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"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well." Psalm139:14. "A diamond is just another stone to one who is ignorant of its value." Matshona Dhliwayu. "For I know the plans that I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11.

You may be a little taken aback by this title, but be assured that it has taken me years to get here and to understand what being special is and how important it is to understand and appreciate being special. I came to realize that I, too, am special. Now, I am not being conceited; I come from a generation where, "Don't think more highly of yourself that you ought became a mantra. That meant that you are no big deal so do not even get the thought of being special in your head. The Bible tells us that we should not "think of yourself more highly than you ought." "...Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you." Romans 12:3. This means that we should see ourselves through the lens of what God wants instead of what we want. He always knows what is best. Further interpretation tells that God wants us to live within the authority that He has given us through his grace and our faith. We should remember that it is not of our own will and or strength that we do anything, it is because God allows us to do whatever it is that we do and achieve. We should never boast.

Growing up, I don't think I got a full explanation of this verse. I had to kind of fill in the blanks and walked away with my feeling that I better not think I am "all that" or God would not be pleased and neither would anyone else. Not that I ever thought I was "all that." I digress. I have shared on a number of occasions that after my mother passed away, my siblings and I went to live with my maternal grandmother, Evangelist Mary Jackman. She was a devout Pentecostal, and her very literal interpretation of the scriptures contributed to a lot of confusion on my part. It also impacted my self-esteem. I know that she did not mean any harm. She was earnest in trying to search the scriptures, and she shared her understanding of them. She did not consult any commentaries or anyone else (as far as I know). So, I was left with her interpretation. What confused me even more was when she pulled me aside and told me God had "something" for me to do. Needless to say, the wheels in my head began turning (more like spinning out of control). What in the world does this mean? What could God possibly have for me to do? After all, it was my understanding that I was no one special.

My grandmother never told me what God had for me to do. I don't believe I have figured it out yet. What is certain is that I have been seeking and serving God throughout my entire life and have made it a point to share Christ with my family and friends. Many say that I am walking in my purpose. From a young age, I always had this feeling on the inside that I was going to do something special (even great) in my life. I did not know what, but I had this feeling. Years passed, and I personally did not feel that I had done anything great or even special for that matter. To tell the truth, that feeling began to wane over the years. Recently, I watched a tv special titled, We Have A Dream. The show featured a series of interviews with African American icons who have succeeded at achieving the American dream. What stood out to me was the number of those icons who said that they always knew they were going to be "somebody."

This immediately caught my ear. They always knew they were going to be somebody. In my mind, I reasoned that we are all somebody, (Rev. Jesse Jackson has been telling us that for years) but they meant they knew they were going to do something noteworthy or become famous. I leaned in carefully because I had that same feeling for years and then it fizzled. Why? I wondered. But, then being my usual inquisitive self, I decided to examine the matter a little more closely. First of all, I am somebody. God loved me so much that He sent His one and only Son to die on a cross for me. John 3:16. But, I pondered. Has my life been noteworthy? Worthy of recognition? Well, it depends on who you ask. Maybe start with my children, grandchildren, co-workers, church members (my brothers and sisters in the Lord), friends, extended family members, my students (36 years in education), my Bible students (taught church school for more than 20 years and still teaching), all the young people I have had the privilege of being an influence in their lives; those I have witnessed to in the Evangelism Explosion ministry and the many other ministries that I have been a member of. I could go on, but I will stop here. I may not be famous, but I am pretty well known and revered in my circles. I am special because God loves me. Several years ago, I conducted a conference titled, "Unmask the Greatness in You." At the conclusion of the workshop, one of the participants (a special young lady from my church), came up to me and said, "Deacon Lane, you are famous you just don't know it." Akunne Kanu. Thank you, Akunne. I guess as I noted previously, it depends on who you ask.

I think I was confusing special with famous. Famous is defined as: known about by many people. Special is defined as: distinguished by some unusual quality; being in someway superior; held in particular esteem; readily distinguishable from others of the same category: unique. As I teach the Bible, I see many examples of people who were seemingly not that special, but God chose to use them, and because of that, we know about them 2,000 years later; they are famous. Their examples of faith, trust, and obedience to God makes them special. Take the time to read about these stories in the Bible, and you will come to know that all of us are special to God, and our actions make us famous to those we serve as we obey God. Some examples: The Widow's Mite, The Samaritan Woman (Women at the Well), The woman who touched the hem of Jesus's garment, Simon of Cyrene, who was compelled by the Romans to carry the cross of Jesus as Jesus was taken to his crucifixion, Rahab, the harlot, who hid the spies that Joshua had sent out (saving them from harm); the story of King David, the ministry of Jesus; His death, burial and resurrection. Look these stories up in the Bible. Feel free to read the entire Bible. You will be encouraged and humbled, and you will understand your worth. "If you don't know your worth, people will put a cheap price tag on you." Mashona Dhliwayo. The world may de-value you, but God never will.

As life bends and turns, you may begin to question where you are headed and whether you have the fortitude to get there. Maybe you don't, but you are not alone. "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6. No matter where you are in your life, know that you are loved unconditionally. It goes both ways. We are to reciprocate that love. "Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15. When we do this, we agree with the Lord that we are special, and we have entered into a personal relationship with Him. Our subsequent actions; walking in the path that God has designed is our task, and that makes us special. Loving the Lord, loving ourselves and others, and sharing the gospel makes us famous in our sphere of influence.

So, are you special? Are your living up to your God-given potential? The following is all you need: Answer true or false to the following (in other words, have you done what is noted below?):

  1. "Seek the Lord with all your heart, and He will direct your path."

  2. "You will seek me and find me when you search with all your heart."

  3. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and with all your mind."

  4. "Love your neighbor as yourself." Seems simple. It is not complicated, otherwise not many would understand or do it. Because it is so simple, if you have not already done so, please try it.

I am not boasting, but I have done the above. Not perfectly, but each day I seek to be better. Maybe this is what my grandmother was trying to get me to see: God loves me, I am special to Him and that by serving Him, I will live a life that is pleasing to Him, allowing me to influence others to come to Him. That's special. I believe this is what He wants me to do. What do you think?

May you seek to love and serve God. You will realize that you are more precious than gold to Him. "Why even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, you are of more value than many sparrows." Luke 12:7.

God bless you.

Yours, Yvette

Thank you for your continued support. I remain appreciative. You can comment at


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