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Valuable and Chosen




Valuable and Chosen

Ephesians 1:3-14

1 Peter 2:4-10


“Come to the Lord, the living stone rejected by people as worthless but chosen by God as valuable” (1 Peter 2:4 GNT).


Value. We think a lot about value... or worth... in this life, don’t we?


As I see it... there are two basic ways that most of us determine value in life:


The first is what someone is willing to pay for something. If your neighbor gets $100,000 more than appraised value for their house... it will more than likely increase your property value, right? So value is often determined by what someone is willing to pay for something. I’ve often heard that someTHING is only worth whatever someONE is willing to pay for it!


The second thing, often used to determine worth, is prior ownership. The value of an object often depends on who has owned it in the past. If I own a guitar, and try to sell it... it has the value of a used guitar. BUT... if Elvis, or Eric Clapton owned it, it’s value will be a touch higher, right?


So, based on these two things (the price someone is willing to pay & ownership), what’s our value?


I talk about this all the time: It’s important that we know “who and Whose we are!” It makes all the difference. We will never walk effectively in Christ, until we know who, and Whose, we are.


Ask yourself, “Who owns me? To Whom do I belong?” and “What price was paid for me?”


God’s Word tells us, “You have been bought and paid for by Christ, so you belong to him” (1 Corinthians 7:23a TLB).


You belong to God, and Jesus paid for you with his life. The Cross proves our value & determines our worth.


Nobody has ever paid a greater ransom than God paid for you! You’ve been chosen as acceptable, and valuable, to the creator of everything!


Peter uses the imagery of a building project to illustrate our value. God is building this stone building that represents His Church, the family of God, and you’re one of the stones. We’re “living stones” - being formed into a building - a “spiritual house.”


Jesus is the chief “living stone.” He’s our standard... our measure... our guide.


He was perfect (the very image, and nature of God!), but some people still rejected him. Sometime we’re tempted to think, “If I could just be better - or be good - or happier! If I could just get my life straightened out, then everything would be perfect, then I would be accepted.”


No! No. No... that’s not how any of this works! Jesus was perfect, but even Christ wasn’t accepted by everyone. He was, however, “chosen by God as precious... as valuable.”


God is building his Church, but it’s not found in temples or church buildings. God lives in the hearts of His people - in you and me! Peter says that you and I are living stones. When you received Christ’s offer of grace, and salvation, and life... you became a building block in God’s house.


As Christians, we’re all guilty of basing our self-worth on what other people tell us about ourselves. The one, true authority on our self-worth is Jesus Christ, and since He sacrificed His own for you & me by dying on a cross, that should tell us just how valuable we really are.


The Bible’s actually filled with verses that tell us what God has to say about our worth and our value in His eyes.


Genesis 1:26-27 says we are made in His image, the very image of God.


Psalm 139:13-16 says we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and all the days of our lives were written in God’s book before we were ever born, confirming God’s prior knowledge and plan for our lives.


Ephesians 1:4 says God chose His children before the foundations of the earth were ever formed...


And in Ephesians 1:13-14 we’re told we are God’s own possession, chosen for the praise of His glory, and that we have an inheritance in heaven with Him as His children.


Did you notice what unites all these verses; what ties them all together? What do they all have in common? They’re all things done to us - or for us - by God. These are not things we have done for ourselves, nor have we earned or deserved them.


We are, recipients of “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). And because of God’s gift in Christ, you and I can know - we can rest assured - that our worth is not really of the “self” at all; rather, it is worth given to us by God. We are of immeasurable value to God because of the price He paid to make us worthy - on the cross.


The Bible tells us that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). In fact, we “were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). What worth is there in dead things? None. God imputed to us His own righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) not because we were worthy of it, but because we were unworthy, unlovable, and unable to make ourselves worthy in any way. But - and here’s the really Good News - God actually loved us in spite of our condition (John 3:16), and because of His love, we now have infinite worth - as His children.


John 1:12 tells us that to those who received Christ and believed in His name, God gave the right to become His children. First John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


If we focus on how much God loves us and the price He paid to redeem us, we’ll come to see ourselves as God sees us, and that will help us understand just how much we’re really worth as His children.


I wonder what evidence we can offer, to show that we’ve grasped the value (our worth) that comes from being ransomed by Jesus Christ? God’s Word (of course) calls that evidence “fruit”! (Galatians 5:22)


Things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When you and I, as the Children of God, are living-out such qualities... such virtues... it’s evidence that we understand our worth in Christ. And we become effective followers of Jesus, as a result.


May it be.


Amen.




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