Ever been to an auction? ...
Imagine you have a friend who loves paintings. Imagine you accompany this friend, to an auction of one of Pablo Picasso’s original paintings. In the auction hall, the painting is beautifully displayed on a pedestal, front and centre. It looks pretty ordinary to you, just a nice landscape. So you say nothing and just observe. Then the auctioneer announces that the bidding will begin at $500,000. You think to yourself ‘Is this some kind of joke? Who would pay a cool half million for that?’ Much to your amazement, the members of the audience begin to indicate their interest. The price steadily rises until finally, the painting is sold for a whopping $7 million. And the icing on the cake of your amazement? The buyer, your dear friend, can only be described with one word: Ecstatic! Unbelievable. He just lost seven million dollars! 'Why?' You ask. Your friend says ‘Why not? I just gained a Picasso, do you know what this means? I own a picture Pablo Picasso painted with his own hands - it’s mine.’ To your friend, that painting is worth $7million, maybe even more, it’s that valuable.
Think about the most expensive material thing you have ever bought ...
A Beautiful house. A sports car. A diamond ring. A Luxury Cruise. A State-of-the-art Laptop. Concert tickets to see your favorite artist live. A wicked pair of designer shoes ...
Ok, let me guess, you probably had someone tell you that you paid too much for it, right? And you probably smiled to yourself, knowing they didn’t understand why and they never would. It was worth every penny you spent on it, the satisfaction of owning it, the pride of sporting it, the joy of knowing it now belonged to you. Why were you willing to pay that much for it? To you, it was worth that much. Simple.
The value of a thing is generally determined by how much money you’re willing to pay in exchange for it. The more you value it, the more money you are willing to part with to get it.
What are you worth?
Ever been asked that question before? ... if you have, you probably stated a monetary figure, that represented the sum total of all your assets. A reasonable answer, no doubt, but not quite the best one. Do you truly know what you are worth? When you look at yourself in the mirror, how valuable do you think what you see is?
How do you see yourself?
Maybe you see yourself as ‘out-of-place.’ You’ve always been different. You’ve been told you just don’t fit in. Your family sometimes teases that you must be adopted because you’re just not like everyone else. Like a misshapen penny in a roll of perfect pennies, it seems you’re never going to be any use to yourself or anyone. You’ve been told you’ll never amount to anything, you’re a good-for-nothing. You want to fit in, but try as you might, you stand out like a sore thumb and you wish you could just be like everyone else ...
Or perhaps you see yourself as ‘past-your-prime.’ You think your best days are behind you. Maybe you were once skilled, talented and celebrated, but can no longer work the skill or talent that caused people to celebrate you. Perhaps you’re a grandparent - You’ve worked your best years raising kids and grandkids who hardly even appreciate your sacrifice. You’ve been forgotten. Like an old wooden rocking-chair, left dust-covered and cobweb-ridden in the attic, replaced by a newer and modern recliner. You wonder if anyone would even notice if you suddenly were no more ...
The regular people taking a look at a misshapen penny or an old rocking-chair may with one glance classify it as ‘useless’ and dismiss it. Until the day an expert, a collector perhaps comes in, takes one look at the misshapen penny and says that’s a rare coin, one-of-a-kind from the treasury of King Henry VIII. Or an antiques dealer takes one look at the old rocking-chair and says that chair was hand-carved by Abraham Lincoln in 1892, and he may even have sat in it as he thought up the Emancipation Proclamation. Suddenly, the true value of the ‘bad penny’ and the ‘old chair’ are revealed – they are each worth millions!
Like the so-called ‘bad penny’ or ‘old-chair’ perhaps you have been classified and dismissed by parents, peers, teachers, children, society, or worse, yourself. You may feel like life has dealt you two bad hands. Life hasn't just given you lemons, it's given you rotten ones! You’ve been stepped on, tossed aside, torn apart, until you can no longer see any good in yourself, if you saw any to begin with. When people say there is something great in everyone, you laugh to yourself because you know you’re the exception to that rule. Well, let me ask you this: if I take a $100 bill and I step on it, squeeze it, throw it in the trash, my dog chews it and spits it out, it gets covered in mud until it can no longer be recognized or recognize itself, yet it doesn’t completely fall apart, is it still worth $100? Say, I took that battered, tattered bill, cleaned it up, straightened it out and took it to the bank and I asked the teller to please give me a newer bill to replace it, would the teller say ‘oh my word, that bill is just so battered and tattered, umm, let’s see, I can give you a brand new $5 bill to replace it?’ No indeed, as long as the teller can still see the numbers on it, the teller would give me a $100 because that’s what its worth!
