22nd July 2012

What Are You Worth?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
John 3:16-17 (NIV UK)

A few years ago, a lock of Elvis Presley’s hair which had been preserved by a fan was sold at auction for fifteen thousand dollars. More recently someone paid more than $20,000 for a set of Winston Churchill’s false teeth. And Emperor Napoleon’s toothbrush sold for $21,000.  You and I are not so famous and no one would pay anything like that for something that belonged to us. But have you ever asked yourself, “What exactly am I worth?”

Well, I am afraid that in terms of the actual value of the constituents of our bodies, the answer is not much. Our bodies are mainly common chemicals, such as oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and calcium, which are not really expensive. There are also trace elements, which raise the value a little, but not by much. When you add it all up, the total value of the chemicals we’re made of, at today’s prices, is only about £2.80.

Humbling, isn’t it? It’s something to think about the next time we start to get a big head. Chemically we are only about as valuable as a Big Mac combo or a Starbucks Frappuccino. But, of course, that’s not the whole story. There is much more to a human being than just the price of the chemicals that make up his or her body.  The monetary value of anything depends on what people are prepared to pay for it. Obviously someone put immense value on owning Elvis’ hair or Sir Winston’s teeth, and they were willing to invest a large sum for those items. But the Bible tells us that Someone has put a far greater value on every human being, and that Person paid the highest possible price for us. I’m talking, of course, about God, who loves us all and wants to spend eternity with us.

But in the way the gospel is often presented, you’d think God has to be convinced to love us by good works and obedience. Nothing could be further from the truth! Jesus says that it is his Father’s “good pleasure to give us the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).  So many people think they’re condemned until they can be good enough to have God save them. They think God doesn’t want them unless they can measure up. But Jesus said otherwise. God wants us. He wants every person, including you. He says in John 17:24, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

God doesn’t have to be convinced to want us. He doesn’t have to be persuaded to save us. He wants us so much that he gladly paid for us with his life. It was a heavy price to pay, but he obviously thought we were worth it.

Holy Father, thank you for your Son who paid a huge price to rescue us and restore us to you. We ask that you will help us to recognise the value you place in us, and to use that knowledge to keep close to you. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach

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