings of love” (see Ps. 17:8). That craving, longing and desire in your heart to be loved is a desire placed there by God. He is the only one who can fill this desire.
Everyday God does so many things for us. The fact is we won’t recognize it as a manifestation of His love if we think we are junk.
William Backus and Marie Chapian state the following in their book, Telling Yourself the Truth. “Your beliefs and misbelieves are the most important factors of your mental and emotional life. Disbelieving is the direct cause of emotional turmoil, maladaptive behavior and so-called mental illness. Misbelief is the cause of the destructive behavior people persist in engaging in even when they are fully aware that it is harmful to them (such as overeating, smoking, lying, drunkenness, stealing or adultery).”
The lies that we are worthless, just have enough truth to make them appear as truth. In reality, such lies are a toxic poison that enslave us in destructive activities. It’s a fact that if you tell yourself an untruth long enough it appears to be truth. James 3:15 tells us where this stinking, thinking, lousy speaking comes from. “Such wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.” A steady diet of such toxins of negative thinking and speaking is deadly. In Romans 8:6, Paul clearly points out that the mind set on the flesh is death. “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”
The words we say to ourselves can entrap us or empower us. Psychiatrist Willard Gaylin states, “A denigrated self-image is a tar baby. The more we play with it, embrace it, the more bound we are to it.” The time has come for us to listen to the words we tell ourselves and ask, “am I building a tar baby?” I had a tendency after my first wife Penny’s death to tell myself how lonely I was, when I should have been saying, “thank you Lord for my family and friends.” I also have said too often that I am miserable when I should be saying, “I’m content because I have Jesus who has saved me and given me peace that passes all understanding. Also I have purpose through Christ both now and for all eternity.”
I missed Penny but I couldn’t keep living in the past. I had to let the dream God had placed in my heart come forth and speak of it. As Proverbs 15:4 says, “A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit.” I had to stop listening to the crazy tapes of negativism and hopelessness going around in my mind and instead do what Phil. 4:8 told me to do. There I saw I needed to think and talk about, “whatsoever things that are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are a good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise think on these things.” By doing this I allowed my pain to be transformed through Christ’s resurrection rather than letting my pain be transferred to others by my thinking that I had become God’s junk. By moving forth in the belief God was working through me, I saw Him doing a mighty work and as time passed He also blessed me with my new wife Debra.
Filtering our thoughts through God’s eternal love demonstrated through Jesus Christ goes a long way towards cleaning our minds of the negative toxic poisons that can and will destroy us. The end result of such filtering results in thoughts and words of thanksgiving and praise. First there is the thanksgiving for the gift of eternal life provided through Jesus Christ. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (2 Cor. 9:15). Believers in the eternal all encompassing love of God are then encouraged to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess. 5:18). “Give thanks to God the Father for everything” (Eph. 5:19-20). Present prayers and petitions ‘with thanksgiving to God’” (Phil. 4:6-7). Then with a heart of thanksgiving that you are not junk but God’s treasure let I Cor. 15:58 unfold in your life. “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
In order for you to “always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain, ”you must have the healthy self-image provided in the Word of God. Begin now to start seeing yourself the way God sees you. Remember, “The Lord is with you O valiant warrior” (Judges 6:12). Yes, you may have made mistakes in the past, but thanks be to God who through Jesus provides forgiveness of sins and the hope of a new beginning. It is a new day and God desires to do a new and powerful work in you and through you. Rebuke that “I don’t care” attitude and stop allowing your weaknesses and insecurities of the past to keep you from the greatness God is calling you to this day. The Lord has said, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” Now develop the same attitude that Paul did as he continues in 2 Cor. 12:9, “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me.”
You don’t have to keep beating up on yourself every time you give in to that nasty habit that you are struggling with. Instead, further surrender that area of your life to Jesus Christ and pray, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” (Ps.17:8). “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Eph. 6:14-15). Don’t give up but remember, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10).
You may not feel at this moment that you are God’s workmanship, created in His image. The fact is inspite of your feelings you have been made in the image of God and forgiven for Christ is risen! Say to yourself at this moment, “God has lifted me out of the horrible pit, and He set my feet upon a rock and put a new song in my mouth” (Psalm 40:2-3). Let God put a new song of praise in your mouth today and fill your life with hope. He wants you to know He loves you more than you can ever imagine. “For God so loved the world,” (means you and me) “that He gave His only begotten Son. That whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Right now you have a choice for “It shall be done to you according to your faith” (Matt. 9:29). If you expect defeat, failure and mediocrity, believing that is what you will get. The other choice you have is that you can remember that it is just as easy to accept the fact you are God’s treasure and believe Him for strength, success and victory. Remember, God has everything under control and that He loves you and wants His best for you.
When we see that with each passing day, in spite of the circumstances God is perfecting His work within us, we are free to believe that, “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
As we believe God is working for our good and we know we are His treasure, we are free to accept God’s best for our lives. This doesn’t mean we will allow ourselves to be trapped in a greedy materialistic lifestyle, for we know God’s best far exceeds filthy lucre (money) as Jesus referred to it. God’s best frees us to live in His presence, knowing that God is working daily for our good in spite of the circumstances.
When we realize that God is at work in every situation and we are his treasure, life becomes an adventure in faith. What is faith? “It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see” (Heb. 11:1). Now instead of believing the worst, choose to “taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Psalm 34:8).
This past year as New Life Evangelistic Center faced a mountain of financial need, I found myself itemizing these needs on a piece of paper and putting them in my Bible at Phil.4:19 where it says, “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” When worry and uncertainty would strike, I found myself turning to that passage, knowing that God would meet that need.
Now I want to invite you to join me in accepting Jesus at His Word when He says, “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:13, 17) Let us ask Jesus now to work in us to share His love by providing shelter to the homeless, food to the hungry and help for the hurting. Let us tell everyone that God doesn’t make junk by sharing the good news of the eternal life He has provided through His death and resurrection.
Now “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith” (Heb. 12:1, 2). Don’t give up. God doesn’t make junk. Give God 100% by doing your very best on every job He has given you. You are God’s treasure and your efforts for good do make a difference. Your labor is not in vain. At this hour our Lord is telling us, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).