What Does God Think About You? Homily for the 4th Sunday of Advent
What does God think about you?
Some people think that I’m crazy but I really enjoy winter camping. I started doing this when I was in the seminary almost 30 years ago and have done winter camping in the White Mountains, at Mount Washington, in the Adirondacks and on the Appalachian Trail.
When I mentioned this to people, they always say “but it’s so cold out there!“ Yes, the temperature might be cool but with a few simple tips and strategies, you actually can be rather toasty. In order to stay warm, the first thing you need is a warm hat. Heat rises, so 80% of your body heat is lost through the highest part of your body – your head.
So the first thing to do to try and get warm is to simply put a hat on. The next thing to do besides your head is to make sure that your feet are well insulated. Leather boots are poor insulators. You need to have something like down booties in order for your feet to stay warm. Next, make sure that you have really good wicking layers of long underwear and socks that remove the perspiration away from your skin. Moisture on your skin will only chill and even freeze so pulling the moisture away from your body is essential. But probably one of the most important tips to stay warm, especially at night, is what you “feed the furnace.” You need to give your body a hot-burning fuel so that it will be able to turn out the BTUs why you are sleeping. In that regard, it is important to eat something with a high carbohydrate content for dinner or plow down some noodles just before you go to bed.
So let me go back to my original question. What do you think God thinks of you? The answer to that question is determined by what you “feed yourself” spiritually and the way to determine what God thinks about you is to feed yourself with God’s Word. God has a purpose and a plan and a mission for you. But if what you think about you is not aligned with what God thinks about you, you end up committing spiritual subterfuge. The mission will not be accomplished and a little piece of the kingdom that was intended for you to bring into this world will not be accomplished. So it is essential that what you think about you is aligned with what God thinks about.
If you want to look at one passage in the Bible that summarizes what God thinks about you, it is Jeremiah 29:11-14:
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you.”
Ok, but how do you do this? Let me provide an example. The “Topical Bible” provides a great reference on what God (through His Word ) thinks about you and other various topics. Let’s walk through an example. Let’s say you pray to God and say, “How can I do anything for God. I am totally lacking in confidence.” Go to The Topical Bible here. Click on the letter “C” and you’ll end up here. Click on the word “confidence” and you’ll end up here So what does God think about a person who lacks confidence? …
Proverbs 3:26 – For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.
Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
2 Corinthians 3:5 – Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.
1 John 3:20-21 – For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God.
God supports. God assists. God loves. God provides what you cannot. You need not fear – your confidence is in God.
You are loved by God. When God thinks about you, He only thinks good thoughts. “Oh but Father, you don’t know what I’ve done in this life.” Yeah and babies throw their food and scream and lots of unpleasant things. Parents still love the child and even think that some of the crazy things that their baby does are actually rather charming. They know the baby “isn’t done yet.” They see the baby as a “project in progress.”
God sees you the same way.
Audio version of the homily is here: