Stuff I can teach my Kids

The most significant privilege I have is being a Dad. I can remember the moment when my life changed forever, and I held Katie for the first time. She was finally here. She had not done anything but be born, and I already was the proudest Dad in the world. Then Reuben came along and again I was made up and over the moon.

People had given us the scare stories like, you will never sleep again for six months. They were right. Going out will never be the same, you will need to bring everything with you, including the kitchen sink, they were right. I do not deny functioning on two hours sleep was hard, but what a privilege. It is by far the most fulfilling thing in my life – being a Dad. With that privilege though comes responsibility and it means stepping up to the plate.

My kids are at the stage where they think I can do everything, fix everything, and have an answer for everything. The reality is one day they will grow up and see for themselves that is not the case. So, can I make the most of this time and affect their lives for good. What is some of the stuff as a Dad I can do for my kids, what could they learn from me?  

First up and top of the shop – Ride a bike.  

This is the fun part. That first moment of watching Katie cycle on her own for the first time with no stabilizers was a proud moment. There was a sense of achievement, excitement, and that was just me. I only get one crack at this because if I were to hold her on her bike now, I would get the death stare.    

Secondly – how to have a laugh.  

Katie and Reuben think I am the funniest person in the world – they said so themselves on the church Father’s Day video over lockdown. I will take that. They get their sense of humour from me and their brains from their mum. I will let you decide where their looks came from. I am always raking about with them, especially at bedtime when Nichola has them just settled, and I come in from church. They are the best boost for when things did not go as well as I predicted.   

Thirdly and now it is getting serious – Stick up for themselves.   

I make no bones about this; Katie and Rueben will be told to stick up for themselves and for each other. I want them to know the difference between right and wrong, when to be firm with others and when not to overact. They are growing up in different times when I was their age. Still, I know there will come a moment when they will need to be ready to stick up for themselves and when that moment comes I want them to be prepared to look after themselves and each other.  

Next – Respect your mummy.  

You only get one mummy, and for them, it is Nichola. She is the best mum for our kids and does everything she can for them, and I love her. This is where the power, of example, really comes into the equation. They watch me as a dad in I how to speak to Nichola and treat her. A Dad is the most powerful example in a child’s life, and in this area, they will follow me. They need to see me love, encourage, support, and say sorry to Nichola and not be passive or distant.  

Lastly, for now – make a home somewhere they want to be.  

Katie and Reuben see everything that goes on in our home. When the front door is closed, I want as a dad for the home to be a place where they feel safe, loved and fun. I want a home to be just that – home. Somewhere they can be themselves and come home to mum and Dad.   

I have not referred to scripture so far in all of this, but I will now. In Luke 15, Jesus gives us this picture of a father and son relationship. During his young life, the son wanted to change things up a little and be more rebellious. He hits rock bottom. His world has fallen apart, but what I love about this story is this, there was a place called home he was always wanted and welcome there. More than that there was a dad he could still turn too. This dad was flexible.

When the son asked for his share in the inheritance, he was basically wishing his Dad to be dead. Fairly sure as the father that stung a little. Did it stop him loving the son? No. Did it stop him giving his son his inheritance? No. He was flexible enough to let him live his life. The father did not compromise his standards, he had raised his son well but recognized there came a moment where he had to choose for himself.   

We then have this image of the father running to the son when he came home. Luke 15:20 says “When he was a great way off, his father saw him”. I love that. That can only mean the father was watching every day for him to come home. The father wanted him home, and the son was welcome home after everything he had done, he still had a dad and a home to go too. Part of the reason the father wanted to get to him first was to hide his shame from the others in town.

So, he gets to the son, and he kisses him, the son does not even get to finish his rehearsed speech. The father just says, “Bring the ring, bring the robe, bring the shoes, bring the calf because we are having a party.”  

What do I want in years to come for Katie and Reuben? That there is a home they can always come home too and a Dad who loves them no matter what.

God’s Amplifying Power

freely-10210

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

I wonder if you are like me and you have ever prayed for something with all the faith you could muster, all the fervency you could within you, asked God for something and it felt like He didn’t do anything you wanted. I mean you did everything, you fasted, you went to the front of the prayer line, you bargained with God and promised everything. Still nothing.

I’ve been there. We all have at some point.

So has Paul the Apostle.

Paul was in a battle, he was feeling the heat from the enemy and the pressure was unrelenting. He uses the word “Buffeted” in verse 7 of 2 Corinthians 12. Now, this is not a food buffet, although it feels like he was dinner for the enemy. The word buffeted carries with the idea of a clenched fist. The enemy was beating Paul, he was not holding back. Paul is living with this and he can’t figure a way out of it, he can’t see the end in sight.

So what does Paul do? He prays. Three times he enters this season of prayer for God to change this, call it off, give a word for this messenger to back off. Until finally the LORD answers him.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

The LORD didn’t give Paul the answer he was looking for. He got so much more.

Paul heard the voice of the LORD, “But he said to me…”

At the start of this year, I was in a conversation with another Pastor and it was as if he just put his finger on something for me. I was hearing the voice of so many other things around me, that was distracting me, pulling me this way or that. We all experience this from time to time. You might hear that voice that accuses you, tells you are not good enough or there are so many other things in your life making so much noise.

Sometimes what we need to do or experience is what Paul got. He heard from the LORD. We need to at times turn the volume of His voice up in our lives or tune into what He says. The LORD said to Paul “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”.

We all know what it is experience a thing called amplification. If we are at a concert we benefit from amplification. What amplification does is takes a signal that weak and makes it stronger. Someone probably can give a better definition than that, this will suffice for me. The guy at a concert playing his guitar doesn’t have to hit the string harder to be heard because the process of amplification is at work for him.

God does the same for us in our areas of weakness. We don’t need to try harder or make more effort. No, God takes our weakness and listen to what He does, we do nothing, its so good, listen “my power is made perfect in weakness.”

God has always been doing this, go back to Isaiah 40:29 “He gives power to the weak, “And to those who have no might He increases strength.” God takes our puny feeble strength and puts His to it. We just need to trust, rest, wait on Him.

Paul then says this, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

In other words, Paul is saying, see if I have God’s grace in me and on me, I can face it, I can endure or go through it.

Maybe you are like me and maybe need to reminded now and then God knows best. Maybe it isn’t a change in circumstances, maybe isn’t the prayer answered the way you think, maybe it is just a fresh glimpse of His grace in your life. Grace isn’t just for us at the beginning of our salvation, it’s for the whole way through. The hymn writer said it best

Through many dangers, toils, and snares

I have already come

‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far

And grace will lead me home

Where your treasure is…

What is that one thing that consumes you? What is that one thing that dominates your thoughts, your conversation? When other people think of you what are you known for?

Jesus said where your treasure is there your heart will be also. Now he isn’t talking pirate language here and going for a search for treasure on some island with Captain Jack Sparrow. Jesus just says that if you really what to know what matters to you, what you place value on is where your heart will be. That what you will think about, dwell on, dream about.

The word for heart here is ‘kardia’ however Jesus is not referring to the organ that pumps blood round your body to keep you alive. He is talking about your affections.

To treasure something is to store it up. It is accumulating something for yourself that makes no difference to other people lives, has no eternal value or weight. It is living for yourself with no thought of those around you. It’s this mode of think Jesus is going after after.

Our world and the Kingdom have completely contrasting value systems. Our world says keep it, get more, get the new one. Jesus just says, sell it or give it away. It’s an irrational way of living nearly that not consumed with this world but consumed with the Kingdom.

Jesus just comes along and challenged those in his day and us now with our investment strategy, are we investing in this world or are we investing for eternity. What are you storing up today?

It’s a matter of the heart. As Jack Sparrow once said “Not all treasure is silver and gold mate”.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Luke 12:34 CSB

Your Inner Barnabas

Someone somewhere needs to hear your positive voice of encouragement. There is somebody out there who is hanging on by the fingertips, full of worry, doubt and confusion, who needs you.

There is a man in the New Testament who was that person, that voice of support. We get to meet him for the first time towards the end of Acts 4 and his name is Joseph.

“Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭4:36-37‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I imagine Barnabas was the kind of guy you would love to be around. He would be that guy who never would have a bad word spoken about anybody, who always makes you feel good and brings out the best in you.

Everyone needs encouragement. All of us are prone to moments of despair, discouragement and worry. Winston Churchill defined worry as “an emotional reaction that occurs when the mind catches hold of something and will not let it go.” None of us are immune to this.

We all need a Barnabas in our lives, we all need that voice of encouragement and I believe God has gifted people within his body who supernaturally (yes I used that word) encourage others. It’s like they are in the zone or hitting their sweet spot when they are giving out to others, putting strength in where there was weakness, speaking love where there was hate, lifting pressure off where there was a heavy heart. It’s like this gift just gets activated in them if I can say that.

So what can we learn from this guy in the book of Acts?

Firstly, Barnabas was a giver.

Barnabas sold a piece of land and laid the money at the apostle’s feet. He didn’t hold it back, he didn’t keep even a tiny percentage to himself. He was unselfish in his giving. His whole thought process was “how can I serve? How can I make a difference? How can I change someone else’s life? How can I bless someone?”

There was no showmanship about him. He didn’t place any demands on the money he was handing over. He simply wasn’t looking for anything but to give out and expected nothing in return. He was not looking for any credit.

Secondly, Barnabas got passionate about seeing others advance.

This is the litmus test.

In acts 11 we are told that the church had been scattered because of the death of Stephen, this resulted in many turning over their lives to Christ as the church was pushed out. God always turns a minus into a plus. The Church was exploding all over the place and they needed someone to turn too. They needed someone who could guide these new believers and take them to the next level. That person was Barnabas.

When Barnabas arrives he recognises very quickly the hand of the Lord. He all of a sudden can’t contain himself. He sees the grace of God in their lives and encourages them to remain faithful to the Lord with a steadfast purpose. That’s like oxygen to a new believer in Christ. Right man and the right place.

I’ve had people get excited for me. I owe them big time, they have sown into my life and in the background when no one else was looking told me “Just go for it”.

People like Barnabas don’t get jealous, they get excited at other people advancing.

Thirdly, Barnabas saw the best in others.

One verse says it all Acts 11:25 “So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul,”

No one else wanted to be around Saul let alone go and look for him. Barnabas went on the lookout for Saul.

Today we would be thinking “How are we going to cope with all these new believers? Surely they need to enrol in some program and watch niche videos.” Not Barnabas, he hunts out Saul later known as Paul and for a year they knocked their pans in encouraging the life out of this Church. Until, in Acts 13 the Holy Spirit decides the whole Church needs exposed to this ministry, and get this, the Church released them with their blessing. Barnabas saw the need and He met it with Paul. He recognised my role here is a background role.

During the Olympics, there is one race I look forward to most, the 100m relay. The reason why is because this is a team race, unlike most of the other events. In the relay it is not about the individual, it is all about the team. Each member understanding, encouraging, and running for one another. That is what a Barnabas does, they are team players.

The encouragement you give someone today could have a ripple effect that could make a difference. It might be a small act but have a big impact. Give it unreservedly, don’t hold it back, speak it out, show it and be intentional about it. When you encourage someone, the sky is the limit.

Psalm 75:1i

We give thanks to you, O God;

we give thanks, for your name is near.

We recount your wondrous deeds.

Psalm 75:1

Sat down today and thought through this wee scripture.

We give thanks to you, O God

I need to stop more often and give thanks to God for who He is.  It is so easy to come before God with all that surrounds me, what I am dealing with, fears and stresses. I know God cares about all this “stuff” it’s not biggy to Him but I am not asked to come into His presence with complaining or strains.  I am to come with Thanks.  When I do that i find that is the beginning point when i  turn over all my fears, worries and everything to Him. He can carry that plus us.

So Lord I give thanks for who you are.

Which leads into We give thanks, for your name

God met moses at a burning bush and the way he chose to reveal himself was in His name.  It speaks of who He is.  He reveals Himself through His  great name.  That name is Jehovah.  He is the self existing one, the eternal one.  There is no one before Him, no one who can compete with Him.

We give thanks, for your name is near

The self existing one, the eternal one is near in time and place.  He is not far off, He is within reach.  I love the thought that He is within touching distance.  Psalm 23:4 says

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

When a shepherd would walk with the sheep we know that he would get the staff out and if they wandered off he would pull back them back in with the staff, but the rod is another instrument altogether.  Its a blunt instrument.  It was used for protection against other animals that would seek to destroy the sheep.  It served another purpose.  Every now and then the sheep would need assurance that the shepherd was still there, so the she shepherd would reach out touch the sheep with the rod as he walked beside them in the darkest valley.

I take great courage that He is near, even then.

We recount your wondrous deeds.

Strictly speaking the word ‘we’ here should be They.  The people of God recount His wondrous deeds.  To recount something is recall, remember, declare or announce.  This is where we step into praise and worship now.

I’m always forgetting stuff and often times find myself struggling to find the right stimuli to remember what I was going to say and do.  The word recount means to declare, announce but also to have a written record where you weigh it all up.  That’s pure class.

Has God done something for you, get it written down because there will come a time in the valley where you will forget like me and you will need something to recall again or remember or recount His wondrous deeds for you.

He is good, always has been and always will be.

Lord, teach me to Pray

 

pray like jesus

 

He departed to a mountain to pray. Mark 6:46
Jesus took prayer seriously. It was not an after thought but more a before thought. It was not a last option, it was the first option. There are many instances in the gospels where we see Jesus at prayer. In John 17 we see him pray that great high priestly prayer just before he was betrayed, forsaken and crucified. He also taught us, what we call the Lord’s prayer that gives us a pattern to follow in our daily lives.

When I see Jesus in prayer or teaching on prayer it spurs me on. It encourages me but also at the same time it makes me look at my own prayer life. I’ll be the first to hold my hands up, that sometimes after five mins in prayer my mind wanders or I have found it hard to shut out the distractions around me to concentrate on him in prayer. Especially when in Luke 6 I read these words “At about that same time he climbed a mountain to pray. He was there all night in prayer before God.”

I read that and I think, Lord, teach me to pray!

As a follower of Jesus then prayer should matter, it should be everything. I so want to learn to pray like Jesus. I want for us as believers to learn to pray like Jesus. I believe every child of God, every follower of Jesus should be someone who is learning to pray. We never stop learning to pray. The best way to learn, is to do it.

I remember growing up listening to men and women pray and thinking, I can learn from them. I was going to every prayer meeting possible and learning from older believers. Its something I say to our young people in church, I would so love some Wednesday night to come to our prayer meeting and for it be hijacked by the lot of them in prayer. Sometimes I fear we are losing something today when we dilute our prayer meetings. We lose the presence of God, we lose the anointing of His Spirit. We lose out full-stop.

When I read about Jesus teaching on prayer it prompts me to just do it. Whether it is at home or at church or out on a prayer walk with the worship music blasting in your ears. God hears it. God answers.

In Matthew 6:6 Jesus teaches to pray alone and in simplicity. “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” (The message)

I love that, “you will begin to sense his grace”. The one thing we need is his grace and the one place to experience it, in his presence in prayer. Prayer doesn’t have to be complicated, anyone can do it. You don’t have to have a degree in prayer, in quietness and confidence you can simply pray.

In Luke 11 verses 9-10 Jesus teaches us to ask for what we need “Here’s what I’m saying: Ask and you’ll get; Seek and you’ll find; Knock and the door will open. Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in.” (The message)

Ask and keep on asking
Seek and keep on seeking
Knock and keep on knocking

Be direct about your prayers, be specific.

