You’re worth so much because God paid so much

Everybody knows that if you’re looking to buy something that you can’t find anywhere for sale, check Ebay. Ebay has everything. Books and movies, clothes and cosmetics, cars and even entire towns! Ebay is the revolutionary one-stop shop for anything and everything you could ever want to buy, including grilled cheese sandwiches with Jesus’ face on them.

What I find fascinating about Ebay is what people will pay for things. Sure there are lots of outrageously priced items, but just because the price is outrageous doesn’t mean people will pay that much for it. But in some cases, people decide what’s for sale is worth the price it’s being offered for.

Example? In 2010, Warren Buffett, a world-renown economist and expert investor, put up an Ebay auction to have lunch with him. Granted all proceeds from the auction would benefit a charity. But how much would you pay to talk money matters with Warren Buffett? Well, someone paid $2.63 million.

That’s $2,630,000.00. Check the decimal places on that bad boy. Yikes!

We evaluate worth or value by how much people are willing to pay for it. In our capitalistic American society, that’s not a foreign concept, but how do you judge the worth or value of a person’s life? How do you judge the value of their time or experience? Those things aren’t as easy to pin a number on, but the concept is actually exactly the same.

money-finance-bills-bank-notesToday’s verses are Ephesians 2:4-7.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

Everyone struggles with the concept of self-worth. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve met very many people who have it figured out. I don’t. With Christ-followers, there’s something in our brain that cautions us not to think too highly of ourselves, and that’s absolutely a valid thought to have. It is possible to get puffed up, to look at yourself and your life and believe you haven’t got any problems and that you’ve got life figured out. That’s a dangerous place to be.

But we take it a step further. Because we don’t want to think to highly of ourselves, instead we get into the habit of thinking too meanly about ourselves. We downplay our achievements and talents. We deflect compliments because we don’t think we deserve them and we don’t want people to think we’re being proud.

God commands us to be humble, but is false modesty the same as humility? No. In the same way, pride and self-worth don’t go hand in hand.

I was talking about worth and value with a one of my awesome Forever Sisters last night, and I started wondering how you can even judge the value of another human being? What we have to remember is that we aren’t the ones who assign value to people. God does that. God says what people are worth. God says that the price of a human soul can’t be measured.

Even so, in God’s eyes, our lives were worth enough to Him that He sent Jesus to die for us.

You can recognize and accept what you’re worth without being prideful. Regardless of what you’ve done or where you’ve been or where you’re going, this fact is still true: God gave His Son for you. God chose to shed His Only Son’s blood to pay the price for your soul. That’s how much you mean to God. Think about that the next time you start beating yourself up or listening to naysayers or picking yourself apart in the mirror.

Your worth as a person can’t be judged by another person, because another person doesn’t have the power or authority to purchase you. God’s the only one who can do that, because He created You. He made you exactly the way you are, with all your funny quirks and strange eccentricities. God doesn’t make mistakes, and there are no such things as accidents.

Maybe the people around you don’t see your worth. Maybe you can’t see the worth of the people around you. That’s okay. You’re not supposed to be able to see it, but just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

So stop basing your value to the world and the people around you on your ability to perform, your talents, your looks, your brains. Stop looking for worth based on what you can do or what you know. Instead, understand that you’re worth so much because God paid so much for you. And if God thinks so highly of you, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says.

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The wheat field across from Safe Haven Farm ready for harvest, Haven, KS

Walking by faith and living in grace

The Bible never ceases to amaze me. Just when I start thinking I understand it as well as I’m going to, God shows me something I never saw before.

Did you realize that most–if not all–of Paul’s letters in the New Testament (Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon) all begin and end with a similar statement? “May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.”

Not word for word every time, though in some of them it is word for word. Paul starts his letters with a prayer for grace and ends them the same way. I have never noticed that before. I guess I just chocked it up to him being unoriginal in his openings and his conclusions, and admitting to that sounds horrible. But that’s really what I thought.

It’s the opening of a letter. It’s the conclusion of a letter. What spiritual truth can you gain from the equivalent of a Dear John or a Sincerely Yours?

The wheat field across from Safe Haven Farm ready for harvest, Haven, KS

The wheat field across from Safe Haven Farm ready for harvest, Haven, KS

Today’s verses are Ephesians 2:4-7.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

Grace is one of those Christian buzz words that gets thrown around a lot. You hear it in songs. You hear it in sermons. You hear it in prayers. Grace is great. We couldn’t live without it. We wouldn’t be saved without it. We get that.

Maybe we don’t understand how God does it or why He does it (I truly believe His love is too great for us to comprehend), but we get the concept that we are saved by grace. But what does it mean to live in grace? To walk in grace?

We walk by faith, yes. That means we live our lives trusting that God knows what He’s doing and obeying Him even when things don’t always make sense. But living in grace? Walking in grace? How does grace make itself obvious in our everyday lives? Have you ever thought of that?

Grace is supposed to be a part of every moment, from the beginning of our day to the end of it. From the very opening of our letter to the end, everything we say, everything we do, should be full of God’s grace.

Grace for ourselves. Grace for others. Grace for the people who hurt us. Grace for the people who disappoint us.

So what does someone who is full of grace look like? Well, I don’t think there’s a better example than Jesus. Jesus showed us how to live.

One of the many things that fascinate me about Jesus is how He attracted people. People came from everywhere to see Him, to hear Him, to talk to Him. Every sort of person. The educated and the uneducated, the scholars and day laborers, men and women, married and single–and children. Lots of children.

And I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a child run into the arms of a grouch. I’ve never seen someone eager to talk to an unpleasant person. I’ve never seen anybody look forward to spending time with someone who finds zero joy in life.

Have you?

Jesus lived an approachable life. He was the kind of person who anyone could talk to. Anyone could walk right up to Him and ask Him questions, and He invited it. And that makes me take a very stern look at my own life. Do I live that way? Am I the sort of person who extends grace to everyone around me? The irritating? The obnoxious? The ridiculous?

I hope so. God has extended so much grace toward me, how can I not give it out freely to everyone who comes my way? I struggle with this because I have very little patience with stupid people. But I have my stupid days. Shoot, I have stupid weeks and months, and God doesn’t give up on me. He doesn’t wash His hands and declare me unworthy of His time.

No! And I’m so thankful that He does.

I want to find the balance where I can live holy–obviously belonging to God, obviously following Christ–but I don’t want to become unapproachable, so holy that others are afraid to come talk to me for fear of being judged. I never want to lose track of the fact that God saved me by His grace.

I need grace. Every moment of every day, I need grace. Everyone does. And if we walk and live every moment of our lives with that in mind, I think it will change the way we see others. When we remember just how broken we were before we met Christ, it’s easier to love others who don’t know Him yet.

Don’t be stingy with grace. Give it away. Try it. I guarantee you’ll never run out of grace to give other people because the grace you’ve been given comes from a well that never runs dry.