Hi, this is Pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…Go Be Awesome!

Each week I end both my ‘Monday Marriage Message’ and ‘Thoughts on a Thursday’ podcasts with the encouragement for you to “Go Be Awesome”. Someone asked me recently why I chose that phrase to end each episode. In response to that inquiry, I offer the following explanation.

Most of you know that I am the counseling pastor at our church. Serving in that role, I counsel all sorts of people for all kinds of reasons. While most of my counseling falls into the overall category of marriage, I do spend some time ministering in other areas as well. A few years ago I was walking alongside a couple as they navigated their way through a particularly difficult marital issue. The nature of the trauma in their lives had necessitated that the duration of their counseling had come to span several months. As they were leaving my office after a remarkably difficult session, I was at a loss of what encouragement I might leave them with that might bolster them until we met again the following week. As they silently passed me as I held the door, I spontaneously uttered…”Go Be Awesome!” Almost as soon as the words cleared my lips, I thought, “Why on earth did I say that?” As I considered it, I began to realize that with those three simple words I was encouraging them to be everything God wanted them to be. Shortly thereafter, I was starting to encourage many others as they left my office to “Go Be Awesome!” as well. These days, there are not many who exit my office without hearing that same encouragement. It simply seemed appropriate then that when I began producing a podcast, (Thoughts on a Thursday was the first of those) that I would end each edition with the same phrase. About  year ago when I added the ‘Monday Marriage Message’ I asked my wife Lynn if I should end it the same or come up with a different finale, she replied that I was beginning to be associated with the phrase and she thought it best if I just continued to use it. Even my grandchildren parrot that same phrase when they see me, doing their best to mimic my inflexion and cadence as they have heard me sign off after each episode.

So why those three words? Why “Go Be Awesome!”? First and foremost, because God says you are awesome and I lack the necessary standing to argue with His assessment. Of course, none of us are perfect, we all have our flaws. We all experience difficulty choosing the correct responses to others at times. All of us fail from time to time. When these negative occurrences take place our spiritual enemy sets into motion his plans to kill, steal and destroy our peace, joy, and contentment. One of his first attacks designed to discourage is to identify us with our failure. It may sound like this…“I guess I am the problem” or “This wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t so unlovable” or “If I was more valuable, people wouldn’t treat me like this”. These are all thoughts placed in our consciousness by the one who is doing his level best to destroy us.  The initial step in his shameful plan is to get us to identify with our difficulties. As with all of the untruths spoken by the father of all lies, they seem plausible in light of our current circumstances. He wouldn’t even be able to convince us to consider them if they didn’t seem to have any merit. Thankfully however, God’s word provides the solution.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 in the New Century Version says, We fight with weapons that are different from those the world uses. Our weapons have power from God that can destroy the enemy’s strong places. We destroy people’s arguments and every proud thing that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ. This means that when there are battles taking place in our minds (the plausible lies of Satan), our only defense is to take those lies captive by refuting them with the truth. So what is the truth when it comes to the assessment of our value?

The very first chapter of the first book of the Bible says that you and I were created in the image and likeness of God. (Genesis 1:26-27) God intends for us to identify with Him, not with our failures. Of course, we fail; we absolutely do things contrary to God’s image and likeness, but these things ought not redefine us. In fact God made a way through the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus to reestablish the direct connection between ourselves and the God we are intended to reflect. 1 John 1:9 says, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Why else would God pay such a high price to redeem us to himself if He didn’t think we were awesome!

Rather than try to convince you that I think God says you are awesome, I prefer He tell you Himself. In light of that, I offer the following from His own love letter to you.

God thinks we are so awesome that He cares deeply for each of us!

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Psalm 139:16-17 – You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!

Matthew 10:29-31 – What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

Romans 8:28-29 – And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

God thinks we are so awesome He has a plan for us!

1 Peter 2:9 – …for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

Ephesians 1:4-5 – Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 – This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.

2 Peter 1:3-4 – By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

He thinks we are so awesome He has promised to always be right by our side!

Psalm 94:14 – The Lord will not reject his people; he will not abandon his special possession.

Joshua 1:9 – This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 – Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

Romans 8:38-39 – And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

He thinks we are so awesome that He is looking forward to spending eternity with us!

John 3:16 – For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 6:22 – But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.

John 4:14 – But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.

John 14:2-3 – There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.

Revelation 21:3-4 – I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

So now, recognizing that your God is an awesome God, and He created you in His image and likeness, be encouraged by the truth of what His own word says He thinks of you and…Go Be Awesome!