In Luke 18 verse 1 he tells us to be persistent in prayer. “Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit.” (The message)

Never Quit. Another version puts it to never lose heart.

Its so easy at times to give up on something especially when we feel or perceive it wont make any difference. I believe it is for this reason Jesus addresses this issue and says “Dont give up”

I love how Paul puts it in Colossions 4:2 “Be devoted to prayer” The word “devote” means to grab hold of something and not let go. To “devote” yourself to prayer means to hang on no matter what happens. You never give up on prayer even when it seems useless.
Pray when you feel like it, pray when you don’t feel like it. Pray when you believe in it, pray when you doubt it. Pray when your heart is filled with faith, pray when you do it by habit. Do you ever feel like giving up? Please “Keep at it!”

Next Jesus shows us there is power in prayer. Mark 11 versus 22-26 Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done. That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything. And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.” (The message)

Our prayers can go further than we can, they go before the throne of grace and its there we can touch heaven with our prayers and heaven can touch us and the need around us. I have heard it said many times, prayer changes things and it does.

I finish this with the chapter where I started  Mark 6:46  “And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.”

Sometimes you just have to make time for prayer. People often say I am too busy to pray, or I have no time to pray. Sometimes you just have to say no to somethings to talk to the Lord. Jesus sent them away. He got rid of the distractions. Turn the phone off, get off Facebook, twitter, TV or whatever it is that keeps you back from prayer and depart, not up a mountain necessarily but somewhere you can meet with God in prayer.

I promise you it will be the best thing you do all day, everyday.

Nil Return 

“Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.”

‭‭John‬ ‭21:3‬ ‭ESV

Ever worked hard and got nothing in return?  Ever tried something and feel a sense of failure? Ever feel empty?  

That feeling of empty can be so heavy at times, it saps our strength, our will and our motivation.  It slowly gnaws away at the inside of us to the point we think, is that all? Is this it?

The disciples had been out all night fishing.  They went back to the only thing they knew and they were expecting to get a result.  They had been out all night and caught nothing, nada, not a thing, not even an old sandal! 

They hear a voice call out in the morning mist “do you have any fish?”  They didn’t recognise who it was and you can hear the frustration, disappointment in their reply “NO”. 

Life can be like that, things didn’t turn out the way we wanted or the way we expected.  Maybe it has been tough lately and you thought you would be further ahead or in a better position and you’ve nothing to show for it accept frustration, hurt and emptiness. 

Just like He did for the disciples Jesus stands on the shore of your life and asks a probing question? “Did you catch anything? Did things things turn out the way you hoped? How successful have you been?” 

We all love that kind of question when the answer is really obvious.  What it does though is forces us to admit our failure, our weakness.  That is what Jesus did with the disciples.  Jesus tells them to cast the net on the other side, I imagine them muttering under their breathe “”Like that will make any difference!” It was when the Net became too heavy it dawned on Peter “it’s the Master”. 

We need to reach that place too in our lives as well, “Lord I’m tired doing it my way, I’m not satisfied with the way my life is going, but I’m coming to you and I will cast that net again on he other side” I believe Jesus will take your life and take that emptiness and fill it with His plans, his purpose an his blessing. 

What are you saying NO too?


Paul is closing out his letter to the church in Thessalonica and leaves them this “Do not quench the Spirit.”

‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:19‬ ‭ESV‬

To quench something is to put it out in a deliberate way. Paul uses the image of a fire, Do not quench the fire of the Spirit in your lives, in your coming together as a church do not quench the Spirit, in the midst of persecution and suffering don’t put out that fire, keep it burning.

There are a number of ways you can put out a fire, one by loads of water poured over it or just let it die out by not adding fuel. 

So how do we quench the Spirit in our lives.  Again like a fire any number of ways.  It can be unconfessed sin in our lives, it could be a critical spirit, it could be the way we treated someone wrong and our refusal to put all those things right. There is I believe a big one we so often overlook and it is that of saying NO to God.  
How do this work? Well, maybe God prompted you to do something, go somewhere and you said “Not now, maybe later, that’s for someone else,  it wasn’t the right time, or the right place”. 
Here’s the thing as a follower of Jesus over the years I’ve seen.  Jesus not only says “follow me” but he also has a way of placing us in situations and places where we feel out of our depth and  a sense of inadequacy. Why? To take us a new level of trust and dependence in Him and stretch us.  

