If I held up a dollar and asked you if you what it’s worth you’d tell me 100cents. And if I Crumpled it up. How much would it be worth then?
And say then I throw it on the ground and step on it. Now what’s it worth? Ok now say I tell you that this same dollar once belonged to a drug dealer, and then his 17 year old girlfriend who’d slept with more guys that she can remember… what’s that do to this dollars value? NOTHING! Why?- we’ll come back to the dollar a little later-
The world tells us that we find value by gaining: success, money, beauty, power, and popularity. That we are worth only what someone will pay for us, spend for us, or sacrifice of us. Because of this millions of people walk around with downcast heads and broken hearts, on a quest to become something the world sees as valuable. God never intended us to compare ourselves to others. We are to find our worth solely in him.
Romans 13:9 “love your neighbor as yourself” somehow many of us have gotten the idea that self-love is wrong. But if this were the case, it would be pointless to love our neighbors as ourselves. Media tells us the way to love ourselves is to diet, get plastic surgery, follow fashion, using sex appeal, and by buying anything and everything to become like those around us. Commercials and Movies, Magazine and Music tell us over and over again that unless we possess the things the world values we are worthless.
The world value 4 things above all else *Beauty *Brains *Biceps and *Bucks -these things represent the height of human achievement – but the quest for these worldly medals will always leave us unsatisfied.
In the bible The tower of Babel was the great human achievement, a wonder of the world. But it was a monument to the people themselves rather than to God. We may build monuments to ourselves (expensive clothes, big house, fancy car, important job, cute boyfriend) to call attention to our achievements. These may not be wrong in themselves, but when we use them to give us identity and self-worth, they take God’s place in our lives and ultimately take out any chance of finding true Value for ourselves.
So how to we find our worth? Our true worth. Who decided that this dollar would be worth 100 pennies? The government. And
why did the government get to decide it’s worth? Because they made the dollar. So naturally to find our worth we must ask our maker.
Finding our maker- John 1:3 says all things are made by him (Jesus).
Genesis 5:1 says that God made man and that he made them in his own image. Knowing that we are created in God’s image and thus share many of his characteristics provides a solid basis for self-worth. Human worth is not based on possessions, achievements, physical attractiveness or public acclaim. Instead, it is based on being made in God’s image.
Gen 1:31 God saw that all he had created was excellent in every way.
You are part of God’s creation, and he is pleased with how he made you.
So we’ve identified our maker, now we’ve got to identify our worth in him.
The bible says that we are
fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalms 139:14)
We are Gods children (John 1:12) the salt of the earth (matt 5:13) a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) Righteous and holy (Ephesians 4:24) chosen, holy, and dearly loved (Philippians 3:20 Ephesians 2:6) a living stone with which he will build his temple (1peter 2:5)
it says also in psalms 139:15-16 that when we were being made in secret in our mothers womb he saw us. He’s known us since before one breath came out of us, he loved us before we were born and he loves us still. Crumpled, stomped on, used, neglected, rebellious, depressed, anorexic, suicidal… you are still worth every cent , every thought, everything of value that he put into you.
Often we get our sense of value from people around us, friends, family, a boyfriend or girlfriends.
(Hold up dollar) what is one dollar in the hands of a millionaire? And what is it in the hands of a homeless man? If we rely on others for our value it will continue to change- but no matter who’s hand this dollar is in if they go to the bank with it, it will still be worth the same. 100 pennies, 20 nickels, 10 dimes, or 4 quarters. No matter where it’s been, or what you’ve done to it because the value is not determined by the owner but by the maker.
Sometimes the hardest voice to silence when it comes to our value is our own. Life’s circumstances , our physical traits, things we lack, become so visible when we compare ourselves to others. The bible says we are all a unique person, custom made by God for a specific purpose. No one else can fulfill that purpose in all of history;- no one else can fulfill my purpose. “For it is God who works in you, inspiring both the will and the deed, for his own chosen purpose!” Phil. 2:13 .
In 1 Samuel 16:1-13 – God sends Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint a son of Jesse as the next king and God warned him against judging by appearance alone. Samuel assumes at first glance that Eliab Jesse’s oldest son was whom God intended to anoint in verse7 God says to Samuel “pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him. Because I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart”
all 7 sons pass before Samuel and God says NO to all of them (verse 11) Samuel says to him “do you have anymore sons” and Jesse says “there is still the youngest but he is out taking care of the sheep” Think about it, David, the youngest son (the one God has chosen to anoint to be the next king, the whole reason Samuel is in Bethlehem) is at home while his father and brothers are at the sacrifice. David wasn’t even invited. Even in his fathers eyes he was insignificant enough not to come to the party.