What are YOU worth?
I assure you, people are not qualified to determine what you’re worth because they cannot see it. Not your family, or the person who is closest to you, or the person who has known you all your life. Not even they can see what you’re worth – so never let anyone tell you what you are or are not worth. They are simply not qualified. But there is an expert, a collector, as-it-were, who knows your true value. And guess what? He took a look at you a loooooong time ago, and He valued you so much that when He thought of what He could exchange to get you this was His conclusion: All the gold in all of South Africa is not valuable enough; All the crude oil in Saudi Arabia is not enough; All the money in all the swiss banks is not enough; all of the stock in the New York Stock Exchange is not valuable enough. He looked at everything in the world, and it still wasn’t enough to exchange for you. So He decided that the only price he could pay that would be valuable enough to obtain a treasure of your caliber, was the very life on His only son. And guess what? He gave up his son’s life without so much as a hesitation, just so he could have the joy of owning you!
Who is this 'collector,' this 'expert,' who alone is able, is qualified to determine your worth? He's the collector of broken men; the expert on rejected women; the God of Heaven and earth - the One who made you and knows you, inside and out, beginning to end.
What are you really worth? ... You are worth the life of the Son of the immortal, invincible, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God! ... Take a moment and wrap your mind around that, let it sink deep into your heart.
Maybe your parents told you that you were a mistake; maybe you were an abandoned child eventually adopted; maybe you’ve been rejected by peers, or even your own spouse who vowed to love you always, it doesn’t matter. Just like the battered and tattered $100 bill, your value has not been diminished and can never be diminished by any person, circumstance, happening, or disability in your past or present or future. Whether you’ve done things that make a prisoner on death-row look like a saint, or you’ve out of no fault of yours been abused by people, by life itself, it doesn't matter!
There are a few things money cannot buy – Newsflash: YOU are one of them! You are soooooo valuable that the only thing expensive enough to exchange for you was the very life of the beloved and only Son of God, Jesus Christ. It was a divine exchange. It was a willing exchange. It was a loving exchange. But you're the only one who can make it a complete exchange.
When you buy something, it’s an exchange. You give money, you get the thing, and everybody’s happy, end-of-story right? ... Perhaps, not quite so in this case. Imagine selling all you have, then borrowing several thousands more to pay some kidnappers as ransom for the love of your life, only to have the freshly-emancipated love of your life, walk away without so much as a thank you or a backward glance ... How would you feel? No doubt, as though your heart had been ripped out and shredded to tiny pieces. You did ALL that, looking forward to spending all your days and moments with this person you love so, and now .... the person is gone forever. It’s almost unimaginable. If you can even imagine what that would feel like, multiply that by a billion and maybe that would be as a drop in the ocean compared to what your divine ‘collector’ feels, if after He’s paid the ultimate price, you still haven’t given Him the one thing He wants more than anything else: YOU!
It’s you God wants. You’re the only thing that makes a God who owns the whole earth and heavens, and lacks nothing sigh and say ‘I wish I had ...’ – YOU! Yes He wants your time, your service, your money, yes those show that you care, but more than that he wants your attention, your heart, in totality.
He wants to be your first thought when you awaken, and your last whisper as you fall asleep.
He wants to be the melody and lyrics to the song of your life.
The solution to the most complex equations of your existence.
The answer to your most difficult, secret questions.
The deepest longing, the utmost desire of your heart.
God wants You.
No, you can never truly understand why, it’s beyond comprehension. Because He’s immortal and you’re mortal. He’s all-powerful and you’re often powerless. He’s Perfect and you’re imperfect. He knows everything and you don't really know that much. He’s got the whole world, and what do you have? ... I mean, what could he possibly have seen in you to elicit this kind of love? No, you cannot fully grasp the manner, the depth, the span, the width, the breadth of His unchanging, undying, unlimited, unconditional love for you.
You’ve got two options:
a. Disbelieve the story. Ignore the love. Reject the One who gave up everything for you
b. Believe the story. Accept the love. Love Him wholeheartedly, in return
So what’ll it be?
Bottomline dear friend, if you asked Him why He loves you like that, all He’s going to say to you is simply is this: 'Because you're worth it!'