I’m reminded of the worship song Oceans when it says 

“You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where feet may fail

And there I find You in the mystery

In oceans deep

My faith will stand”

As someone who likes to be in a level of the control, the unknown frightens me but it’s there in oceans deep He is with us.
Jesus asked Peter three times, Do you love me? Do you really love me? Peter, how much do you really love me?  Peter got the point. If that love for Jesus is there, the answer every time is like Isaiah “Here am I Lord” or Samuel “speak Lord for your servant hears”. There is nowhere He can not take you if that love for him is there.  He will take you beyond what you can imagine if you will lay it down on the altar again and say “Yes Lord, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord”. 

Draw that line the sand today.  
“Do not quench the Spirit.” 

A privilege to Serve one another


Some people ask me what I do for a living and I then tell them I am a Pastor. One man replied “A plasterer that’s great, they always come in handy!”

I love what I do.  

What do I do then?

I serve.  
I serve others in church and outside Church. Not only do I serve but I count it it a privilege to serve. I believe the blueprint for service is following Jesus and how He came to serve and not be served. 

I love that there is a local church in my case Lisburn Elim where I get to practically and spiritually serve others. I count it a privilege to serve through preaching and teaching God’s word to them week after week, even on days when I am not on form. Pastor Bill Crawford once told me this “Darren you can’t preach well every week and don’t forget the bounce effect” to which I said “What is that?” He said “a preacher bounces off the congregation and the congregation bounces off him.” I’ll admit I’ve a had a few Sunday mornings where I have not been bouncing. 

Maybe you too serve in church and I get that there will be days when people are going to grind your gears, where maybe life gets a little hectic for you but I want to encourage you to keep serving. Serve with a smile, serve with joy, serve others let them see something of Jesus in you. 

Whether it is in a worship team where you have the privilege of leading others to God in worship, that is an awesome privilege. Maybe it is teaching children in Sunday school, that is a privilege of the highest importance to make a difference in young lives. Maybe you serve with youth, the elderly, evangelism, visitation, prayer ministry. I could go on all day, see it is a privilege.  

As a pastor of a church nothing encourages me more than seeing other people serve in church and how that can have a tremendous effect. Where they come and just willingly muck in and say it is not about them or their preferences. I love how Paul puts this in Romans 12:10 “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” ‭Romans‬ ‭12:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Last night our church put that into action at our Christmas dinner and thanks to all who literally served and outdid one another in showing honour. This Sunday will be the same with people who will have worked hard to serve the church towards our nativity. Next week we are out in the community singing carols it’s so simple but it could in some small way make a difference in someone’s life. 

So keep serving, keep giving your all, keep giving your best. It makes a bigger difference than you realise. 
Happy Christmas 

Rejected by men but chosen by God


“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,”

1 Peter 2:4 ESV

The other day I was sitting praying and I had this impression that someone was struggling with rejection. You need to be reminded today that you are chosen and precious in the sight of God.
I have yet to meet anyone who loves feeling rejected. Rejection can be hard to deal with and sometimes getting over it can be hard to move on from. Maybe you put yourself out there to love someone or give them a second chance only to have it thrown back in your face. Rejected. Maybe it was in work, family or church.
Rejection is such a negative feeling it can make us fearful, it can make you feel like you are living in a prison, constantly worried, thinking “what will they think? “The bible says “fear of man brings a snare.” (Proverbs 29:25)
This what you need to hear, Peter says “as you come to Him…” You can be confident as you draw near to Him, he is drawing near to you. You are accepted in Christ, he is not going to reject you, push you to the side, you are not last pick on his team.
You come to him and he sees you as chosen and precious in his sight. Now that’s so much better!