Good morning, fellow saints. I come to you this morning to humbly confess that I am a child of God that shares in God's Glory. I am not building myself up to be more than God has made me, but I am showing you a glimpse of who YOU ARE in Christ!
Revelation 4:10-11 says, "The twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 'Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.'”
This is an incredible proclamation of God's glory, but I want you to take a look at the 24 elders. I don't believe that these elders are mentioned elsewhere in the Bible so we only have this verse to tell us about them. They are talked about as if they are commonly understood: the 24 elders. There are exactly 24 and all are in the throne room. I don't know what they did to become elders, but the competition must have been fierce, because there are only 24. We know they accomplished something because they have all earned crowns, and those crowns give them something of value to cast down before the throne. These elders knew that they were not worthy to be in God's presence and whatever incredible thing they did to earn their crowns was nothing before the creator God of the universe.
Jumping to Genesis 25:27-34, "When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents. 28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. 29 When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished; 30 and Esau said to Jacob, 'Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.' Therefore his name was called Edom. 31 But Jacob said, 'First sell me your birthright.' 32 Esau said, 'Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?' 33 And Jacob said, 'First swear to me'; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright."
Esau was the firstborn son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham. He held the proper birthright in his family making him the proper heir to all the promises of God to Abraham. He should have been the Father of God's nation, but that position of honor passed to his younger brother Jacob, later renamed Israel. He gave that honor away. Because he didn't see himself within God's story, he didn't stay in God's story, and gave that glory away for a bowl of soup.
Now, back to us. We are God's image-bearers; representing His Son, Jesus Christ, to a lost world without hope. When God revealed Himself to us and we received Him by faith, God exalted us up to His presence and brought us into His glory. This is not something we can brag about, but it is also something that we need to see and recognize. When you see yourself through God's heart and eyes, you continue your journey to become who He has called you to be in this world.
This is what John was talking about in 1 John 3:1-3, "See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."
As God reveals to us how He sees us, we become what He sees.
Now you may be thinking that may be true for the super-spiritual among us like Pastor Tim or other honored leaders in the faith. But that is why I am coming to you with this message as a layman with no more claims on God's grace than any of you. For me to think anything less of myself, or of you, would be to despise my birthright like Esau did. False humility rejects the truth that you share God's glory, and false humility is another form of pride that says, "I am beyond God's reach."
I am going to lead us in a prayer of acknowledgement of God's work in and through us and a request that He allow us to see ourselves as He sees us, so that we can become the people He has called us to be.
"Holy God, and our Father, Thank You that You have revealed Yourself to me and my family. Thank You for allowing me to join Your family by faith in the completed work of Christ on the cross and through the power of His resurrection. Please continue to reveal Yourself to me, so that I can see me as You see me, and that Your life could fill and overflow my life to a world in desperate need of all that You have offered. Please remind me of the glory that You have endowed upon me and free me from the false humility that comes with unbelief. Allow me to encourage my spiritual family with these truths and to receive back that encouragement from the lips of your saints. Truly you are a Good God and Father. Amen!"