Yesterday, during youth group, Ray played a video that started with the image of a glass of dirty, dark water. Then these two young people opened their mouths and began to speak about who we are in Christ. As the Truth poured from their lips, a faucet started dripping. Drip. Drip. Drip.

The longer they spoke, the more the faucet opened. From drip to steady trickle. From steady trickle to a nonstop stream of clear water. The water poured into the glass until it overflowed, forcing the original, contaminated water out and replacing it with the clean substance that gives life.

I loved the imagery in that video. Because that is exactly what Truth does for us.

There are so many lies in the world. Lies that we hear every day. Many of those lies are easily identified, but others… Others are easier to accept as truth. Others sink more easily into our hearts and cloud the view God intended for us to have of ourselves.

There’s this thing called Truth. And most of us know the Truth, but find it so easy to forget. So impossible to believe. But the Truth remains:

You are a child of God, chosen before the creation of the world.

You are more than a conqueror.

You are redeemed from the curse of the law, delivered from the power of darkness, and free from condemnation.

You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

You are the bride of Christ.

You are God’s workmanship, created to do great things.

You have been given abundant, overflowing life.

You, just like the clear glass of water from the video, have something to offer the world. Something that is pure and beautiful and life-giving. You have Truth.

And though the world is busy pretending that it doesn’t need Truth, there are billions of people on this planet who are aching for what you have. 

So let the Truth sink deeply into your heart. Let it transform the way you see yourself. And let it overflow until it brings life to this dying world.

Picture to Burn

If you browse through your local radio stations, you’ll probably hear a lot of songs about breaking up. It would seem that a lot of artists enjoy singing about sweet revenge. To be perfectly honest, I’ve caught myself laughing at some of the lyrics… but only because I’ve never even considered doing such things. “I pray your brakes go out going down a hill”? Really? Or how about Carrie Underwood’s song about completely trashing her ex’s car?

I’m convinced that love – true love – cannot turn to hatred so quickly. I’m not sure what sort of relationships these artists had with the people they sing about, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t based on God’s definition of love. Take a look at 1 Corinthians 13 and I’m certain you’ll agree with me. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never understood the concept of burning pictures… Except maybe this kind:

The other night, I watched A Snoodle’s Tale. If you’ve never seen that episode of Veggietales, I would encourage you to look it up. It’s a must see – even if you don’t like Veggietales. It’s the story of a little Snoodle who is told time and time again, “You’re puny, you’re silly, you’re not all that smart, you can’t use your wings and you’re no good at art!” With every lie he is told, a picture is stuffed into the pack he carries on his back. Eventually, the small, dejected Snoodle leaves town, escaping to the top of Mount Ginches where he thinks he will be alone with his thoughts and the finches. He comes to find that he is, in fact, not alone. A Man lives there on top of Mount Ginches. The exchange that happens between the Man and the Snoodle is something that I find to be infinitely freeing, but here’s what jumped out at me the other night:

Then picture by picture, He unpacked the bag that bent the poor Snoodle and made his wings sag. “Dear boy,” said the Man, “these look nothing like you.” Then into the fire, the pictures He threw. He rose from His chair saying, “Wait there, you’ll see that what you need most is a picture from me.”

So many people have clung to the lies that have been spoken over them. With every bitter word, the venom of the enemy seeps deep into our souls. I think all of us have certain lies ringing in our ears. Today, God wants you to be set free from the lies that bind you. Today, I want to help you burn your pictures and let God paint a new one.

Today you need to know that you are a beautiful masterpiece created by God Most High. You are a unique individual, handcrafted by the Master Carpenter; there has never been (and never will be) anyone exactly like you. You are loved by the Inventor of love itself. You are the chosen of Jehovah, a child of the King. You are uniquely gifted for a special purpose that only you can fulfill. The world would be lacking something without you. The Creator of the universe has sought you out and called you His beloved. He finds you worthy of His love, deserving of His devotion. He would willingly die for you. He did willingly die for you. You have value. You have purpose. You have a God who loves you more than life – a God who has a great and glorious plan for your life. You have oh so much to look forward to. The Most High God finds joy in you. You are His delight – the apple of His eye. You are so much more than you believe yourself to be. So dream big and aim high, and know that you know that you know, you are the beloved of God. And today He wants to burn your pictures and paint something beautiful on the fresh canvas of your mind. He has given you wings not just to fly, but to soar with the eagles and flit about with the finches. So leave the lies you’ve believed in the ashes, and fly away on new wings.