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By Margaret Feinberg
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2007 Margaret Feinberg
All right reserved.
Chapter OneYou Are God's Delight
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1
Many voices in our lives try to tell us who we are. Some are well-meaning, including friends and family members. But some of the loudest voices are media. Advertisements and headlines promise better, thinner, stronger, and faster. Rather than tell you who you are, advertisements try to remind you of who you are not and who you could be if you just buy the product.
One of the great secrets of those trying to market a product is simply: Focus on the benefits, not the features. This plays into most of the purchases you make whether you realize it or not. If you're buying a computer, a salesperson may tell you it has 16 bytes of RAM. Now if you're not familiar with computers you may wonder, why would I want something to bite my RAM? But if the salesperson told you, this product has 16 bytes of RAM and that means it goes faster and will save you time, now that may pique your interest! Or the salesperson may remind you that buying this particular computer will put you ahead of the game with current technology. After all, this is a computer that will help you learn more and connect more with other people. You won't be the same without it!
When advertisers focus on the benefits instead of the features, you take center stage in the sales pitch. You are the most important person, and this product is going to make you even better.
While effective for sales, that approach is a far cry from the one that God uses with us. When He looks at us, He's not concerned with the benefits we can offer Him. He's not asking how we can make Him look better, go faster, or be stronger.
He looks at each of us as inherently valuable, loved, and one-of-a-kind treasures. There's incredible worth just in you! You are a delight to Him. He takes joy in you. And He loves you more than you can ever know. There is not a scale or measuring device that can contain the love God has for you.
The One who fashioned you with great detail and precision loves you beyond measure. Like the Master of all Master Craftsmen, God carefully designed you-each and every one of you-to be a masterpiece.
And that's not a sales pitch, that's a promise you can count on!
1. Have you ever purchased a product that promised great things but didn't deliver? What was the product? The promise? How did things turn out?
2. Advertisers and marketers often try to tell us a lot about what we don't have or what we could be if we purchased their products. Can you think of any other voices in your life that have tried to define you or tell you who you are?
When it comes to discovering who you really are, only one voice really matters. And God delights over you more than you can you imagine!
3. Read Psalm 16:3. According to this verse, what does God think of His people?
God describes His saints as "the glorious ones in whom is all my delight." That means God doesn't just find some of His delight in you-He finds all of it. You are more celebrated than you can possibly imagine.
4. Whether you realize it or not, God has delighted in you before the beginning of time! In Proverbs 8, we get a glimpse of God and His Son, Jesus, at work during creation. Read Proverbs 8:22-31. What kind of emotion is expressed in this passage in regard to creation?
5. Why do you think creating the world and mankind was such a delight for God?
6. Why do you think it was such a delight for God to create you?
7. Read Zephaniah 3:17. In the space that follows, write out the different things God does in this verse. How have you experienced God doing each of those things in your life?
8. How does knowing that you're God's delight change the way that you see yourself? Others?
Read Deuteronomy 7:6. God considers His people His "treasured possession." What possession in the world do you treasure the most? Why is it so important? How much more does God treasure you?
Ponder and Pray
The opening Scripture for this lesson comes from Psalm 19:1, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." If the heavens and skies declare the glory of God, how much more do you? Reflecting on your own life, in what ways does God show His goodness through you? In what ways do you "declare the glory of God" in your decisions, your relationships, and your life?
Memorize Zephaniah 3:17. You may want to handwrite it on index cards or sticky notes and place them around the house to help you memorize the verse. This week, share with at least one person what this verse means to you.
Excerpted from BEING YOURSELF by Margaret Feinberg Copyright © 2007 by Margaret Feinberg. Excerpted by permission.
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