Tag Archives: value

Nuggets of Hope 5 – Purchased by God



In our world, we all need it, and can’t live without it. We use money to purchase many of our daily needs. In fact, the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis is one of the big concerns that many people have.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am offering these brief daily reflections to inspire hope in God’s people as we think about different aspects of His purposes and plans for us.

Today I want to consider a powerful truth. God has placed a value on your life.

In addressing a moral issue that was plaguing the community of believers in Corinth, the Apostle Paul wrote these powerful, hope-giving words (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit,
who is in you, whom you have received from God?
You are not your own; 
you were bought at a price.
Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Money is how most of us assign value to things. We say something is valuable if it costs a lot of money. But God didn’t use money to purchase us. He used something of far greater value – the life of a person. And not just any person. He purchased us with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

This means that we are of great value to God. You don’t pay a high price for something that is unimportant to you. The more you pay for something, the more you value it. God paid the highest possible price to redeem us from sin and eternal destruction. He paid the life of His own beloved Son. He did this because He loves us and wants us to be with him forever.

As God’s purchased possession, we are secure in Him. In the midst of all the shakings and uncertainties of the time we are in, those who belong to Jesus and have surrendered our lives to Him can know with confidence that we are loved, chosen by God to inherit a Kingdom that cannot be shaken.

Being purchased with the blood of Christ also means that we do not belong to ourselves. When you buy something, you have a purpose in mind. God redeemed us from the empty way of life of the lost world around us so that we could live in a different way.  How we walk through this time, or any time, is of great importance. We are called to purity, to hope, to love.  We’re called to think of others and not just ourselves. Fear can make us stupid, but the love and sanctifying power of Jesus enables us to live by a different standard. Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

My granddaughter Madison loves to sing This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. We have a light within us that is placed there by God. We are His purchased possession. We are of high value, and secure in Him. Let’s shine for Him today.




My six month old granddaughter Sophie wants to be noticed!  That’s not unique to her, of course.  One of the longings of every human heart is the desire for significance.   We desire not just to be significant but to be recognized as being significant.   From the time that a child first develops a sense of her own identity, she wants to be noticed, to be recognized, to be valued.  We all want to make an impact on those around us; we all want our life to count for something.

Some over-zealous Christians see this desire for significance as inherently sinful, a form of pride.  But when we look at the Genesis account we see that God made the first human couple in his image and assigned them responsibility for the entire earth.  That sounds like significance to me!  Further, Psalm 8 tells us that God has made us only a little lower than the angels.  No, the desire for significance is not evil.  Like the other built-in longings of the human heart, the desire to be significant is God-given.  It’s when we try to fulfill this desire outside of a trusting relationship with the living God that we get into trouble.

Lucifer was an angel, beautiful and powerful.   Not content with being on God’s team, he became proud because of his beauty and wanted to be the supreme ruler.  He was cast out of heaven and lost his authority.  Furious that God had given authority over the earth to man and not to him, he decided to try to establish a realm for himself on earth by deceiving God’s new creature, man.  Not surprisingly, he tempted Eve by promising her what he had wanted for himself – the prospect of being as smart and powerful as God.  The only catch was that to get this prize, Adam and Eve would have to disobey God’s clear instruction, thus breaching the intimate fellowship with God that had been their life up til that moment.  He knew that if Adam and Eve took the bait, humans would be easy targets for him to manipulate, and as long as he could manipulate humans he would have a measure of influence through them.

What got Lucifer into trouble?  He wasn’t content with his God-given identity.  He had already been given significant gifts – power, beauty, authority, and a place in the heavenly council – but he wanted more.  He knew God’s power but he didn’t know his heart.  Lucifer was the archetypal orphan – never content, never at peace, always scheming, always having a point to prove.  He wouldn’t rest until he was the ruler of the whole of creation.  Blinded by his lust for power, he only succeeded in ensuring a miserable future for himself and all those who believed his lies.

Jesus was God’s only-begotten son, every bit as beautiful and powerful as Lucifer, but with a different spirit.   He willing accepted his Father’s invitation to come to earth and bring salvation to the human race, knowing the decision would be painful and costly.  In the beautiful account of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, there is a very significant statement which is a key to understanding how Jesus saw himself.

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.  (John 13:3-5)

Jesus knew who he was, where he had come from and where he was going.  He knew he had a secure place in his Father’s affections and a crucial part to play in fulfilling his Father’s purposes.   It’s no accident that when Satan attempted to divert Jesus from his mission, he did it by attacking his sense of identity, by saying “If you are the Son of God, prove it”.  But Jesus, unlike Lucifer, didn’t have a point to prove.  He already knew he was the Father’s beloved Son and he needed nothing more.  He would not act independently or get ahead of his Father’s plan, but would do only what he saw his Father doing.

