On Sunday we continued with our current series; IN // HIM.
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. [2 Corinthians 1:20]
Over the next few weeks we will be unpacking, declaring, and receiving the promises that we have “in Christ”. We have great expectations in what God is going to do throughout this series - we believe we will see people receive healing, breakthrough, and freedom.
If you weren’t able to join us over the weekend, please feel free to keep reading; I am about to catch you up.
IDENTITY IN CHRIST
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. [2 Corinthians 5:17]
At the heart of what it means to be a Christian, it is to receive a new identity. In Jesus, we do not lose our true selves, but we become our true selves, only in Him.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. [Ephesians 2:10]
In 1987, Nintendo released a game called “Stadium Events". It was a fitness game and it was released with a family fitness mat. The game was designed to get the average gamer and their family up off the couch and moving. The game was an outright flop - only an initial run of 10,000 units were produced and it was rated 1.5 stars out of 5. The game was not at all popular and due to its lack of popularity, no further units were produced.
But the strangest thing happened - Stadium Events became impossible to find. It’s gaming folklore; but somehow, from the original 10,000 copies only 23 mint copies are known to exist. It's a mystery what happened to the other copies, but Stadium Events became the rarest and most sought after game. This 1.5 star game became the “Holy Grail” of video game collectors.
So here’s four lessons we can learn from Stadium Events...
LESSON 1: POPULARITY DOESN'T SET VALUE - RARITY DOES
The most popular Nintendo game is Super Mario Brothers. Nintendo sold more than 40 million copies of Super Mario Brothers. It was super popular. However, you can buy a copy of Super Mario Bros for $11. If you want to own a copy of Stadium Events you would have to pay upwards of $35,000! Popularity doesn’t set value - rarity does. And you are absolutely unique! Right down to your fingerprint. God only made one of you. You are uniquely wired for a unique mission. The world needs you to be you.
Don't try to fit in, you were born to be unique. Fitting in is not belonging - in fact fitting in, is a huge barrier to belonging. Fitting is like twisting yourself into a human pretzel in order to get someone to like you, hang out with you, and accept you. If they accept the version of yourself that is a twisted human pretzel, they are accepting a fake version of you. Fitting in is a constant persona you must up keep, it is soul sucking.
Belonging is entirely different. To belong is to show up and allow others to see you and know you as you are. Belonging starts with self acceptance. Your level of belonging can never be higher than your level of self acceptance. When you believe you are enough, that is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.
Self acceptance is based on God's acceptance. You accept yourself when you realise and know truly in the deepest core of yourself that you are loved and lovable. Jesus loves you - Jesus adores everything about you. Quit hiding, striving, and making soul sucking efforts to try and fit in - you were always made to belong.
No one more is youer than you. - Dr. Seuss.
LESSON 2: VALUE IS SET BY THOSE IN THE KNOW
Those with the most knowledge, have the greatest sense of value.
There was a newlywed couple who were struggling financially - the day to day struggles of having enough money to survive, was tough. One day, the wife was browsing in an OP shop (thrift store) and saw this game on the shelf called Stadium Events. She remembered reading an article about a game that everyone wanted to get their hands on a copy and how much the game was now worth due to its rarity. Was this the same game for sale for $8?? She could've sworn that this game was the one the article had spoken of so she quickly headed across the road to McDonald's for the free WiFi to double check her suspicions - $8 is $8! This woman looked up the article and low and behold, this WAS the game! Stadium Events! The Holy Grail of Nintendo games for sale for $8!! So the woman hurried back to the store, quickly picked up the game, walked to the counter nervously, and paid eight dollars for an “obsolete, outdated” video game. This couple then went to sell their copy of Stadium Events to a collector for $35,000! This couple were able to put a deposit on a house - they were even able to get some new pots and pans! All because she knew the value of this Nintendo game! (you gotta feel for the store owner who sat on that treasure without realising!)
God knows you, values you, loves you, and chose you. God had put the highest value on you AND He knows everything about you.
Don't allow people who don't know you, set your value. Don't let the opinions of those who don't matter, matter. Always take your value from God.
I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex! Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking. It simply amazes me to think about it! How thoroughly you know me, Lord! You even formed every bone in my body when you created me in the secret place, carefully, skillfully shaping me from nothing to something. [Psalms 139:14-18]
God is the God of from nothing to something! You're not a nobody you're a somebody!
LESSON 3: TRUE VALUE IS SET BY WHAT SOMEONE IS PREPARED TO PAY
A 1.5 star game sold for $35,000 and the collector was happy to pay that. Value is set by what someone is prepared to pay.
What is someone prepared to pay for you?
God was willing to give His son to die for you. Jesus was willing to sacrifice Himself for you. There was no guarantees that you would choose Him if He first chose you. But God set your value as immeasurable by paying the highest price. He gave everything for a shot at relationship with you!
For this is how much God loved the world, he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift, so everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life. [John 3:16]
LESSON 4: GET IN THE GAME
Collectors of games like to buy games in mint condition then seal and tuck away their prized possessions on a shelf somewhere. God doesn’t want you on the shelf gathering dust. God wants you to join the adventure. God doesn't want you to hide away, he wants you to fulfill the purpose you were created for! You have something unique to offer this world - you have purpose and a mission unique to you. We need you to get in the game!
A thief has only one thing in mind - he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect - life in its fullness until you overflow. [John 10:10]
Jesus didn't come to take your life and make it boring. You were never born to have a Ned Flanders life. Jesus came to bring you an abundant, overflowing, ridiculously awesome life!
You, my friend, are not an $11 Super Mario Bros game.
You are a $35,000 Stadium Events game!
It’s time to dust of the cartridge and get in the Game!