Trash or Treasure?

Sometimes it’s very hard to realize the value of things. Unless you take an interest in stamps, a stamp is a stamp, and if it’s been cancelled, well you throw it out, don’t you? After all, you can’t use it again. But some of those stamps, especially the early kangaroo stamps, are worth quite a lot of money.

If I find a Pokemon card (please don’t ask me what that is all about - but children seem to collect them) I would look at it, declare it ugly and of no value, and throw it into the waste paper basket. However, a Pokemon card fan would be horrified - because as I was told recently by one keen collector - some of the rare cards are worth up to $30 each.

When you are moving house, or sorting through the contents of a family member who has died, it is so easy to regard something as rubbish, when in fact it could be worth quite a deal of money. I was surprised to learn that some of the early greeting cards can go for hundreds of dollars at auctions. Yes, sometimes when we throw things away, we have no real sense of their value.

A lot of people make that same mistake, because they don't know how much they themselves  are worth. And so they feel that they are useless, have little to contribute, and generally sell themselves short.

On this more serious note, some people after having been put down, left out, mistreated, or abandoned, can battle feelings of worthlessness, no matter how successful they may become. Maybe it's a feeling you know all too well. And, tragically, those who don't know what they are worth, have a tendency to throw themselves away on bad relationships, low goals and self-destructive choices.

You see, what has happened is this. These people have forgotten, or have never known, the One who has created them, and the love He has poured out for them. In Matthew 13:44, Jesus is telling one of His parables. He says, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."

The parable preceding this one, indicates that the field is this world we live in and the man in the field is Jesus. And the buried treasure? That's you and me. We are worth so much to the Lord Jesus, that He gave His all for us by dying on the Cross. We are so precious to Him, that the Lord Jesus paid for our salvation with His life. He died to take away our sin!

Now you may not think that you are a treasure, but Jesus does! I love one thought that George W Bush expressed in his Inaugural Address. He said, "No insignificant person was ever born." God would agree with that! He says in Ephesians 2:10 that "we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do." So if you think you are worthless, you do not know who you are. And all those people who have treated you like you're worthless - well they don't know who you really are either. You are God's workmanship! You are a treasure. Christ gave His life for you.

Could the reason be that we feel like we're worth nothing because we're away from the One who gave us our worth? The Bible describes us as being "without God" (Ephesians 2:12) because we've taken over the running of our own lives. We have excluded God.  Notice the middle letter of sin is "I".

All of our sinning has put a wall between us and the God who made us for Himself. Or if you DO belong to the Father through Jesus Christ, then you have taken your eyes away from Him. You are living apart from Him. In both instances we need to carefully focus on all that the Lord Jesus has done for us.

For just a moment then, go back in time and walk up that hill the Bible calls the Skull Hill and stand there quietly at the foot of that Cross where the Son of God is pouring out His life for you. Look at Him dying for you! You are not worthless!

But you'll never know how valuable you are until you give yourself to the One who died to buy you back; either for the first time, or once again to love Him with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Take the focus away from yourself and your situation - sickness,  feelings of hopelessness or being hard done by, pain, discouragement, problems - and place it firmly upon Christ. Tell Jesus you want to belong to Him, to serve and follow Him only and always.

When we have a true perspective of whom we really are -  a sinner saved by grace - one who is so valuable to God,  that He gave His only begotten Son to die for us, we will see our true worth, rejoice in the Lord’s love and recognize the gifts He has given to us to serve Him (large or small - it doesn’t matter, as long as we use ALL our gifts to His glory).

When we know our true value in Christ, we will have the peace which no one and nothing else can give, and we will be able to look forward to each day, knowing that with God all things are possible - forgiveness of those who have hurt us, strength to do those things which previously we couldn’t - yes when we realize how precious we are in the sight of God, things really do change. Grace and peace....

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