The Superpower of God's Love

I few years ago, the school where I taught gave all the teachers a bright blue T-shirt, with a flowing red cape in the back. On the front was a bold Superman logo and the words, “I’m a Teacher. What’s your Superpower?” We had fun wearing the shirts and flexing our muscles in our classes that day. Lots of laughter and smiles filled the school! Together we were proud of, and confident in, our identity and value as those who love and teach kids. And the kids felt loved and valued as well!

From childhood on, humans wrestle with identity and value. “Who am I?” “What value, if any, do I have to offer others?” These are huge questions because what we believe about who we are deeply affects what we believe about the value we have to offer others. Many of us are not proud of or confident in who we are. We listen to the lies of the devil. We think our identity is determined by what job we have, how much money we make, what kind of home we live in, or what size clothes we wear. Perhaps we grew up in an atmosphere lacking affirmation, or where we were constantly being compared to others. (And we seemed to always come up lacking.)

If we believe the lie that our identity and value is found in how others see us or what others have said about us, it can be hard for us to freely pass on love, laughter, and value to others—even to our own kids, who need it so much.

But God has something to say about that, not on a T-shirt, but in his Word.

We ask, “Who am I?” God answers in his Word, “You are my beloved child!”

In the movie, A Little Princess, Sarah tells all the girls that they are princesses. When the mean Miss Minchen refutes that, Sarah cries out, “Yes, they are princesses! All girls are princesses! Didn’t your father tell you that?!”

Your heavenly Father tells you that. You are a beloved child of the heavenly King! Your Father God wants you to be sure of that. The kids around you are princesses and princes of the heavenly King! God wants them to be sure of that as well. They need to hear it from you often.

How can we be sure we are so loved by the Father? How can we know that our true identity is a lavishly loved child of the heavenly King? God tells us so in his Word, in many ways and in many places, such as 1 John 3:1, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

God accomplishes and confirms this relationship with him through water and Word in baptism. In Romans 6:3-4, Paul explains that when we are baptized, we are baptized into Christ Jesus. “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

At Jesus’ own baptism, the Father declares Jesus’ true identity: “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17, ESV). The Father pours out his unconditional love and approval on his Son!

The Father also declares what your family’s true identity is now in Christ: beloved children with whom he is well pleased. In his unconditional love, God accomplished everything needed for your salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection. When we are baptized into Christ Jesus, the Father pours out his unconditional love and approval on us—before we can do anything or earn anything. And the Father does this so each of us can now confidently live our lives out of the abundance and strength of our true identity.

When our daughter was a toddler, we began teaching her to confidently live out her identity as a child of God, with his strength. When she was afraid of monsters in the dark, we reminded her of who she was, a child of the King. Then we would sometimes hear her yelling from her dark room, “Go away, monsters! I’m baptized!” And she was off to sleep.

So, because we are beloved children of the heavenly King, what do we have of value to offer others? Jesus says we have the things of the kingdom. Paul explains it this way, “…love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). In other words, we have the superpower of God’s love!

So, if this is who we are and this is what we have of value to offer others, what do we do with it? What is our purpose? We get to generously offer his abundant love to those around us who need it so badly. “Freely you have received; freely give” (Matt. 10:8).

Imagine being a child growing up with parents, grandparents, mentors, teachers, coaches, and others pouring this truth into you, and you being convinced of it in your heart. God’s truth about your identity in Christ frees you to be confident in pouring his love and life into all those around you. What the Father says, and you believe, about your true identity, literally sets off a chain reaction in your inner being that affects everything and everyone around you. What ripples of love, laughter, smiles, and confidence in Christ! We will be more like Sarah than Miss Minchen… and even better, more like Jesus!

Your identity is a beloved child of the heavenly King. The identity of each of your kids is a beloved child of the heavenly King too. Remind them often…God loves us. He forgives us. We have all we need from him. He frees us from the lies. He frees us to confidently live life—bringing love, laughter, smiles, and value to the people around us.

Yes, I do believe teachers have superpowers. So do kids, parents, grandparents, coaches, mentors, doctors, nurses, first responders, postal workers, garbage collectors, servers, scientists, astronauts… and YOU! We may not have the T-shirt and cape, but God has lavished on us the superpower of his LOVE!

How will you use your superpower of God’s love today?
Susan Finke and her husband Greg are the founders of Dwelling 1:14. Dwelling 1:14 was created to come alongside Christians who are ready to gain clarity and simplicity about two things: how to join Jesus on his mission as part of their everyday lives and how to disciple more people to do the same. Greg and Susan offer consulting and training experiences for congregations and their leaders.

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