What does God think of me?
Reading  Titus 3:1-8

Intro:  
What do other people think about you?  Do you want to know?

Not really, I suspect it would hurt too much

What do you think about yourself? Can’t help knowing. I suppose our opinions of ourselves changes – sometimes we think we are doing OK, then we think  we are doing badly. Sometimes we think we are failures, or hypocrites, etc..

It would seem that a great any think we are deluded because we go to church, or believe in God.

There’s a lot of voices out there knocking us back, and there’s that little voice of our own so often taking up that chorus as well. Life can be quite depressing, like a darkness hanging there between the sunshine and you.

This is why I choose the text for this morning in Titus 3, because there is one voice that we should all listen to above all others,  one opinion that really matters – the voice of God and  what He thinks of you and me. His view is the only one that really counts..

Titus is a young Pastor on the island of Crete, the apostle Paul is writing to encourage and instruct him.  He writes on how believers should behave in the church.  V2-4 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;  3  the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behaviour, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things 4  that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 2:2-4

In chapter 3, he writes about how believers should behave in society,  v1-2 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2  to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.

Remind them  that’s what Paul writes – remind them who they are in Jesus; what they have in Jesus; what God has done in them through Jesus; and what God expects of them as believers in Jesus. And in the process he answers the question I posed at the beginning - What Does God Think Of Me?
 
GOD THINKS YOU ARE PRECIOUS v3-6    
One of the lies that. Satan whispers to us says, “God doesn’t care about you at all.”  God says something completely different.  These verses teach us that God loves us more than we can possibly understand.

The Extent Of His Love – V3 paints a vivid picture of what the believer was before he or she met Jesus. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.
Foolish – Ignorant of everything to do with God.  
Disobedient – Rebellious toward any authority instituted by God.
Deceived – Continually led deeper and deeper into sin by Satan.  
Serving various lusts and pleasures – A slave to our fleshly appetites and passions.  
Living in malice – Given over to a lifestyle of evil.  
Envy – Never satisfied with what we have, but always grasping for more.
Hateful – This is the natural fruit of all the above.  This kind of life makes us mean-spirited and hard to get along with.  
Hating one another – Walking without love for our fellow man.

This is what we were, and what some in this room still are.  It is a terrible condition to be in, yet that is what the Bible says time and time again, Eph. 2:1-3; 1 Cor. 6:9-10.

Yet even in that condition, God still loved us: Jer.31:3  I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.  He could have written us off and just allowed us go to Hell, but He loved us and did something about it!

look at v4  But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, in other words, “in spite of what we were and are, God chose to display His love for us.”  How did He do that?  The answer is in v6 Jesus Christ our Saviour,.  God gave evidence of His love for fallen man by sending His Son into the world to die for our sins, Rom. 5:6-8; John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-10.  
 
If you need evidence that you are precious to the Lord, then look no farther than Calvary!  You don’t need a feeling, just look to the cross!  Look away to Jesus as He dies on the cross for your sins, 2 Cor. 5:21, and know that you are special to the Lord.  He loved you and that is the reason for the awful death of Jesus Christ.  The cross says, “I love you!  You are special to Me!

Move on to v 5-6  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6  whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour,    What did this wonderful love of God do for us?  God knew what we were.  He saw us with all our sins and our baggage, yet He still chose to save us by His grace.  We deserved judgement, but received mercy!

Think on this - God extended His grace and mercy to us when we deserved nothing but Hell.  He saved us from the penalty of our sins (saved).  He cleansed us from the defilements of our sins (washing).  He made a new creature out of us (regeneration).  And, He placed His Spirit within us to lead us deeper in Him day by day (renewing).  
 
He loved us so much that He went to work to see us saved.  Satan will tell you that God doesn’t love you all; the evidence says something quiet different!  The evidence says that you are precious in His eyes!
 
What does God think of you?  As precious! As

PERFECT
Our own hearts cry out against us, we know our failings, Society knows our failings, and Satan knows our failings – the finger of judgement is ever pointed, that’s our experience – but listen, we can’t trust our own hearts Jer.17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; We can’t believe society for they have wicked hearts as well and are the enemies of Christ and the Christian and we can’t believe Satan for he s a liar and the father of liars  John 8:44

What does God say?   V7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

justified   God declares the saved person to be in a perfect and right standing before Him.  This is far different from being forgiven.  Some people think that justification is just the forgiveness of our sins.  Justification is far more powerful than that!  When there is forgiveness there is also the remembrance of the wrong committed.  A man might be convicted of murder and be forgiven by the victim’s family; but everyone still knows what that murderer did.

