The Value of You
Tripp Atkinson // @trippatkinson // firstname.lastname@example.org
ILL. Baseball / Football Cards. “Deal hunting” We love finding true value where it may be missed. Conversely if we end up on the wrong end of value realization, it can leave us feeling pretty sick.
Story: Mistakenly Giving Away Vintage Albums @ White Elephant Gift Exchange
What is way more sad than losing the value of some baseball cards or albums, is losing sight of the value of your life.
Over the past few weeks I’ve talked with a number of students who have either attempted to or said that they wanted to end their lives. One thing they all had in common was that they all had a wrong view of value and purpose in their lives.
Imagine the amount of time we spend looking in the mirror. For many, what we see in that mirror is not a reflection of who they really are, but an image that’s formed through the lens of what others have told them they are. Good or bad, the labels that are put on us can distort our true identity. Labels such as “fat”, “ugly”, or “reject” can lead to a lack of self-worth and an obsession to change one’s appearance. Labels such as “hot”, “cute”, or “popular” can be just as damaging, often acting like a drug to those who become obsessed with maintaining such an others-pleasing image. Imagine what would happen if we looked in the mirror, and instead of first noticing our hair, complexion, or shape, we could see our true identity…our true value.
Today, I want us to get some perspective on the value of you. And just as I consulted an authoritative source on the value of cards, I want us to go to an authoritative source on the value of life…the Word of the One who created life.
The Bible speaks to:
1 – Value Given
God has given you value.
“This is what the LORD says– your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself…” – Isaiah 44:24
The Hebrew word for formed means to fashion or mold, much like a potter would create a work with a specific purpose in mind. No matter what the circumstances surrounding you coming into this world, you are no accident.
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it.” – Psalm 139:13-14
You are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the Universe. The One who spoke galaxies into existence delicately knit you into the unique, one-of-a-kind, treasure that you are.
And when God created you, He assigned a value and purpose to you that is priceless. Because your value has been assigned by your Creator, no label, sin, circumstance, or person can ever change that value.
Ephesians 2:10 communicates this same amazing message, “For we are God’s masterpiece…!” What an awesome truth!
Not only is the Bible clear about the value that has been given to us by God, but it also is clear in how God proved that value.
2 – Value Proved
God not only assigned you value, he proved that value.
Two ways value is determined in life:
– What someone is willing to pay.
How much is your house worth? Your house is worth what somebody is willing to pay for it. (Story: Surprise Wife w/ “For Sale” Home Tour) How about your car? Same thing. How much is a piece of art worth? Whatever someone is willing to pay for it.
How much is a football card worth? To some of you, it’s not worth anything. To some, it’s worth a lot of money. Some people are willing to pay $27,000 for a Dan Marino Rookie Card. That’s nothing compared to the highest valued sports card ever sold: 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card.
(This card was pulled from circulation after 200 had made it to market because Wagner didn’t want to support tobacco use for his young fans. A high grade version of the card traded hands with hockey star Wayne Gretzky and others. The card was discovered to have trimmed edges, which would greatly reduce its value, but that didn’t stop Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendricks to purchase the card in a 2007 auction for $2.8 million.)
That’s sounds crazy (and is), but it just proves that something’s value is determined by what someone is willing to pay for it.
The second way value is determined is by who owns or owned it.
– Who owns / owed it.
Sometimes something is valuable because of who owned it. An old guitar of mine would probably not be as valuable as one owned by Elvis Presley. A smelly, old pair of my basketball shoes would probably not go for very much on eBay. A pair of Michael Jordan’s game-worn shoes from 1984 were recently sold at an auction for over $71,000.
Story: Expensive China
Based on this, consider your value. Ask yourself, “What was paid for me? Who owns me?” The Bible says…
“You have been bought and paid for by Christ, so you belong to Him—be free now from all these earthly prides and fears.” – 1 Corinthians 7:23
Another translation (NLT) says “God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.”
You have been bought and paid for by Christ. You belong to Him. How much does that make you worth? Consider the price that was paid for you. God gave his very Son so that your sins could be forgiven which paves a way to relationship with Him.
There is no way we earned this great act of love. No way we deserved it. The Bible says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
The cross proves your value. Jesus didn’t die for junk. In fact, you are invaluable…priceless. That is what defines you, not what you may be told from the world.
1 John 3:1 says, “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.”
What we allow to define us.
Nobody has ever paid a greater price than God paid for you when Christ died on the cross, proving your value and worth.
Sometimes we lose sight of that value. The Bible tells us how we can realize it.
3 – Value Realized
The way we realize our value is through our divine purpose.
When we operate outside of the purposes for which we were created, things get messy.
When you discern your divine reason for being, you understand your value.
ILL. Sand (Free on beach, $5 bag, $1 sandpaper, > $100 computer chip)
(Silicon Dioxide SiO2) Same thing, different purpose.
If you discover your divine purpose, then your understanding of your value goes up.
While there are many things to consider when determining specific purpose for your life, there are two foundational commands through which all purpose flows:
2 Foundational Commands through which purpose flows.
Matthew 22:36-40 “ Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
This “command” screams of Good News. We can intimately know God. We can love him with everything.
The reason we don’t LOVE God more is that we don’t KNOW God more.
Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
God has not only given everything so that we can know Him, but also has called us to represent Him to the world.
2 Corinthians 5:20 “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
The 140 (Big Idea)
By God’s grace, you are priceless and He has given everything for you to realize your value and be used for His purposes. #sugarhillchurch
This week as you look in your mirror, may you see past the things the world is concerned with, and may you see the true beauty and value of a Child of God, an Ambassador of Jesus shining back at you. May your mirror become a place of worship, not of yourself, but of your God who loves you… who proved your worth by giving His all for you… and who calls you glorify Him to the ends of the earth.
As we leave here today, may we humbly and gratefully celebrate our value with the prayer of Psalm 139:13-14, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
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