What are you worth?

An email I received a while ago from a friend inspired this.
A lot of people I have encountered, in an attempt at humility, have spoken of how worthless they are when they consider what Jesus did for them. I disagree...about 2 things. The first, that we are worthless. The second, that this is a sign of humility.
To the first point. In God's eyes, we are of tremendous worth. He sent His Son for us!
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
So often I read that as just an explanation of salvation...believe in Jesus and have everlasting life. It's also a "why" statement. God loved the world so much that it was worth it to Him to send His Son for us. There is no other way for us to be redeemed. God demands perfection to redeem us from our sins. Jesus is the only one who fits the bill. But this is God's Son we're talking about.
John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
It's an astonishing statement to say that God loves you and me enough to send His Son to die for our sins so that we can be with Him in Heaven. You are worth it. God thinks so, you should too.

That brings me to my second point...humility. I have a problem with the way a lot of people define humility.
Humility isn't thinking that you are nothing, lower than low, dirt, good at or for nothing. Humility is knowing who you are. What you are good at, not good at and then understanding where the good comes from - God. And knowing that the bad can and should be fixed and that's only possible with God's help.
Know who you are. Strengths, weaknesses. Give it all to God. Ask Him to show you how to use your strengths for His glory and how to improve on your weaknesses.

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Tetelestai - It is finished. John 19:30

I must have been good, I must have been right
to see you standing holding, holding me tight
with your arms around me, I know that You are there
You're never in the distance, I always know You're near

Nothing I can do. Nothing I can say
Can make You love me more. Your love remains the same
You gave it all for me. You gladly took my place
To rid myself of all, all my guilt and shame.

I must have stood strong, I must have stood tight
to yield the thoughts around me, that battle in my mind.
And knowing You surround me, Your wings coat my despair.
Whatever my condition, the Cross it shows You care.

Nothing I can do. Nothing I can say
Can make You love me more. Your love remains the same
You gave it all for me. You gladly took my place
To rid myself of all, all my guilt and shame.

"Nothing" Jeremy Camp. From the album Stay.

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Above All

In John 3:31, John is telling us that Jesus is above all. We just do what's natural for us as humans. It's not natural for us to speak or do the things of Heaven. For Jesus, it's His nature. Heaven is where He came from.
Remember, though, as Christians, we have the Holy Spirit. Because He indwells us, we can, through Him, do heavenly things. Phil 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
Likewise, if I don't have the Holy Spirit, there's no way I do the things of Heaven. "But without faith, it is impossible to please Him..." Not only can I not please God, it won't even occur to me that He's displeased because I am focused on what I want and His desires aren't my desires. Read James chapter 1.

"Above All". That has to be His position in our lives. He's above all of His creation, but He won't force Himself to be first in your life. That is a choice He gave us. He'll be over all at the judgment, but then it's too late.
Choose, now, to let Him be above all in your life. It's all upside. Jer 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

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Follow through

God's been running a theme through my life for several weeks. It's about following through. That means a lot of things, some of which I am good at, others not so much.
In 2 Chronicles 26, Uzziah becomes king of Judah. He does really well at first, but then in verse 16 he decides he's strong enough and good enough to go burn incense in the temple. So Azariah goes in with 80 priests to stop him and tell him that it's not his job. Uzziah gets angry and ends up leprous.
Uzziah starts out well, but doesn't follow through.
How easy it is to let our pride get in the way of ministry, friendship, work, whatever. I'm going along fine, and then I think I have a better way or I don't even bother to ask God what wants me to do because I think I know what needs to be done.
For me, the follow through here is on both ends. First, and most obvious, when God tells you to do something, do it. Or in Uzziah's case, what not to do. Pretty simple. The second is where I think I fail most often. When I gave my life to Christ, I said, "whatever you want me to do, I'll do." But then, I don't even ask. How can I follow through with what God wants me to do if I never ask what it is?

God, forgive me for not being a faithful listener. I know you want to direct my steps and I know you only have good for me. Help me to stop long enough each day to hear your direction and your will for me. Give me the strength to go where you lead me.

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It's my intention to share what I read/learn/think about from time to time. Please take it for what it's worth. I hope it's helpful and fruitful.

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