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Vital signs- Sunday, March 19th, 2023

David was just a teenager when he arrived at battle between the Israelites and Philistines. He wasn’t a member of the army, but was just delivering supplies to his brothers. As he got to the camp, he heard Goliath’s taunting—and asked who was going to take him down. His brother didn’t appreciate his inquisitiveness. Note the text: “When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, ‘Why have you come down here?’” (1 Samuel 17:28).

This response isn’t surprising if we know the rest of the story. In 1 Samuel 16, we learn that when the prophet Samuel came to Jesse’s house to anoint a new king for Israel, Jesse started with the oldest, Eliab. Eliab was the biggest, oldest, and strongest of the brothers. Surely he was going to be the new king. But God said, “Nope. Not him.” The system seemed upside down. He wasn’t chosen as king. Instead, the youngest brother was—the kid who wasn’t even in the lineup. Eliab felt rejected, and rejected people reject people.

None of us like to feel we aren’t good enough. Or smart enough. Or wanted enough. As much as we wish it weren’t so, the opinions of others matter. A word of rejection, even something small that wasn’t aimed to hurt us, can stick and sting. A tiny seed of rejection can take root and wreak havoc in seasons to come. Before long, we forget God miraculously created us for a purpose and a plan. We forget that he doesn’t ask us to compare ourselves to others or run someone else’s race. We lose sight of our miraculous beginning and our re-creation in the person of Christ. Before long, we find ourselves tormented by this giant of rejection.

Experiencing Jesus’ victory over the giant of rejection comes from seeing yourself the way that your heavenly father sees you—as His loved child. As Paul wrote, “If we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Romans 8:17). God did not accept you because of anything you had done, but just because he loved you (see 1 John 4:19). What’s more, God loved you so much that he was willing to pay an enormous cost to bring you close to him: the death of his own Son, Jesus, on the cross.

Imagine Jesus today whispering in your ear, “I really, really love you. I am already pleased with you!” It might feel crazy to think the God of heaven—the creator of the universe—knows you so personally. Many of us freak out when we get thirty likes on a social media post. Yet the God of the universe is mindful of you (see Psalm 8)! He has pursued you (see Luke 15:3–7).

Before you were even conceived, God went on record and said, “I choose you as my own.” That truth should cultivate a sense of acceptance within you. Your worth isn’t wrapped up in what you achieve but is forever anchored in the fact that Jesus was given for you. You were made to be accepted and embraced by your heavenly Father. You were made to be loved, for free. You live from his acceptance, not for the acceptance of others. As you come to realize this, the giant of rejection will fall in your life.

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭15‬-‭16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Team Wade loves you and is praying you up❤️👊

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