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Sermon of the Week 
Wednesday, January 29 2020

We're going to speak about what has value in our lives and why…. Our language tricks us by treating value as a noun, when it is actually a VERB.    People around you value you, and give value to other things. Our values are usually based on our wants and needs. So, we value food, shelter, Love and friendship. We value belonging and being needed. We place value on what we give priority to in time, money or sacrifice. Successful people know,that if they can provide what other folks place value on, then success will be guaranteed

Young children feel that when they go to bed at night and go to sleep, the world stops. They believe that before they were born the world didn't even exist, and there is no place except the place where they are. That’s because they see themselves as the center of the universe and they are the reason all things exist!                                                                                     Growing out of that, is called maturity, when you begin to value what others see as their common values! 

I see this process on Facebook all the time. Someone will post something and have 1,000 likes, while someone else gets only 3 likes…. The person with 3 likes is getting an education in what causes value and how others see value…. 

There was a lady who attended a self-awareness workshop and afterwards she said, “I finally got in touch with my inner self and she’s just as confused as I am!”.            

OK, in reality, the bottom line is that nothing has value, unless someone values it.     

Jennifer Lopez, is clearly confused about where the value is…. She has insured her booty for $300 million dollars! Mariah Carey insured her legs for a whopping $1 billion dollars! Dolly Parton took out insurance on her chest area for $3.8 Million. Miley Cyrus insured her tongue for $1 million since all she does is stick it out all day. Tom Jones had his chest hair insured for $7 million. Taylor Swift insured her legs for a whopping $40 million dollars. Keith Richards, lead guitarist for The Rolling Stones, had his hands insured for $2 million. Julia Roberts who is known for her big, toothy grin insured her lips and smile for a cool $30 million dollars.

I’m told that what something can be insured for, then determines what that value is.

Someone presented a brilliant way to determine your value, if you don’t know Christ as your personal Savior…. Just follow this simple instruction…Take a bucket and fill it with water, then put your hand in it, up to your wrist, now, pull it out, and the hole that remains, Is the measure of your value without Christ.

Of course we understand by God’s word, that each human being is priceless, since Jesus paid the price with His own life on the cross for our redemption, no matter what we’ve done or who weare. You cannot ever put a price tag on that. It is the definition of pricless!

One song says “Lord you are more precious than silver, Lord you are more costly than gold, Lord you are beautiful than diamonds, and nothing I desire compares to you”…

It’s not about what you can do, it’s about what God can do with you and through you…

A tennis racket in my hands is worth about $30.00, a tennis racket in Roger Federer’s hands is worth $450 Million…. A football in my hands is a big hurt coming on, a football in Russell Wilson’s hands with the Seahawks, is worth a $140 million contract…. A basketball in my hands is worth $15.00, a basketball in Lebron James’s hands is worth $450 Million….. A baseball in my hands is worth about $15.00, a baseball in Mike Trout’s hands with the Los Angeles Angels, is worth a $450 million dollar contract…..A golf club in my hands is worth about $50.00, A golf club in Tiger Woods’ hands is worth $800 million, IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHOSE HANDS IT’S IN!

What is as true as night and day, and sunrise and sunset, is that we are 

special. We are unique as remarkable creations of God.

A little girl watched, fascinated, as her mother gently rubbed cold cream on her face. “Why are you rubbing cold cream on your face, Mommy?” she asked. “Well, honey, it’s to make myself beautiful”. A few minutes later, the mom began removing the cream with a tissue. “What’s the matter mom?” the daughter asked “Are you giving up already?”                         Tell someone (don’t you ever give up) you can’t see all that God is doing, He makes all things beautiful in His time….

We are not special just because you (or I) believe we are. You and I are special because GOD SAYS we are. He created us to be unique and special in the entire creation…

You and I are valuable. We are a remarkable, one of a kind creation of God, with an amazing destiny planned by the Father. 

Someone said that we know we are special and valuable because God doesn’t ever make junk!

That’s just another version of Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them, male and female He created them”. Think about it, when God was looking for something to compare us to,   He compared us to Himself!!!!

