You are special!
Special: Distinguished or different from what is usual or ordinary. Did you ever stop to think of yourself as "special"? If you haven't, here are some things you may not have considered in thinking of yourself as "special". A "special" person has a specific purpose in life. They are particularly "valued". They have a distinct character. Now, does that describe you? It does if you are a child of the Lord! He declares us to be all of these things and more! As his kids, we have been called to a special purpose - to serve him faithfully. As his children, we are valued above all other things within his focus. As his "kin", we are given a very distinctive character as a matter of our "inherited" nature (the nature of Christ birthed within us). We are indeed "special".
You can be sure that anyone who serves the Lord faithfully is special to him. The Lord listens when I pray to him. (Psalm 4:3 ERV)
Anyone who serves the Lord faithfully is special to him. Two conditions: Service and Faithfulness. They go hand-in-hand and cannot easily be separated. They indeed describe the activity of a child of the King of Kings. Service implies being active in some form of endeavor. Sometimes it is easier to understand the meaning of a term by looking at the exact opposite of the term. For example, when we look at the antonym (exact opposite) of service we find the words "hindrance" and "disfavor". In other words, when we are not serving Jesus as we were designed to serve him, we are a hindrance not only to ourselves, but to the advancement of his kingdom on this earth. We bring "disfavor" or cause others to disregard the beauty and importance of his love and grace. So, being of service to him means we don't live as "barriers" to the evidence of his love and grace in this world.
Faithfulness is descriptive of the character trait of allegiance or trustworthiness. In essence, the child of God is aligned with is purpose - moving according to his plans - and is totally committed to the course outlined by him. There isn't this resistance to the "plan", but a commitment to stick with it, even when it gets a little rougher than we imagined. The opposite of faithfulness is "disloyalty" or "inconsistency". In essence, the child of God is to be both "loyal" and "consistent" or "constant" in their dedication to his purpose. Now, at first this seems a little simplified, but we all know how especially hard it is to remain consistent with anything in our lives! We are easily distracted people! We find all kinds of things to focus our attention on without much effort at all!
Putting these two together is important - we cannot serve without faithfulness being the hallmark of that service. We cannot be faithful in our service without Christ first bringing us close enough to him to know just how very special we are to him. Some of us have no real concept of being "special" to anyone - let alone Jesus. In times past, others have told us how insignificant we were in the scheme of things, or that our contributions really don't matter when it came to the good of the whole. Here is the truth - we are declared and made special in God's family. Declared special by God himself. Made special through the creative work of his hands and the determined passion of his love.
Assurance is something which comes from really believing something - standing upon it as though your very life depended on it. This is what our writer has in mind when he says we can "be sure" that we are special to God. We can stand with assurance - not because we "do" anything to become special to him, but because we are "made special" by him. We have been transformed - created anew. In that one act in our lives, we are made into what he already declared us to be - "special". You see, we aren't "special" to God after we come to Christ - we are declared "special" to him even before we said "yes"! He loved us enough to seek us our as the objects of his affection - even before we learned to serve him or be faithful in the pursuit of his grace and love in our lives on an everyday basis. This might just help us to understand "special" in a whole new light. Being "special" to God means he sees us as anything other than ordinary - and he makes us all things "extraordinary" by his grace and love bestowed lavishly in our lives. Just sayin!