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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Who God Says You Are

Who God Says You Are

Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd of two-thousand women, J.John uses his trademark humor and compelling stories to convey four traits that God sees in each of us: We are lovable, we are valuable, we are forgiven, and we are capable.
Original Air Date: February 29, 2024

Rev. Canon J.John: It doesn’t matter how dirty, how creased. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been. You can’t alter the past. Bring the entire past to the altar of Jesus and he is gonna clean it, he’s gonna restore and he will reframe you. That is what he’s gonna do.

John Fuller: We have some great encouragement for you today from one of our most popular guests on this edition of Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. Thanks for joining us. I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: You know, John, sometimes we just need a reminder of how valuable we are in God’s eyes. It’s hard to even think that way. And that’s what our friend, J.John, is going to deliver today. This message was given to a crowd of over 2,000 women, uh, but the content is applicable for all of us. Uh, J.John is international speaker, an author. He and his wife, Kelly, live just outside London.

John: Well, here’s J.John recorded at the 2019 Zoe Women’s Conference, hosted by the Life Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on today’s episode of Focus on the Family.

J.John: I’m gonna tell you about four things that God says about each one of us, each one of you. The first thing he says is, “You are lovable.” Now, can you repeat this? I am lovable.

Audience: I am lovable.

J.John: You are indeed. The Bible says this, “This is how God showed His love among us. He sent His one and only son into the world that we might live through him.” Have you heard this? Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me. Has there ever been a greater untruth sung in the playground? That is not a nursery rhyme. That is a nursery crime. And we need to reject what has been spoken over us and hear what God speaks over us. There’s a lovely story when Jesus is asked by a desperate man, “Would he go and visit his sick daughter?” And he said, “Well, of course I’ll come and visit your sick daughter.”

So, Jesus is walking, he’s with his disciples, he’s going through this narrow lane, street, and people are hearing, “It’s Jesus, it’s Jesus.” It’s pretty congested. It’s pretty crowded. And then, all of a sudden, Jesus stops and he says, “Who touched me?” I mean, can you imagine, you know, you’re- you’re walking with a friend into a stadium, thousands of people are pouring in, and then your friend says, “Who touched me?” You’re like, “I wouldn’t worry about it. You know, chill out. There’s always gonna be a bit of an elbow.” I mean, even here tonight, there could’ve been a little bit of an elbow.

Jesus said, “Who touched me?” You know, the disciples are…Lord. I mean, it’s not a … Isn’t it? I mean, it’s not as if you’ve got a wallet and you’re gonna lose it. I mean, chill out, Lord. Jesus said, “Who touched me?” This woman came out of the crowd and she says, “I touched you.” And he said to her, “Why did you touch me?” Now, I- I think Jesus knew the answer, but he just wanted her to articulate it. And she- she had a woman’s problem and no one could help her. And she says, “I heard about you, Jesus, and I thought if I could reach and touch the hem, the hem of your garment. Not even touch your skin, just touch the hem of your garment, something would happen.”

Jesus said, “Did it happen?” Oh, yes. Now, this is the great thing about that story. The crowd was following Jesus, but Jesus stopped the whole crowd for one woman. So, even here tonight, you may feel, “Wow, I … There’s 2,000 women here. Does he know?” He knows. He knows. He knows. And all you do is reach out, he’ll stop for you. Why? Because you are lovable. So, repeat, I am lovable.

Audience: I am lovable.

J.John: Secondly, you are valuable. Now say, I am valuable.

Audience: I am valuable.

J.John: Listen to what Jesus said, “Look at the birds, they don’t plant, or harvest, or store food in barns, but God feeds them. Are you not more valuable to Him than these birds?” Listen to the birds. Jesus said, “Look at the birds. Are you not more valuable than they are?” And Jesus says, “Of course you are. You are far more valuable than those birds are, far more valuable.” I’ve got in my pocket a $50 bill. It’s a brand new one. It’s nice when they’re brand new, isn’t it? I like them, they’re really nice. And it’s crisp and it’s clean and it’s worth $50. Now, I know this was all beautifully cleaned, but of course many of us have walked up here with shoes from the outside.

