You Are Valuable: 4 Reasons Why (Part 1)
Recently a friend of mine was giving a talk about how Jesus values us. He said Jesus is better than we think and that we are more valuable to Him than we realize. When my friend made this statement, there was a collective “Amen” from the audience. It happened in such unison and perfect timing that he might as well have conducted a choir. The room's response felt assertive and authoritative; I would even say appropriately rebellious. It was the kind of moment when the voices of criticism, doubt and denial took notice. In the outside world - the way the room felt was resolute, assertive and confident. In my internal world - the way I felt was unsure, longing and hopeful. I began to ponder - “Do I know how valuable I am to God? Should I even be valuable to God? How am I valuable to God?”
We all want to be valuable. I know, because - Love is proof. Acceptance is proof. Security is proof. Connection with others is proof. Laughter is proof. Even something negative like, betrayal is proof. We want to be treated valuable and the fact that betrayal hurts is proof.
So at that moment, when my friend was presenting about the goodness of Jesus and our value as His creation, I identified four reasons why we are valuable - Cost, Desire, Love and Usefulness.
1. Cost - Jesus paid a price to redeem the crown of His creation - people. Psalm 49:15 highlights that God will redeem us from dead living, dead thinking, dead attitudes and a dead existence. The songwriter says, “But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself” . Notice that redemption is not only to be purchased from something, but unto something; or in this case, unto someone - “take me to himself” [God]. In a different song, the psalmist points to redemption from human oppression, so people have the freedom and power to obey . To redeem is to - “by payment of a price to recover from the power of another” . God sent Jesus and He laid down His life to pay the price to recover us from the power of sin, death and oppression. We learn in Romans that we are slaves to sin when we live void of a relationship with Jesus Christ. However, with Jesus, we have been purchased from darkness, made alive and placed in God’s family. Jesus' redemption brings us near to God  and forgives us of our sins . We learn through the Apostle Paul that when “the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship" . We are valuable because Jesus paid a great price to rescue us from the power of darkness, dead living and being slaves to sin; but more than that He forgave us, brought us near to God the Father and reconciled us back into our rightful place as children of God.
2. Desire - There are things I own that are very valuable to me and they didn't break the bank. For example, my grandparents were pastors and when they passed away I was given some of their bibles and books. They aren't worth much to most people, but they are worth thousands to me. Why? Not just because they sacrificed and led faithfully, but because I desire the legacy, the history and the sense of connection to the generation that has gone before me. I'm a follower of Jesus today, in no small part because of my grandparents. If you desire something you will pay for it, protect it, go after it and risk much to have it. I'm struck deeply by the prayer Jesus prayed in John 17. Verse 24 reads, "Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world" . Did you hear it? Maybe you should read it again. Go ahead, read it again slowly and listen for it. Did you hear it yet? It's the first three words of the sentence - "Father, I desire..." Jesus desires. He wants. He longs for. He craves. He yearns. And what is it that He desires, wants, longs for, craves and yearns? US!! He desires us, and not just to "have" us, but He desires for us to be with Him WHERE He is! Unbelievable. We are taken from the slumlord of sin and slavery, taken out of the gutters of garbage and condemnation and placed in the palace of Jesus. You and I are valuable because Jesus wants us. His wanting us DOESN'T make us valuable. He wants us because WE ARE VALUABLE! I don't believe "evil" wants us. I believe "evil" doesn't want us to have Jesus or for Jesus to have us. I've been like that. I call it envy. Envy is when I don't want you to have what you have; not because I want it, but because I want to deprive you of the joy, pleasure or satisfaction of having something. The devil is full of envy. He doesn't want us. He just doesn't want us to have what we have, namely, an intimate friendship with Jesus Christ, whereby we live from Heaven towards earth, beholding Jesus' beauty and glory, therefore reflecting and revealing His magnificence to those in bondage to the slumlord (satan). We walk the polluted streets of humanity declaring to anyone who will listen - "There is a better way. There is a place of security, warmth, love and joy that is beyond our imagination. Follow us. Rise up and let us lead you out of this dungeon of doom and find your rightful place in the family of God." We are valuable because Jesus desires us. Don't confuse this truth or complicate it. We don't clean ourselves up so that we become desirable. We are desirable right now; just as we are. Jesus desires us in all our filth, dirt, pain, brokenness, pride, ambition and dysfunction. Our _____________ (you fill in the blank with whatever negative you want) does not repel Jesus, but it's a magnet that draws Jesus closer to us. He desires us. Society may discard us. We may be rejected by others. We may be marginalized because of gender, race or creed. But Jesus wants you. Bottom line: JESUS WANTS YOU! You are valuable.
I'll share about the other two reasons next time, but between now and then, would you consider taking some time to think deeply about these two reasons and jot down what you discover about God's unrelenting love for you.
1. Jesus believes you are so valuable, that He died for you and as you.
2. Because you are valuable, Jesus desires you and wants you to be where He is, no matter what.
Until next time...
 Psalm 49:15 NIV
 Psalm 119:134 NIV
 Ephesians 2:13 NIV
 Colossians 1:14 NIV
 Galatians 4:4-5 NIV
 John 17:24 NASB