Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our worth is based on who we are, not on what we do.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God-not the results of works, so that no one may boast."

Lloyd Ogilvie was a distinguished Presbyterian pastor who served as Chaplain to the United States Senate. In one of his books, he tells about the time he crushed his left leg in a bad fall.  For three months, he was bed ridden and in considerable pain.  Dr. Ogilvie says that he learned many lessons from that experience, including the following, expressed in his own words:  For the first time in my life, I was taken off the fast track.  I discovered that most of my security and identity were in what I accomplished for God - preaching sermons, writing books, and leading a church.  All of this identified my worth.  Well, what can you do when there's nothing to do but wait for healing?  For three months, I could put no weight on my leg.  During that difficult convalescence, I discovered in a new way that God loves me not for what I do but simply because I belong to him.  That realization liberated me.  I don't have to write books or lead a church in order to be loved by God."

Sometimes newly retired persons go through a real identity crisis when they leave the employment which provided them with such clear status and sense of worth for all those years.  But it should give such persons a real boost to know that their rating on God's stock market did not drop a single digit when they retired.

I see mothers get depressed when the last of their children leave home.  Of course, many mothers in that situation throw a party.  The depressed mothers may really be concerned about their own self-worth, their reason for being.  Those persons need to be reminded that God values them just as highly as when they had babies on their laps. When children are gone, these parents can channel their energies into other endeavors God has in mind for them.  They could even take on a ministry in their church!

This coming Labor Day weekend is a wonderful time to celebrate work, whether you do it for pay or as a volunteer.  If you're in a slot God intends for you, then enjoy the job satisfaction God gives.  The quality of our work is an advertisement of our God, so let's do it with a touch of class.  And remember, we are more than laborers.  We are children of the King of Kings whose love for us does not drop an iota when we clock out of work.

A nurse won the admiration of her little Appalachian mountain community with her patience, her cheerfulness, and her genuine concern for others.  Her salary was inadequate by any standard. One day a physician said to her, "Joan, why don't you get out of this backward little community and go where they will pay you a decent salary. God knows you are worth it." With a smile she answered, "If God knows I am worth it, that's all that matters to me."

He Cares for the Sparrow-So I know He Cares for Me!
"Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”  Luke 12:6-7

This verse promises us that God loves us enough to know even how many hairs we have on our heads.  It tells us that if he values a little bird enough to know when it falls, how much more valuable are we to Him?

God does love us in spite of our sin and knows how valuable we are even when others may not place much value in us.  The clothes we wear, the car we drive and the job we have do not make us the person we are.  The person we are comes from the heart and God knows us inside and out.  He sees our heart. 

Scripture to Claim:
That's how much you mean to me! That's how much I love you! I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.  Isaiah 43:4

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