Bible Society of South Africa

A new beginning by looking at yourself differently – 20 January 2023

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Bible text(s)

5“I chose you before I gave you life, and before you were born I selected you to be a prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:5GNBOpen in Bible reader

18The LORD says, “Now, let's settle the matter. You are stained red with sin, but I will wash you as clean as snow. Although your stains are deep red, you will be as white as wool.

Isaiah 1:18GNBOpen in Bible reader

11I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.

Jeremiah 29:11GNBOpen in Bible reader

In a recent video clip on social media, a farmer carefully removes a sheep from a ditch where it landed in headfirst. He takes it out carefully, just to stand in amazement of how this sheep, after being removed, lands in the same ditch moments later – headfirst.

This clip made me think of how some of us go through life – head facing downward. Because of a feeling of guilt due to wrong choices in the past, hurtful words or an inferiority complex, we start to believe Satan’s lies that we would not amount to anything, nor taste a life in abundance.

This, while God our great Shepherd, says in Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you …” (NIV) In Isaiah 1:18, He reminds us that He frees us from our past mistakes: ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” (NIV) Then in Jeremiah 29:11, He reminds us that even if we go through difficult seasons, He still has bigger plans for us than to maintain a “head-facing downward” lifestyle: “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.’” (NIV)

God has more thoughts about each of us than the sand in the sea (Psalm 139). He gave his Son, Jesus Christ so that we can taste life in abundance. Let us look at ourselves through his eyes. Let’s step away from the ditch, head-facing upward. God bless.

Prayer: Father God, thank you for planning me carefully when you formed me. Please help me to see myself as you see me. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
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