Up, Personal Worth, And Personal Value
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3:21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made
known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness
from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is
no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came
by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, I
through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice,
because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand
unpunished—26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time,
so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
In the 1950’s,
retailers offered S & H Green Stamps. Green stamps were called trading
stamps. Depending upon the amount of your purchase, you were given green
trading stamps. You would take your stamps home and paste your stamps in
special books. Depending upon how you handled your stamps, the stamps
could get dirty, greasy, and grimy. After you had collected the stamps,
you could go to a redemption center to trade in your books for prizes or
The item you received in
exchange for your stamp collection depended upon what the stamp company
was willing to pay you or give you. Some people saw the stamps as
valuable, other people saw the stamps as worthless.
In the same way, two
people can look at the same item and see different value. Examples of
different value depending upon one’s perception are found in art, rare
coins, stocks, and financial securities.
The value of a green
stamp booklet depended upon what the redemption center was willing to
trade you for the stamps you collected. The value of a human being depends
upon the eye of the beholder. How you value yourself depends upon the eye
you use when you look at yourself.
Many people, Christians,
doubters, and non-Christians have never understood what being redeemed is
all about. They don’t understand redemption. Because they don’t
understand about being redeemed, they are still in prison, so to speak.
The word “redeem” means reclaim or claim again.
When you take an item to
a pawn shop you take your item in, they give you a claim ticket, give you
your money, and you go away with only a fraction of what the item is
really worth. If you want the item back (reclaiming), you take your claim
ticket back to the pawn shop with more money in hand than pawn shop gave
you in the beginning.
The word “redeem”
also means repurchase or purchase a second time. To “redeem” also
means “restore” like you restore an old piece of
The word “redeem”
also means “liberate” or set free from some kind of imprisonment. The
word “redeem” also means “being saved from some kind of terrible
In God’s eyes, what are
When we want to do
something our way instead of God’s way, do we still have value to God?
Does God understand when
we want to go our own way, even though He might not approve?
Can God see past our
If we were trading
stamps, would God think we were valuable?
If someone tried to trade
us in, what would God be willing to pay or give for our life?
Story About Redemption
A story told by Paul Lee
Tan illustrates the meaning of redemption.
When A.J. Gordon was
pastor of a church in
, the pastor met a young boy in front of the sanctuary carrying a rusty
cage in which several birds fluttered nervously. Gordon inquired,
"Son, where did you get those birds?" The boy replied, "I
trapped them out in the field."
"What are you going
to do with them?"
"I'm going to play
with them, and then I guess I'll just feed them to an old cat we have at
When Gordon offered to
buy them, the lad exclaimed,
"Mister, you don't
want them, they're just little old wild birds and can't sing very
well." Gordon replied,
Pastor Gordon said
"I'll give you $2 for the cage and the birds."
"Okay, it's a deal,
but you're making a bad bargain." said the boy.
The exchange was made and
the boy went away whistling, happy with his shiny coins. Gordon walked
around to the back of the church property, opened the door of the small
wire coop, and let the struggling creatures soar into the blue. The next
Sunday he took the empty cage into the pulpit and used it to illustrate
his sermon about Christ's coming to seek and to save the lost -- paying
for them with His own precious blood. "That boy told me the birds
were not songsters," said Gordon, "but when I released them and
they winged their way heavenward, it seemed to me they were singing,
'Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed!"
appeared in July, 2009, in the Virtual Church
web site at http://www.findthepower.com