I recently watched the following video of Max Lucado giving his perspective of The Last Supper which I absolutely loved - his take on it really hit home for me, so take just a few minutes to watch what he has to say or [because hey let's face it you probably won't go to that extreme!] read my brief summary of what he said which follows below:
Max Lucado's perspective: We break our promises and we make pledges that we don't keep but God has a seat for us at his table because he had a seat for all his disciples who had all made mistakes at The Last Supper. Even Judas though he is the one who hands Jesus over to be crucified.
Just like Judas we let Jesus down - we "break our promises" and "don't stick to our pledges" yet Jesus still has a place for us at his table despite all this - no matter how big or awful our mistakes are...just like he did for Judas even knowing that he was about to betray him - he was about to hand him over to death.
I think this is totally awesome.
We are so special and so precious to God that he has reserved a seat for us no matter what we've done in the past and no matter what we're going to do in the future. He loves us that much!!! We're that precious to Him because we're his creation! And we are perfectly made! "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14 ESV).
We are that significant to him. Every single one of us.
This reminded me of the book Max Lucado wrote called "You Are Special". I was given this book in secondary school when I was hurt by my "friends" at my birthday party - a lesson learnt after being so caught up on being in the right crew at school and reluctantly people pleasing my way through the friendships! It was a massive knock to my self confidence and consequently my faith was on rocky ground. The book really touched me and I read it over and over - the message is so beautiful and so poignant.
Video of the story: http://youtu.be/15QuHygLwF
The story: http://www.aikentdc.org/You_Are_Special.pdf
A summary (for you lazy people): The main plot of the book takes place in a town of small wooden people. They are all carved and created by one man, Eli. The Wemmicks do the same thing all day every day; walk around and place gold star and brown dot stickers on one another. The wemmicks that have pretty smooth paint, pretty faces, fancy clothing, or extraordinary talents receive gold stars. However, the wemmicks with chipped paint, not so pretty faces, broken parts, or no special talent receive brown dot stickers. One wemmick in particular, Punchinello, receives lots and lots of brown dots every day. The moral of the story is that Eli explains to Punchinello that no matter what the other wemmicks think of him, EVERYONE is special in their own way in God’s eyes. After talking to his creator Eli, Punchinello has a new outlook on himself and his own life and gradually the dots stop sticking to him.
What I'm trying to say is that you are special and you are precious. No matter what has happened to you in the past or what will happen to you in the future and no matter what people have told you you are - no matter what things they've stuck on you emotionally.
The only way I've started to become more self-assured is to keep coming back to my "maker" and listening to what he says I am just like Punchinello did.
Last week I was privileged enough to serve at a Southern Cross Kids Camp and had a truly touching conversation with a 10 year old girl who recited her favourite bible verse to me to be, "everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life" (John 3:16 MSG). We went on to discuss how the most important opinion to us should be the one of the guy who made the whole universe and who is going to give us eternal life! Because hey - the girl at school who says you're ugly and useless isn't capable of doing that?! And probably only says it because of her own insecurities?! So consequently, if we gradually keep going back to what this guy - our maker - says about us [note the word choice - "gradually" - - it's not immediate] then we'll start to see ourselves in a whole new light because it's his opinion that truly counts and speaks truth, "I am the truth" (John 14:6 NLT). And hey the Bible says:
You are made in God’s image
You were chosen before the world was made
You were created and equipped for good works
You are adopted into His family
You are no longer condemned
You are truly loved by God
You are secure in your relationship with Him
You are free from everything that would hold you back.
Keep that in mind. You'll be amazed at how it'll change your perspective.
I'll keep you posted.
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