Sometimes we get so caught up in our current trials that we forget the promises of God to us we get stuck looking at ourselves through our own eyes and can end up steeling our destiny
In the book of numbers chapter 13 the Israelites reach the promise land and it’s already inhabited by people so God tells Moses to send in 12 spies to explore the land and report back to him. When the twelve spies had arrive back to the camp they report that the enemies were strong and powerful Giants. Ten spies reported “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. … We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Num 13:30-14:1) Notice their problem! They seemed like grasshoppers in their own eyes. They had no confidence in themselves to defeat the enemy. They reported also that the land was rich and fertile but because the Israelites choose to believe the 10 who said they couldn’t concur the people and ignore the 2 spies who had faith in Gods promised victory, it cost a whole generation the right to go into the promise land. Maybe the land really was possessed by Giants maybe they really did look like grasshoppers next to them but it’s not with the eyes of man (or self) that we are supposed to look at ourselves or at the world. Remember who made you and proclaim with confidence “I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength!” (Phil 4:13)
No matter what words people have spoken over your life, the Word of God can break any grasshopper image and bring you victory in Christ.
When you come home and your dad is in a bad mood and loses his temper and tells you that you’re worthless and that you’ll never amount to anything… it’s a lie
And when boyfriend number 5 dumps you and you cry yourself to sleep thinking that life’s not worth living… it’s a lie
When you feel Unworthy think about how God handled he “unworthy” of his day
mark 1:40-42 a man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you want to you can make me well again” he said, moved with pity Jesus touched him “I want to” he said “be healed” and instantly the leprosy disappeared and the man was healed you may read this and think… no big deal, God healed people all the time but consider this– in keeping with the old testament laws of Leviticus 13 and 14 the Jewish leaders declared people with leprosy unclean. This meant that lepers were unfit to participate in any religious or social activity. Because the law said that contact with any unclean person also made that person unclean some people would throw rocks at lepers to keep them at a safe distance. People with leprosy were disowned by their families and forced to live in colonies outside the cities no-one went near them. But Jesus touched this man who had leprosy. The real value of a person is inside, not outside. Although a person’s body (like this man’s) may be diseased or deformed, the person inside is not less valuable to God. No person is too disgusting for God’s touch.
And if you’re still not convinced about how much you’re worth. Let this last story sink in. You are so valuable that God sent his only son to die for you (John 3:16 for God so loved the world that he sent his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not parish but have everlasting life) if we were to measure our worth as the world does by what someone will pay for you or spend on you or Sacrifice for you- what does that make us worth…. worthy of a sacrifice of the life of Gods only son, because God places such value on you, you need never fear personal threats or difficult trials. These can’t shake God’s love. But this doesn’t mean that God will take away all your troubles (matt 10:16 look I am sending you out as sheep among wolves…) (John 16:33 in this world you will have many trials and tribulations but take heart for I have overcome the world) the real test of value is how well something holds up under the wear, tear and stress of everyday life. Those who stand up for Christ in spite of their trouble truly have lasting value.
A Soldiers Prayer
For every one of life’s battles
i don’t feel much like a warrior today… in yesterdays battle I dropped my sword, fell off my horse and helped the enemy get more land rather than holding him back, but i come to you to ask if you will give me one more chance to fight for your kingdom…
–Come, my child, let us dress you for battle-
*Lord here is my belt, often it comes loose- tighten it around my waist and tie it in knots so everything will stay in place
*Here is my breastplate, full of dents from battles past, won and lost- but i know if you latch it with your mighty hands that it will protect me
*Father here are my shoes, all muddy from when i stepped in the wrong place and they seems a bit big- but they are the shoes you gave me so i know my feet will grow to fit them…polish them clean and lace them tight so they can lead me into battle
*Here is my shield, so big and heavy that sometimes I am tempted to drag it behind me- strap it to my arm so that i will have no choice but to build the strength to hold it up
*Father here is my helmet- place it on the way it goes so that i will see what is before me and not what is behind, and grease the hinge so that in times of trouble i can lift the flap and call to you
*Here is my sword, mighty and deadly but unsteady in my hand- fasten it to my side that i will come to memorize the curves of it’s blade and learn to rely on it’s sharp edge
*and my cloak, often forgotten in the shuffle- tie it around my neck so that it can cover all of me, so i can feel it about me at all times.