On the other hand, a person who had been justified has been totally acquitted and exonerated of all charges.  There is absolutely no record of any wrongdoing.  When we are justified by God, all record of our sin is forever banished from the memory of the Lord.  It is as if we had never or will never sin! (Jer. 31:34; Heb. 8:12; Heb. 10:16-17)  The law has no claims against a justified person.  The law of God is satisfied, there is no case against the redeemed ones! There are no charges against the child of God.

What does God think of you?  That you are Precious. Perfect and

PRIVILEGED
We don’t often think of ourselves as being Privileged by being a Christian, and certainly society would see more as deluded than privileged, and Satan, well he never wants us to see our salvation as a privilege, he wants us to see it as an inconvenience, a waste of time.

But God sees us a privileged people.

Privileged Because Of Our Eternal Hope – We have a home in Heaven, (John 14:1-3). We have a perfect place reserved for us in His presence, (1 Pet.1:3-5).  We have the hope that we are headed to a city where there will be no more death, parting or sorrow, (Rev. 21:4).  We are a privileged people!  

Privileged Because Of Our Earthly Hope – The best for us is yet to be, certainly, and we look forward to heaven but we are partakers of the inheritance of the Lord today, (Rom. 8:15-17).  Heaven will be wonderful, but the Lord has also given us today!  
The Lord is always with me, Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20.  
The Lord has promised to meet all my needs, Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:25-34.  
He cares about all that I face in life, Heb. 4:15.  He listens to me when I pray, Heb. 4:16.  
It seems that the Lord is doing His best to spoil me, Luke 12:32!  

You can take it anyway you please, but if you are saved, you are a privileged person right now! We have the best here and hereafter!  What a God we serve
 
God sees us as we are, yet He loves us.  He sees us as He has made us.  And, He sees us as we will be someday. All that we have; all that we are, and all that we will become, is because of His amazing grace!  “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture,” Psalm 100:3.

We are a precious people.  He saved us by His grace, apart from any works at all; He has made us a perfect people.  He blesses us in marvellous ways and promises us a home in Heaven some day; we are a privileged people.)

God also thinks 
YOU ARE PROFITABLE v1-2, 8  
Again not something we tend to think we are -  Satan, or our own hearts tell us that God can’t use us, that our life as a Christian is a joke, that we are failures - the truth is a different matter altogether.  God saved us for a purpose and part of that purpose is so that He can use us for His glory!

Paul tells us to walk in a disciplined manner (v1).  To obey the laws of the land and submit to the people who are in authority over us.  In other words our simple walk of faith is proof that they we different from the world around them.

Our day by day life is a powerful witness to the world around us.  As you live for the Lord and demonstrate His love and grace, you are allowing Him to live through you and God uses that to touch hearts.  A disciplined, holy life is a powerful tool in the hand of the Lord.

You might not think that bowing your head over your lunch is a lot, but God can use it.  You might not think that reading your Bible at break time is much, but God can use that too.  You might not think about it but just showing up on time and doing a days work for a days pay is a powerful testimony to God’s saving grace in your life.
Paul tells us that the way we treat others is a testimony in the hands of God.  Avoid fighting and gossiping and just treat people with gentleness and meekness (v2).  He is simply telling us to have a testimony that we are different.
 
The way in which we conduct ourselves around others, and the way we treat others, is as powerful a witness as any we give with our lips.  Someone has said, “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you are saying.”  How true!  When we live right and treat others as Jesus would treat them, Luke 6:31, it is a powerful witness and God can use it for His glory.  Of course, when we don’t treat others right, it is a powerful witness too!

God did not save you just to keep you out of Hell; He saved you to put you to work for Him, Eph.2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.;

You might not think that He can use you, but He can.   If He can use a murderer named Moses; a blasphemer named Saul of Tarsus; an adulterer named David; a rebel named Jonah; or a loudmouth like Simon Peter, then He can use you.  If you will do what He tells, your life will be a life of immense profit for the Kingdom of God!
  
Satan might tell you it isn’t true; your flesh might try to stand in your way; but God saved you knowing what you were and what you were capable of becoming by His power. He saved you to use you and He will use you because He sees what He can do through you for His glory.
 
Conclusion:  
So, what does God think of you?  He thinks you are Precious; Perfect; Privileged and Profitable.  That’s how He sees you.  What do you need to do in your life to line up with His vision of you?  Has He shown you that there is room for improvement in your walk with Him and your work for Him?  If so, get to Him and deal with that today.

The things I have mentioned today are only true if you are saved.  What does God think of you if you are not saved?  He thinks you are in trouble.  He thinks you are living a dangerous life.  He looks at you with love and knows that there is a way out.  There is hope for you if you will come to Jesus and be saved.  If you will, He will think all the wonderful things I have shared today, and more.  Isn’t that what you want too?