So, maybe it’s a bit dusty. Yeah, I think I can see a little bit of dust there. Right, let’s put some dust on this $50 note. Is this illegal? Because in England, it’s illegal to step on the Queen. All right, let’s put a bit of dust, bit of dust. All right. Okay. There we are. Right. A moment ago, this was a clean, crisp $50 bill and it was worth $50. I can see that I’ve got dirt all over it, but it hasn’t lost its value. It’s still worth $50. But it, but it’s crisp. It’s a crisp $50 bill. Okay. I’m going to scrunch it up now. Okay. Now, I’ve got a scrunched up $50 bill. A moment ago, it was clean and crisp, it was worth $50.

Then it got dirt on it. It never lost its value. Now it’s all scrunched up and it hasn’t lost its value. Listen, it doesn’t matter how dirty, how scrunched up you think you are, you have never lost your value in God’s eyes. I am lovable.

Audience: I am lovable.

J.John: I am valuable.

Audience: I am valuable.

J.John: Thirdly, you are forgivable. Now say, I am forgivable.

Audience: I am forgivable.

J.John: Yes. The Bible says, “This is love, not that we love God, but that He loved us and sent His son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” The Psalmist wrote, “God, He forgives our sins. He has removed our sins as far from us as the East is from the West.” There’s a woman who had lots of problems and she went to see a psychotherapist. And the psychotherapist tried to work out, when did this woman’s problems all begin? And he journeyed through her life, eventually to a time when she was quite young and she was at school. And for some reason, her teacher took a great dislike to her. And the teacher said to her, “Come out here and write on the board, ‘I am a failure.’”

And then the teacher said to the rest of the class, “I want you all one-by-one to come out here and write what you think of her.” And the psychotherapist said, “Well, how did you feel when that was happening?” She said, “Well, I- I- I- I couldn’t look at anybody and- and- and I started to cry. And- and all I wanted to do was to die.” And the psychotherapist says, “As a Christian, I know that something else happened that day and I’m so sorry you were not aware of it. But when everybody else had finished writing on that board, there was a man at the back called Jesus. He got up from his desk, he walked to the front, he picked up an eraser. He erased everything that was written on that blackboard. And he wrote, ‘I love you and forgive you.’”

You see, maybe some of that stuff on the board was true. Maybe some of it was true. But whether it was true, whether it wasn’t true, Jesus wants to wipe it clean. Jesus did not come into this world to rub it in, but he came to rub it out. You are lovable. You are valuable. And you are forgivable. Jesus wants to cleanse us from the past. You and I cannot alter the past, but we can bring the past to the altar of God.

John: You’re listening to Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. And that’s British Evangelist, J.John. And we’re making this message available, along with three other great presentations from J.John in a complimentary audio bundle. Uh, we just wanted to encourage you, so stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast to access those, or call us if you need some guidance in doing that. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word, FAMILY. 800-232-6459. Let’s return now to more from J.John.

J.John: I’m from London. I was walking around London, there was this gigantic poster of a woman advertising lingerie. But obviously, she was also advertising various other parts of her anatomy. And someone wrote across the poster in large letters, S-I-N, sin. And somebody wrote underneath, “What is sin?” And I could see that loads of people had written definitions all over the poster. So, I went to read them. And I’m reading, I’m reading what everybody has written. And I disagree with everything people have written. So, I get my pen out and I wrote this, “Whoever knows what is right to do but fails to do it, for that person, it is sin.” And then I signed it, “James.”

And the reason I signed it, “James,” is because I didn’t want to get the credit for it, because James in the Bible wrote that. “Whoever knows what is right to do but fails to do it, for that person, it is sin.” Look, even by our own standards, we fail, let alone God’s standards. Yeah. And- and the great news is, the great news is, is that this Jesus has done something for each one of us. There was a famous artist and this famous artist went back to the very small rural community where he was born and brought up. And he’s walking around some of the stores, there’s an antique shop. He looks in the window, he cannot believe what he sees.

In the window, he sees one of his masterpieces. It was a painting that he’d painted years before he was famous, but it was his. The frame was broken, the picture was scratched and dirty. But he couldn’t go into the store and say, “That’s my painting, give it back to me.” If he wanted it back, he had to buy it back before he could clean it, restore it, reframe it. That is what Jesus did for us. So, look, it doesn’t matter how dirty, how creased. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been. You can’t alter the past. Bring the entire past to the altar of Jesus and he is gonna clean it, he’s gonna restore it, and he will reframe you. That is what he’s gonna do. One, I am lovable.

