God Values You
Tuesday - August 4th Scripture to Read for Today's Devotional: 1 Peter 1:17-21
Today's Selection from our Sermon on the Mount Reading Plan: Matthew 5:17-20
You know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed...but with the precious blood of Christ.
1 Peter 1:18-19
Lesli and I enjoy watching the Antiques Roadshow from time to time. It is one of those shows you can watch while doing something else. It moves slowly enough that you can be distracted for a few minutes and not miss anything. While watching the show, I often try to guess what the value of an item will be. I'm usually wrong.
The PBS show goes to convention centers in different cities in the United States. Locals bring in their family heirlooms, rare works of art, antiques, and dozens of experts help them understand the item, its history, and its value. People clean out their attics, get a specific item from their grandparents' home, or rush out to buy something at an antique store to participate in a Roadshow event. Items brought to the show are collectible, extremely rare, or done by famous artists or craftsmen. Rare and unique items usually have a surprisingly high value. You get the sense that hundreds (maybe thousands) of people who show up at a Roadshow event never make it on camera and that the items they brought were not that interesting or had little or no value.
There are times that an item I am sure will be worth tens of thousands of dollars turns out to be worth far less than its owner and the program's viewers believed it to be. The longer you watch the show, the more you understand the value of various pieces of antique furniture, works of art, and collectible items. You begin to set a price in your own head before the expert gives the value. Most of my guesses are way off - even if I remember the value given to the exact item a year ago in a different city. Sometimes what brought ten thousand dollars last season now would bring only five thousand dollars. Why is that?
The value of most of the stuff evaluated on the Antiques Roadshow adjusts by market demand, the number of identical items now available on the market, and the condition of the current economy. The most significant factor in terms of a shifting value is how collectors value a particular item at one moment in time and then how they value it a few years later. Often the experts mention, "The value has gone up because the market is hot." You hear them talk about how much the market has cooled as well. Sometimes the condition of the item changes the value. Surprisingly refinished furniture or polished silver destroys the value.
Most things in our world only maintain their value based on what people think, what they like, and what they are willing to pay. That is not true about you and me. As human beings, God created us in His image. We were created higher than all other creatures of the universe. When Adam's sin contaminated humanity, our sin destroyed the relationship we had with God in Adam. God, however, still valued us. He still knows and sees us as made in His image, and He loved us even in our sin.
God knew we could not save ourselves. There was nothing any of us could do to restore that broken relationship with our Creator. Because of the value He put on us by His grace, the God who made us chose to buy us back from the slave market of sin. He paid the price. He paid that price through the sacrifice of His own Son on the cross. As the old hymn says, "Jesus paid it all!"
As Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:18-19, we were not purchased by God with silver and gold, but the blood of His Son Jesus. He values you. He values me. Each of us can be restored to a right relationship with God through Christ - and only through Christ. If you have not put your faith in Jesus, do so today. If you have placed your trust in Jesus, thank God for the price He paid to redeem you.
Often we think that our value to God shifts up and down based on our behavior. As a child of God, your value never changes. You are clothed in the goodness of Jesus Christ. God values you! God loves you!
There is nothing you can do today to make God love you any less or love you any more!