“1 But now, O Israel, the Lord who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. 2 When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba as a ransom for your freedom. 4 Others died that you might live. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.”
Last time we saw that not only do we belong to God but we are also protected by Him. Now thirdly God tells us:
- You are precious to me.
It is here in verse 4 that we discover one of the biggest and best truths of the bible, we have value to God. Scripture tells us that we are precious to Him and He backed up these words with action when He allowed His Son, Jesus to die a horrible death on the cross so that he could come to God. It was Christ’s death that defeated the devil and freed us, taking us from bondage to blessing as 1 John 3:8 says, “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” Nothing communicates our value to God more than the cross. The cross of Calvary reminds us that we are cherished. Whenever we start to question our worth we have strayed too far from the cross and we need to come back. Our most precious possession is not riches it’s our relationship with God because of the death and resurrection of His Son. Deep down we all want to know that we matter, that we are important. Unfortunately, many of us try to find our worth in our work; we try to fill that feeling of being important through what we do instead of what God has done. That is what drives many to become workaholics; they are trying to find their worth through their work instead of the words of God. I think one of the greatest questions we can ask ourselves is this, are we trying to find our worth in our work or in His? You are precious to God, you matter. Let me ask you what voice are you listening to, whose words are you letting determine your worth? Are you listening to the voice of self, society or the Savior? When it comes to the worth of others what words are you speaking? We need to be very careful what words we say when it comes to others because God says that they are precious. Are you looking at others through God’s eyes or basing others worth on worldly eyes? I want you to take time right now to ponder these words about your worth from the Message: “Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! 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.” Do you realize how precious you are to God? Not only do we have value but lastly God tells us:
- I love you.
I think that Love is one of the most misunderstood words today. As a pastor over the years, I have heard many people say these words, “I don’t love my spouse anymore, I have fallen out of love. But love is not something we fall into and out of. Love is so much more than a feeling, love is a decision, it’s an act of your will. In Isaiah 49:16 it says that God loves you so much that He engraved your name on the palm of His hand. In Matthew 10:30 it says that God loves you so much that He knows how many hairs are on your head. In Psalms 56:8 it says that God loves you so much that He saves your tears in a bottle. In Jeremiah 31:3 it says that God loves you with an everlasting love. God’s love is very personal toward you and it’s not based on your performance. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, it doesn’t matter what you’ve experienced God loves you. It doesn’t matter what you have thought about yourself or what other people may have said about you, God loves you. When you think of the immensity of God’s lavish love, the first thing the Bible often asks us to do is to consider the price that was paid. The cross is God’s permanent statement of just how much He cherishes you. As 1 John 4:10 says, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” What makes this love so amazing is that it is highlighted against the backdrop of a debt that each one of us owes. At the core of God’s being is His holiness and in order for us to have any kind of relationship with Him, we need to be righteous. This means that we have to find a way for our sins to be forgiven. The problem is that there is nothing that we can do to accomplish that because our debt is just too big. We can’t buy God’s favor, we can’t work for it, we can’t ever be good enough to earn it. God’s holiness demanded that sin be paid for, and this is where God’s love steps in, as His Son Jesus Christ when to the cross for us. On the cross Jesus traded us our sin for His sonship, He got the punishment and we got the inheritance. God loves you with an everlasting love that words fail to describe. What words are you allowing to shape your worth? Are you walking in God’s weighty words, you belong, you are protected, you are valued and you are loved or the worthless words of the world?