We continue to talk about a serious and very difficult topic with a message that I’m excited to write. It’s important that we make sure that people of all ages know that no matter what they are going through, no matter what they have done, and no matter where they are in life…you are loved and you are valuable.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time introducing today’s message…I’ know I keep repeating that this is a difficult topic to talk about, but the reason I keep saying it…is because it’s the truth. This is not an easy thing to write about, but it’s necessary because of the volume of children 6 out of every 10 that are at the very least considering suicide.
With a statistic like that…there’s no need to spend a lot of time introducing today’s message. There is, however, need to pray over it…and therefore I believe the appropriate way to start today’s message is by praying and asking the Holy Ghost to help us…Amen.
Heavenly Father, I come before You, Lord…seeking the help of the Holy Ghost with this message. I ask, Lord, that You would anoint my fingers to type a message that will pierce the hearts of those who are reading. I ask that You would anoint me with boldness, clarity, and that everything I would write would be from Your heart.
I ask, Lord God, that You would make my fingers as that of a pen of a ready writer…writing only of the oracles of You, and for the supernatural ability that comes from the Holy Ghost.
I ask for the readers, Lord God, that You would give them ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts that are receptive and will respond to what they read.
I ask for those who are suffering and hurting…I ask that You would get this message to them, Father God, and that You would touch them in the way that only You can.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for helping me, for anointing me, and for giving me the ability to write this message…and I ask most of all that You, Lord Jesus, would be glorified through this message. In Jesus name…Amen & Amen
Today’s Message: “You Are Loved”
One of the biggest lies satan comes at you with when you’re contemplating the worth of your life is that no one loves you and that no one would miss you if you weren’t here. It’s the absolute worst thing to hear when you feel like your life isn’t worth living, and when you get to that place satan couldn’t be happier…because that’s when he can get your attention the easiest.
Think about it. Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights…and the first thing satan did was tempt Jesus to turn stones into bread so He could have something to eat. He picks the greatest moments of weakness to attack because that’s the opportune time he is looking for.
Remember at the end of Jesus’ encounter with satan, the Bible says that satan went away until another more opportune time? The moment of weakness is what he looks for because he knows that you’re more likely to listen to him then the spirit of God.
So, the first thing that is important is to know that you are valuable…so valuable, in fact, that God sent Jesus as proof that you’re not only valuable…but God thinks that you are to die for…and so He did…die for you.
Have you ever felt unlovable, as if no one could ever love the real you?
One of the reasons this series is so hard for me to write is because even though I’m nearly 40 years old I can relate to the feelings and thoughts and struggles of the teenagers that follow me on Twitter…and that’s because I remember what it was like to be a teenager…and more specifically…I remember having the same struggles and thoughts.
I remember there were times as far back as my Junior High years feeling absolutely alone, and like my life meant nothing to anyone. I know that there have been some who have stopped following me because of what I’m writing, but if you think I’m just going to sit idly by and allow the cries for help I read about on my Twitter timeline to go in one ear and out the other…you’re the one with the problem.
By the way……….
Listen, if you’re offended because someone finally decided to get real about suicide…then you’re the one with the problem, and not me. I’m not here to be popular I am here to reach those whom the Lord desires me to reach…and since the good majority of the people who follow me via Twitter are teenagers…and also a good majority of them write about having suicidal thoughts and thoughts about cutting themselves and doing other self-harm things…I am going to listen to the Holy Ghost when He says…I want you to reach out to them…and I want you to do that through this series.
So, if you’re offended by what I’m writing. If you’re offended because I’m willing to peel the onion back, be transparent and honest about my life as a teenager…then you’re welcome to leave and just know that those who do leave I block because I don’t want you back. I want people who have a heart for Jesus, and some times when you have a heart for Jesus you have to be willing to talk about the difficult subjects because life can’t always be about being the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus…some times we have to talk about a topic like suicide because it’s something that is breaking God’s heart…and it’s time that the church stop pretending to give a damn…and really stand up and say that it’s time we stand in the gap for our children and start helping them to understand that not only are they loved and valuable, but that there lives are just beginning…and that their lives are not worthless…and that God has a purpose and a plan for their lives…and God also has people who each person is meant to reach…and when we decide to take our lives…we take away our opportunity to minister to the very people God has appointed and anointed us to reach.
So, if you want to unfollow me because I am writing about this topic, and if you think that a man of God shouldn’t be able to relate to people who want to commit suicide…and who know what that’s like because at one time in my life I wanted to die too…I am not going to apologize. I am not going to beg you to stay. This ministry isn’t about me…it’s about God…and if He wants me to be honest and transparent and write about something like this…then I am going to be honest, transparent, and write about stuff like this…because it’s necessary.
