Originally this was going to be a different topic, but after an internet outage, banging my head against the wall, and finally feeling the Lord speak something different to me, I decided that today's devotional was going to be a different topic than originally planned.
Everything I have written, especially in the past 5 days, keeps going back to something that I can't seem to get away from writing about and something that I never want to get away from writing about. God always brings me back to this place of writing about His relentless, unconditional, reckless love, our identity in Him, and how He treasures us so deeply.
I've heard people say "we seek a love so deep that the ocean is jealous" but little do we know that the ocean can't compare to the depth of God's love for us. We can't understand by our human standards the depth of God's love. While we have been looking for "other fish in the sea" to fill our hearts, there is a God so big, so vast, so mighty, so powerful that the oceans dry up, the mountains crumble, and the earth quakes at the sound of His voice... And He wants to fill us with His love.
The world calls lovers hopeless romantics but when you accept the love of Jesus you become a hope-filled romantic because you have eternal access to the Lover who sees every part of you and still doesn't flee.
You are the Artists' Treasure. You are a masterpiece in the sight of the Creator. It is no coincident that God keeps leading me back to writing about our identity in Him and about His relentless love for us. There is a world full of people out there, wondering about, looking for something and/or someone to find their identity in, desperate for a love that can fill all the emptiness inside.
You are the Artist's Treasure. You hold the DNA of Christ himself. His fingerprints make up your whole being.
In your smile, your laugh, your fingers, and your toes, God reveals Himself, His creativity, His glory. Every single one of you, every treasure, so unique in the way He formed you, yet all children of the same Father.
But we often live as trophies rather than treasures. We strive for these expectations set by men and not by Christ. We are task-oriented and if we don't get it all done in the 24 hours we have been blessed with, we often times feel a tinge of failure. I'm not saying we should be lazy. We should go above and beyond in the work set before us, but we start to live as trophies when we find our worth in our works and not in our Creator.
Our Master, the Artist Himself, sees us as His treasure, His children, which He proudly claims as His own, not because of anything we have done or will do, but simply because we exist, and because we are His.
Just a small example: I have this Fitbit watch that tracks my activities, my water intake, exercise, sleep patterns and more. The little thing is great with helping me remember to drink more water or to get more sleep, and while it does celebrate little accomplishments throughout the day, there are days that are hectic and busy and I haven't even reached half my water intake goal, my exercise goals are all over the place, and my sleep patterns look more like a cardio workout than a peaceful rest. While there is nothing wrong with trying to do good things for your health, work, overall life goals, we sometimes become so caught up in these things that fade that we forget what is really important. We become more interested in getting everything done perfectly, every single day of every week than in simply being God's child and doing what He called us to do.
The difference in living as a treasure rather than a trophy is that as a treasure, you know your worth, you live by that identity, and no amount of failures or accomplishments change the way the Treasure-Finder views you, while a trophy is valued by what is accomplished, what is won.
God doesn't value you based on what you do or what you've done but by your identity and worth in Him.
We are His beloved, we are His children, we are His treasure. Let's start living in the truth of Who He is and who we are in Him.
"Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."
"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3:1-2
"I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine..." Song of Solomon 6:3
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." 1 Peter 2:9-10
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." Psalm 139:13-16
"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life." Titus 3:4-7