Audience: I am lovable.

J.John: Two, I am valuable.

Audience: I am valuable.

J.John: Three, I am forgivable.

Audience: I am forgivable.

J.John: And four, you are capable. Now say, I am capable.

Audience: I am capable.

J.John: You are absolutely capable. There was an ice factory that caught fire and this ice factory that produces ice caught fire. And they had to call the fire people to come and put the fire out, even though the- the factory had all the H2O it needed to put the fire out. But the problem was, all its assets were frozen. Now, when I was g-, I was growing up in London, I was an agnostic. I didn’t believe in God. I wasn’t interested in God. I didn’t know anything really. But when I was a student, I met a Christian. And then one day, he showed me in the last book of the Bible, in the book of Revelation, chapter three verse 20, there’s this beautiful picture of Jesus standing outside of a door of a house knocking.

And it says this, “If you hear the knock, open the door and let him in.” My friend read this to me and he said to me, “Have you heard Jesus knocking?” I said, “I think so.” He said, “Have you opened the door?” I said, “Where’s the door?” He said, “Don’t worry about where the door is, ask Jesus to break the door down.” On the 9th of February, 1975, I- I remember kneeling down, first time I ever knelt, was aware of kneeling, first time I ever prayed and I said, “Jesus, if you are knocking on my door, could you break that door down and come into my life?”

And as I said that, the light came on. The light came on. My heart, something happened. I could feel it in my heart, something happened. Something shifted. I didn’t have the vocabulary to explain what had happened, but I knew that the light had come on. I knew that- that something happened in my heart. My mother said to me, “You’re brainwashed.” I said, “Mother, my brain has been washed. If you only knew what was in my brain, you’d be pleased it got washed.” And Jesus came into my life and Jesus came into my house. That is such a beautiful, helpful analogy for us.

We- we invite Jesus to come in, not to be our landlord but to be our Lord. Not just to be resident, but to be president. Yeah? It’s very easy to say, “Oh, come in. Come in.” And then you open this cupboard, “Get in there.” Did that resonate? Did that resonate? I want you in my life, w- bu- but y- restricted. I want you in my life, but only, you can hang out there. No. The Bible says, “When he comes into our lives, he comes into our lives by his Holy Spirit.” And the Bible says, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit, do not quench the Holy Spirit, do not resist the Holy Spirit.” Three do nots. Don’t resist him. Don’t quench him. Don’t grieve him.

So, what we need to do is to say, “Come on down to the basement of our lives. Clear out all the cobwebs. Come into the attic of our lives. Clear out all the, all the bats. Come into the sitting room of our lives. Come into the- the dining room of our lives. Come into the kitchen of our lives. Come into the bedroom of our lives. Come into this room of our life. Come into that … It- it’s all yours. Jesus, I want you to be resident and president. Reign and rule in my life. Reign and rule in my heart. Reign and rule in my mind.” Do you know, as we do that, his spirit living in us … This is the incredible thing. His spirit living in us is the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.

Wow, wait a minute. Wait a minute. The same? Yep. The same in here? The sa- … Yes, the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from- from the dead lives in us. Now, if the Holy Spirit lives in us, oh my word, and it can raise Jesus from the dead, uh, wow. There’s a lot in here. Yeah? Therefore, I am capable. Therefore, you are capable. Therefore, everything is possible. Everything. If you’ve got God’s Holy Spirit, everything is possible. Miracles are possible. Everything is possible, because His spirit is living in us.

Our next door neighbors, they’re not Christians yet, but they call my wife and I, the neighbors from heaven. Which is really nice, isn’t it? Well, we wouldn’t want to be called the neighbors from the other side, would we? The lady next door, she had a stroke. And as a consequence of the stroke, she fell into a coma. And she got transferred from our local hospital to a r- a big hospital in Oxford. And her daughter came around and spoke to my wife and she said to her, “We’ve just met with a consultant and they’ve told us that mom is brain dead and she’s on a life support machine for … And we’ve decided that after five days, we’re gonna switch the machine off.”

