Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
The Bible does not encourage self-esteem, but it does teach a genuine self-respect--the solid kind that all the devils in hell can't undo.
It's learned from believing the following story: At the age of 30, Jesus of Nazareth got the news that John the Baptist was preaching repentance at the Jordan River. He told His mother Mary, "Mother, I've got to go. I'm laying down my saws, hammers, chisels, and I'll never touch them again: I am going on My mission My Father has told me of, that I've told you about since I was 12" (Luke 2:49).
John refused to baptize Him. "I am ordained to baptize only people who have repented, and You have no sins to repent of." Then Jesus told him how He was taking the sins of the whole world upon Himself, making Himself guilty of them all, "made to be sin for us" [2 Cor. 5:21]. "And yes, I have repented of them all." So John relented.
When Jesus came out of the water dripping wet, He knelt on the Jordan's banks and prayed such a prayer as the world had never heard before, nor had the angels in heaven. And something wonderful happened: the Father Himself answered Jesus verbally and audibly so the whole world could hear Him (except they didn't recognize the Voice): "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matt. 3:17). And, you remember, the dove descended, as the visible Holy Spirit.
As the Father put His arms around Jesus before the whole world, He also put His arms around you, and said those same words.
"But I am a sinner," you say; "He couldn't do that to me!" When you go to a shop and buy something for say $10, you exchange your $10 for an item which you believe is equivalent in value. We read that the Father "so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son … " You are "the world."
In other words, when the Father thinks of you with all your sins and unworthiness, He thinks of you as of equivalent value; He loves you Two equally (I use a capital T for His sake). You'll spend the rest of your life here (and over there) trying to understand that.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 24, 2007.
Copyright © 2012 by "Dial Daily Bread."
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