I will write these messages even if I’m writing them to myself. It doesn’t’ matter how many people unfollow me. I am going to do what I sense the Holy Ghost wanting me to do, and if that’s offensive to you…then hit the road…and know that you will be blocked so you won’t be able to come back. ~ Pastor Bryan J. Kizer
Now, back to the message….I apologize for having to say those things, but I am not going to apologize for what I write because what I write is directed by the Holy Ghost. Including being honest about where I was and where I am now.
I know how it feels to question whether or not you’re loved. I know how it feels to question whether or not your life means anything to anyone. I know how that is, I know how that feels, and for me to pretend I don’t for the sake of not offending my followers is irresponsible.
So, I have to answer yes to this question. I have felt unlovable. I have felt invisible. I have felt worthless, redeemless, and that no one…including God…could ever love the real me…and that’s why I feel like maybe I’m the right person to write about this kind of series…because I have been there and I understand and I have overcome by the Blood of the Lamb.
The truth is, you are loved unconditionally by the God that created you. No matter what mistakes you’ve made, or how unworthy of love you think you are, God still calls you His child.
I had a very difficult time believing this for a long, long time. I had a very difficult time believing that God could ever look at me with anything other than complete disgust over my life, what I’ve done, and who I had become. I have looked in many a mirror wondering what anyone including God could ever see in a bum like me.
I know what it’s like to live in the pig pen of life just like the prodigal son did. I know what it’s like to live free willed doing whatever I wanted regardless of the consequences. Some of those decisions landed me in jail, some of those decisions caused me to hurt many people, and there’s so much more to all of what I have done and been through that made me look at myself and never really think that not only could no one else really love me, but I never could’ve imagined that God really loved me.
Listen, I heard it and read it many times, too. However, there’s a difference between hearing it from preachers and reading it in the Bible, and hearing the words “I love you, son” spoken by God, Himself…and I will always admit that was the moment that changed my life forever.
Since God personally spoke that He loved me…I haven’t been the same. It meant more to me than any single person who has ever breathed the words I love you to me. It was the single most important thing I’ve ever heard…and because I knew it was God’s voice…it was something that has changed my life.
I heard those words from hundreds of people who used my life like a revolving door. Many came into and left my life as they wanted. I used to once live as thought Johnny Cash’s version of the song “Hurt” was my life’s story…and let me tell you that song the first time I heard it made me sob because I knew in some strange way it was telling my life’s story.
That was until I put down the pen, and gave it to God. You see, a lot of our problem is that we’re writing the story of our lives, and when ever we want control over anything that God should have control over…we are going to screw it up. I am just being real here. I’m willing to admit that since I’ve stopped trying to control so much of what happens in my life…until I relinquished writing my story…and allowing God to write it…things have changed…and they have changed for the better.
No, that doesn’t mean life is all roses and sunshine and rainbows. I have plenty of cloudy, ugly times, but the difference is that I know there’s sunlight at the end…make that Son-light.
Back to the message….
What can be difficult for us to understand is that God doesn’t just love us, He actually is love. God is the very essence of love–a love that the Bible says we can know and rely on. And this love that God gives so freely to us? We can’t ever be torn away from it. Death, life, the present, the future–none of these has enough power to separate us from the love of God!
God is love. God is the very essence of love. As a pastor and a Christian I am responsible for being an Ambassador for Christ, and by doing so I ought to also have love be the very essence of who I am…and the motive behind everything I do.
When I was in the midst of the struggles to understand the worth of my life…the last thing I was concerned about was having any kind of resemblance to my Father. I couldn’t love anyone because I didn’t love myself, I didn’t realize I had the love of God shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost, and I never understood for a moment that love was the greatest identifying fruit of a true disciple.
There’s a phrase around the 12 Step groups that I’ve always found to be true, and that statement is that we “cannot transmit something we don’t have”. I was completely unaware that as a child of God I had the love of God in my heart. I certainly didn’t love myself so I couldn’t love you and I couldn’t love God neither.
Once I began to understand that God loved me regardless of where I was, what I did, or who I had become…that began the change. When I began to understand grace I began to understand forgiveness, and once I was able to understand those things…I began to have my heart melted by the Holy Ghost…and the bitterness was replaced by love.
Those who are forgiven of much…love much. I can certainly admit that I needed God to forgive me for a lot…and the more He forgave and cleansed my heart the more love began to fill in where the guilt and resentments were. His love began to heal my heart, and the more His love healed my heart the more His love filled my heart.
That’s why I cannot sit idly by any longer, and not take the time to do a series like this because I am genuinely concerned about the rate of youth in this nation that are harming themselves, considering and attempting and sadly succeeding at committing suicide.
I know you’re going to ask me how in the world I can care about, and have love for people who I’ve never seen…it’s because of the love of God that’s in my heart. I’m certainly not called to be youth pastor, but at the same time many of the followers I have are under the age of 20…and to read so many of them tweeting about how little they feel their lives are worth…it breaks my heart…and if it breaks my heart…I know God’s heart is breaking over this too.