As I look back on my life I realize how much I have been driven by the need to be assured of my own worth.   If you’re honest, you’ll probably admit that the same is true of you.   As long as I am trying to fulfill that longing for significance outside of God’s freely-given and unearned acceptance in Christ, my efforts only serve to block the flow of God’s grace and mercy, because even when I am doing good things I am doing them as much for myself as for others or for God’s pleasure.  But when I get the truth in focus – that I am accepted as God’s son and heir because of what Jesus has done for me, that I am significant and dearly loved by my Father, that He has given me a unique set of gifts and abilities, that He has valuable and fulfilling work for me to do in His Kingdom – then I can enter into rest and become fruitful by allowing His grace to work in me.

Over to you …


In God’s image : of high value

In some of my recent posts I’ve been exploring what it means that we are made in God’s image.   Today I want to look at what this tells us about the value of human life.

NOTE to small group leaders : I’m including this post in the Small Groups category because this is an issue that some of you may want to discuss in your small groups.

My mother died in April 2008, having lived almost eighty-six years.   She had been an active, vital woman for most of her life, staying in vibrant good health through her seventies and into her eighties.  But early in her eighties, she began showing occasional signs of confusion and mild memory loss.  Eventually a geriatric assessment revealed that she was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.   My father cared for her at home until she suffered a severe stroke in September 2006, as a result of which she required a level of care that could not be offered at home.

Throughout the years of Mom’s slow decline with Alzheimers, and the year and a half that she was hospitalized after her stroke, all her loved ones did our best to keep communicating with her.  It wasn’t easy, especially for Dad, but we wanted to continue to honour her and care for her while we had the opportunity.

Even though most of my siblings would not claim Christian faith for themselves,  I believe we were in part operating out of a deep-seated conviction that Mom’s life continued to have intrinsic value despite her condition.  Certainly that was, and is, my conviction.   In that conviction, Marion and I talked to Mom about Jesus a couple of weeks after she had had her stroke and was still struggling to communicate.   We encouraged her to put her trust in Him when she seemed fearful, and noticed that she became much more peaceful after we had prayed.  Even months later, after she had become much less responsive, we continued to speak to her as if she could hear and understand.  We did this believing that her spirit was alive, even though her mind and body were failing.

Although all creatures are of value because they came from the hand of God, Jesus made it clear that people are of more value to God than sheep or  sparrows .   He did not say that only people who are well have value.  On the contrary, he healed lepers, whom most wouldn’t touch, and spent time with those that society had discarded.  By shedding his blood for our redemption, Jesus underscored the high value that God places on every human life.  God’s image in us is worth so much to God that Jesus died to see that image restored!

When Mom was close to the end of her life, her loved ones agreed that if her life began to ebb away, artificial life support would not be used to keep her alive.   I was completely at pleace with that decision because it respects the ultimate sovereignty of God.  However, I could never have agreed to either euthanasia or assisted suicide.    Her life came from the hand of God, and not being God, I lacked the wisdom and authority to say that her life was no longer worth living.

Once we accept the conviction that some human lives are of more value than others,  we are on a slippery slope that can lead to all kinds of abuse.  The thinking that justifies assisted suicide at end of life will inevitably lead to increased suicide rates for people of all ages, probably especially teens who are prone to emotional highs and lows.   After all, when you are depressed, you sometimes feel life isn’t worth living.  Time to end it all?  If your friendly purveyors of assisted suicide are available to help you on your way, why not?

Though euthanasia against the patient’s will is not officially sanctioned yet,  there is good reason to believe that it is already occurring in the Netherlands and perhaps elsewhere.   Where will this slippery slope lead?  Adolf Hitler’s evolutionary belief system, with its conviction that some forms of human life were more evolved and therefore more valuable than others, led to the Nazi holocaust and was used to justify innumerable medical experiments, some of extreme cruelty.   I don’t want to live in Hitler’s world – do you?

I am moved by the story of a South American AIDS patient who wanted to be euthanized, but changed his mind when someone took the time to become his friend.  We can’t always trust our own perception of the value of our existence – especially when we are under extreme stress.  The Bible says that the human heart is easily deceived.   Only a robust belief system that is convinced of the value and purpose of human life can withstand the assault of the culture of death.

Believing that all people are made in God’s image means that we respect human life from beginning to end.   It also affects how we treat those around us.   Our society is not only increasingly tolerant of both abortion and euthanasia, it is also increasingly given to elder abuse, bullying, hazing, sexting, putdowns as a form of humour, and various other more subtle expressions of the conviction that some human lives matter more than others.

Christ-followers are called to live according to a different set of values than the world around us.   As society gets darker and a culture of death and despair takes root, we are called to let our minds be renewed by the Word of God so that we can represent the values of the Kingdom of God and be salt and light in a world that desparately needs hope.