So, my wife said, “Well, look, can we visit your mother before you switch the machine off and she dies?” And the daughter said, “Oh, please. If- if you could visit my mother, uh, we’d be so grateful because my mother was so, was … Just loved you guys.” So, great, we’re gonna go. The only day I could go was the fifth day. So, fifth day, we have to drive to another city. And I’m a little bit irritated, because I’m like, “Ah, she was in local hospital. Now we got to drive an hour.” You know? And then, you don’t know this hospital and you don’t know where to park the car. And I was a bit irritable.

Anyway, we eventually get there and she’s in intensive care. We walk in and she’s got tubes all over her. So, I start speaking to her, “Hi, Joyce.” I said, “It’s the neighbors from heaven.” I said, “We’ve just come to say a prayer with you.” And she had tubes … I took her by the hand. I held Kelly’s hand. Kelly held her other hand. And I start speaking to her. I said, “Now, what we’re gonna do now, Joyce, we’re gonna pray the Lord’s Prayer. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come … ” And when we said, “Your kingdom come,” she woke up.

We went back. I said to her husband, “She woke up.” He goes, “No, she didn’t.” I say, “She did.” He said, “No, she didn’t.” I say, “She did.” S- he goes, “She’s brain dead. She didn’t wake up.” I said, “She did.” Anyway, it didn’t matter, she came home the following week. She’s still alive. Look, you see, when you’ve let Jesus into your heart here, it’s like, whoa, whoa, whoa, you are carrying resurrection fire. Right? Now look, we live in a world of miracle and mystery. Okay? Uh, y- look, that’s the world in which we live in. W- don’t try and figure it all out. God is God. He’s not applying for the job.

So, uh, you just got to trust Him. But, in the meantime, just be channels of that grace, of that love, of that power to other people. We carry the presence of Jesus. Listen, you are lovable. You are valuable. You are forgivable. And you are capable. And what … You know, if you’re gonna get the most out of the next 24 hours, it begins with saying, Jesus, I open the door. L- come in. Come in and cleanse me. Set me free from the past. Come in and heal me.

For those of us that have already got Jesus in our, in our h- lives and homes, it- it might be that we’ve got to say, “Jesus, I know you’re already in, but I’ve restricted you. I’ve restricted you. But I- I don’t want to restrict you anymore. I want you to reign and rule in my life. I want you to be resident and president. I want you to go into every room of my life and be who you want to be and I want to be a channel of whatever you want me to be.” That’s where it begins with. It begins with that.

John: And that’s where we’ll end this powerful message from British Evangelist, J.John, on today’s Focus on the Family.

Jim: Yeah, J.John invited the audience to stand up at this point and he gave everyone an opportunity to ask Jesus Christ into their hearts for the first time, or to reconnect with the Lord after a period of separation. So, why don’t we do that today, right now? Pray with me. Thank you, Jesus, for knocking on my door. I open the door of my life right now. I know I have done many things wrong and I ask you to forgive me. Cleanse my life, set me free from the past. I invite you now into my life. Come in by your Holy Spirit, fill me with your presence, your peace and your power. Thank you, Jesus, that I am lovable, valuable, forgivable and capable. Thank you, Lord, for hearing and answering my prayer. Amen.

And if you, uh, prayed that prayer with me, well done. Welcome to the family of God. Uh, please get in touch with us so that we can congratulate you and give you some follow-up materials, like our Coming Home booklet which will explain what it means to be a follower of Christ and give you some next steps to take. And we really want to bless you with more insight and encouragement, so we’ve put together a special bundle featuring four powerful messages from J.John, including the one you heard today with some extra content. Visit us online for that complimentary access.

John: You know, this really is quite a collection from J.John and it includes the titles, Reasons to Believe in Jesus, Gaining a New Perspective on Life, and Unwrapping the Real Meaning of Christmas. And you can just visit our website to get started. That’s focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Or call us if you need some help. Our number is 800-232-6459. 800, the letter A, and the word, FAMILY. Next time, you’ll hear how to help your child grow to have a servant’s heart.

Monica Swanson: We need to pray for our kids and we need to just make sure that they understand that this isn’t about religion, but about a relationship with God through Jesus. And I think that once they catch that, then it’s really out of our hands and it’s more between them and God.

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