The true mark of a disciple is when your heart begins to break for the things that break the heart of God. When your concerned about the things that God is concerned about. When you’re willing to talk about subjects that are difficult to talk about because the Holy Ghost wants to speak on them…and you’re the vessel for Him to speak.
Let’s go deeper. I have never actually seen God, but I love Him with all my heart. I know that He exists. I know that He loves me. I know what His arms feel like. I know what His touch feels like. So, even thought I’ve never seen Him…I love Him. Even though I’ve never seen or met my followers I love them…and care about them…and want them to know that someone is listening to them…and isn’t just giving lip service about that…I genuinely care about the people who God has entrusted to this ministry…and I want them to know that beyond me…God really loves them…and that they’re worthy of life, and that they’re so valuable to God that He gave the life of His Son to prove it.
God doesn’t just say He loves us, though. He proved it to us, by sending His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to die as payment for all the sins of humanity. Jesus didn’t stay dead–He rose from the grave, defeating death and providing a way for us to have a relationship with Him for the rest of our lives and all eternity. All you have to do is accept the free gift of His love and commit yourself to following Him. You are loved!
Listen, everyone knows what John 3:16 says, but I don’t think we really understand what it means. I think there’s a lot in the Bible that speaks of God’s love that we know what it says, but we don’t really know what it means. If we really understood how much God loves us then there wouldn’t be a need for me to write about a topic like suicide because we’d already know that no matter what happens in our lives and no matter who stays in our lives or leaves our lives…we would never question for a moment our worth or value because we’d know without a doubt that no matter what happens God still loves us and we are still the apple of God’s eye.
Listen. The number one area that every single Christian struggles with is their walk with God, and the number one reason for that struggle is that we have very little revelation or understanding of just how much God loves us…and just how valuable we are to Him…and when it comes to reading the Bible as I mentioned a minute ago…we know that God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, but we don’t really understand that the reason He gave His Son was for US…and to prove to US just how much He loves us and values us…He valued us above His own life.
He completed the sacrifice that He wouldn’t allow Abraham to make…and what we don’t seem to get about the whole thing of Jesus going to the Cross is that while it takes away our sin and heals our sickness and restored to us the authority that Adam and Eve surrendered…the more important thing for us to really grasp and understand is that this is how God showed His love for us in that while we were yet sinners.
The truth is there’s nothing more important than a life…a human life…and God came to us in the form of a man to live like we did, to understand our struggles, to show us that we could overcome our struggles, and the single most important thing that God wanted us to know from all of this was that God so loved the world.
Many of us know that we can personalize John 3:16, but how many of us actually do? Try it for a moment. Try saying to yourself the following:
“For God so loved (insert your name here), that he gave his only begotten Son, so that when (insert your name here) believeth in him (insert your name here) should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The most important thing to understand about this whole passage isn’t that God so loved the world, but that God so loved YOU that He gave His only begotten Son so that when you became a believer you would have everlasting life…Jesus died to prove God’s love for you, and while it’s important to know that it produced the blood that washes away our sin, and it broke the body that provides the healing for our broken bodies…the most important thing about this whole thing is that we would understand that we are loved beyond anything we could comprehend.
So, God wants us to know above all that He loves us with an everlasting, unconditional, perfect love that never fails, never fades, and can never be taken from us…nor can it be equaled. God wants us to understand that beyond everyone else who either stays or leaves our lives…He will never leave us nor forsake us…and that’s what helped me to come to understand that my worth has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the Cross.
Today, I understand that no matter what happens in my life, and no matter who comes and goes into and out of my life…God is always there and will always love me. There was a day that I didn’t believe than…nor was it enough…but today…that knowledge is all I need. I frequently mention the day He told me He loved me changed my life forever because it was finally real…and since then…I have never questioned my worth again…and I hope that one day you will get to that place too…but in order to get there…
YOU CANNOT EVER GIVE UP!!!
God, thank You for not just loving me, but for being the very definition of love. Even when I feel undeserving of anyone’s love, You still love me–and nothing can ever change that! Today, I accept Your gift of love that You gave through Your son Jesus and ask You for a new start on my life. I commit my life fully to You. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.
I don’t have much to say in closing this message other than to say that if you know someone who needs help…get it for them or get them to it. If you don’t know where to go or need resources…you’re in luck. I have them right here…as promised I am going to post these at the end of every message.
- Call and talk with someone who’s ready to listen 24/7: 1-800-273-8255 (USA only)
- Log on to Church Online at http://live.lifechurch.tv and click the Live Prayer button under the video to chat and pray one-on-one with someone who cares.
- For outside the USA, find resources in your area: click here.
- Reach out to a Church Online volunteer to pray with you via email: click here.
Blessings & Grace & Love to you.
Pastor Bryan J. Kizer
Christlike Ministries NWA
“My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 16:24)