by Pastor Tim Burt
I was a person that grew up in a wonderful home with kind and loving parents who gave me everything they had the capacity to give me. It was truly a loving atmosphere that nurtured good things in me.
Even though my home atmosphere was great, as we’ve all learned, it can be a tough world to live in. There are many not-so-nice and not-so-encouraging people out there. My confidence level of who I was and what I was to become was not clear to me and I did not know or have the Lord to direct my steps or encourage my heart—at least that I was aware of.
Like most kids, I did not receive glowing encouragement from my friends and classmates at school. That isn’t what kids are generally great at. The opposite may be closer to the truth. I saw myself as a very average person and there were few to ever refute that! That may not seem all that bad but, no young aspiring person really wants to think of themself as average.
I had a friendly personality, but most of the strengths that I did have, weren’t the stand out kind of attributes that were easily noticeable to my friends. I was an extremely hard worker and had great common sense but who notices that? I was also a small person until my growth spurt in my senior year of high school. Small guys often get picked on. I received good grades but wasn’t close to being the smartest person. I was only an okay athlete. All this to say, I wasn’t the stand out guy that everyone signed up to be friends with. Consequently, there seemed little to encourage my self-esteem.
I gave my life to the Lord at the age of 24. It was then when something powerfully, and miraculously changed within me. My caring of what people thought about me began to decrease. My care for reverencing the Lord and living for Him became my ultimate importance and purpose. I was done trying to please people and instead desiring to learn to walk in God’s ways. It was liberating to say the least!
As I began to read the Bible and learn about this new life in Jesus, my eyes were opened to something very wonderful—something that I had wished my self-esteem had been built upon for my entire life. I learned that I had been given a new nature—God’s nature. Something He called the “divine nature.” The Greek word for nature means growth and is implying the growth of our character and disposition—of who we become. The preceding word divine means godhead. This is implying that God’s character now abides with us to learn and grow from. 2 Peter 1:3-4 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness…. so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
This new nature is given to every believer as a gift of God’s grace and love. We can only develop in it when we believe it and act upon it by faith. In taking hold of this truth, it meant that I had the help and power of God within me to become Christ-like! Wow! That is truly a mind-boggling thought! It meant that I could leave all my old corrupted desires that I thought would haunt me for life, and leave them behind. It meant that God’s supernatural power was at work in my life to direct me from within! Talk about a self-esteem booster. The Holy Spirit would teach me to honor God and to me, nothing was more important!
Most Christians think godliness means being good and kind. There are many people who don’t know Jesus that are good and kind. It has to mean more! Our new nature in Christ lets us see the world through God’s eyes and gives us insight into things others can’t see. And He gives us His strength to walk in them. That is what participating in His “divine nature” means. He let’s us share His anointed words—His life changing words that have the ability to alter the course of someone else’s life. He instructs and allows us to lay hands on the sick so they can recover. He instructs and allows us to come to the throne of Heaven—His throne of grace when we pray. Hebrews 4:16 says, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.”
I challenge you to pray about these scriptures yourself. The Lord asks us to put on goodness and godliness that is fueled by His Spirit. Then His purpose can become our purpose. Then His power can work through us. When that happens, then the reality of these two verses truly begins to hit home with us. John 14:12 “The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” And, 1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
God wants us to offer His life-changing love, His life-changing Word, His life-changing promises, and His life-changing power that comes through prayer. Jesus has given me His love, His purpose, and His divine nature to imitate and boldly live touching others with His “divine” love and power. This is how God wants self-esteem developed within us—within you!
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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