My wife Angel is addicted to Dr. Pepper! Per the Dr’s order, a “fridge pack” like this one is often at the top of our list when gathering groceries each Sunday in preparation for the busyness of a new week. Angel teaches lots of feisty first graders, and she powers up on Pepper to try and keep the pace.
Now we’re pretty thrifty when it comes to household spending. A weekly grocery bill averages somewhere between $25 and $40. Not bad, huh? Anyway, sometimes Dr. Pepper is on sale, and sometimes it’s not. Interestingly, I’ve begun to notice a pattern over the past months when it comes to adding this item to our cart. If these sodas are discounted, Angel picks them up. But if they’re full price, she settles for a substitute (like Dr. Thunder, ugh!) or just denies herself altogether. Sometimes I feel sad to watch this struggle to choose because she can’t come to terms with spending a few extra dollars.
Having known Angel for well over a decade, she has shared with me a familiar pattern that has often dominated her thoughts since childhood. Because of her unique upbringing, Angel has received certain messages about herself through people and circumstances which have led her to one basic conclusion – “I’m a burden.”
Unbeknownst to her, Satan had been putting secret, subtle thoughts in Angel’s mind even as a young child. They may have sounded something like this:
- “It’s too expensive to take four kids on vacation.”
- “It costs too much to buy new clothes.”
- “If it weren’t for me, mom and dad could have a better life.”
- “I’m a burden to my parents. I don’t want to burden anybody else.”
Now as an adult, those embedded lies are still manifested even in daily details like shopping for groceries.
One recent Sunday afternoon, Angel and I found ourselves at Wal-Mart with a cart full of goodies. We came to the soda isle, and Dr. Pepper was not on sale. The full price was $4.48. Angel picked up the pack and then put them back saying, “They’re too expensive.” As I watched her start to walk away, suddenly Jesus used my hands and placed one on each cheek of her face. Turning her head to gaze in my eyes, I said, “You’re worth $4.48.” She smiled and understood it was true.
Growing up in a world full of rejection, people of all ages suffer from feelings of worthlessness. People who have been programmed like this often see a great need to perform for acceptance and seek validation from those they esteem. God created us with certain needs of the heart which only He can fully meet. We all need worth because we’re valuable enough for God to create us, and He thought we were worth dying for.
Someone has said a thing is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Suppose you and I are the item for sale, and God wants to purchase (redeem) us. Now, we’re not intrinsically worth as much as Jesus, but Jesus was our redemption price. In other words, Jesus didn’t redeem us because we were worthy, but we’re now worthy because He redeemed us. He gives us worth as His purchased people. God is motivated only by His love for us – knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you (1 Peter 1:18-20).
…for the sake of you…
Will you pause right now and let God appraise you? Consider your Creator…He’s considering you. He’s looking you over, and He’s rejoicing over you! Yes, over you! He found you, He bought you, He loves you. You’re the apple of His eye, and He thinks you hung the moon. Are you still not convinced? Listen to a parable…
The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
To Jesus, you’re a hidden treasure. To Jesus, you’re a priceless pearl of eternal worth! This is the gospel. Will you believe it?
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