God believes that you and I are worth giving His life for.

He regarded us as being so valuable that He placed His own Spirit inside of you and me. And then He commissioned us to be His personal representatives in the earth, so that He could work through us. 

Ephesians 2:10 says: "... we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which He has prepared in advance for us to do."                                       2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creature has come, the old has gone, the new is now here”!                                                               One version says that we are a “new species of being” in the earth!                    It is God’s ownership of us that gives us value and significance.                                        One Sunday a teacher finished telling her class the story of the birth of Jesus.  After telling the story the teacher asked, "Who do you think the most important woman in the Bible is?” 

A little boy raised his hand and said, “Eve is the most important.” The teacher asked him why he thought Eve was the most important woman in the Bible. The little boy replied, “Well, they named Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve after her.”

If we don’t teach them about Jesus, how will they have a healthy value system with which to make the important decisions of life….

Think about this….. How much would you pay for a toothbrush? Would you give $10? $5? $1.50?

What would you pay for a USED toothbrush?

Now, what if it could be proven that the toothbrush was once owned by Napoleon? How much would you pay then? Well, at auction, somebody paid $21,000 for Napoleon’s used toothbrush.

Or, how much would you pay for a set of fake pearls?

$20/ $30... maybe as much as $100? What if that set of pearls had been owned by Jackie Onassis Kennedy? Her fake pearls went at auction for a little over $200,000

Or how much would you pay for a crumpled up piece of paper with music on it that you could play on the piano? In 2003, an original autographed piece of sheet music by Beethoven went for over $1.5 million.

Now my point is this: That toothbrush was used. The pearls were fake.

And the sheet music was just a piece of paper.

They weren't valuable because of what they were, they were valuable because of who owned them.

It’s not because of who I am, it’s because of whose I am!

Now, there are some people who don't understand that truth.

They don't look to God for their self-worth.

They don't look to God for their value and their importance.

Jesus rebuked a group of people in His day, because of where they found their value. The Pharisees didn't look at God for their worth. They looked at themselves. They used religion as a measure of their value, instead of looking to the one that religion was supposed to be all about. Instead, religion and tradition and rituals, became a substitute for God’s ownership in their lives….

Matthew 23:5-6 Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide (a square container attached to the forehead containing the Old Testament Laws) and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues" 

What it’s saying is that there are those who do what they do to be seen of men, as though God isn’t paying attention and we have to flag Him down! 

I think if any of us walk into a room and see ourselves in a mirror, for a moment, we check ourselves out before we move on. When we walk by    a store window and see our reflection, we quickly suck in our stomachs and square back our shoulders. 

It’s one thing to check yourself out but quite another to set your value and worth simply by the exterior appearance in the mirror, instead of the core values that really make us who we are…                                                         I took my heart for granted, until I had a heart attack, I didn’t value my heart until it malfunctioned, then it became how I ate, how I exercised, and basically how I live. How we value it affects our new life style….

One of the dangers in having a warped sense of values, is that …

We see the church as a place where OTHERS should change and we are there to change everyone else according to our personal preferences.

Some folks have appointed themselves as the judge of all earthlings…..

A lot of folks enter friendships and even marriage, to change the other person… UH, OH…. Some folks sit in church, thinking, “that was a great sermon, too bad the ones who needed it were not here to receive it”….       

Listen, throw away the shovel that you bring to church that you use to throw everything over on someone else, and bring your rake to church and get yourself some! (tell somebody…”Get yourself Some”)

A preacher or bible teacher can easily fall into this trap. They make powerful sermons that condemn sin in others... but they are blind to it in themselves. They load their gospel gun and go hunting for bear, ignoring the fact that the bear has climbed up into their tree!! We must allow the Word to pass through us first, before we give it out to someone else….

Kids were asked to write letters to the pastor….one boy wrote, “I would like to go to Heaven someday because I know my brother won’t be there”, Stephen, age 8….Another boy wrote “Please say a prayer for our Little League team. We need God’s help, or a better pitcher”. Thank you, Alexander, age 10…. A girl wrote, “My father should be a minister. Every day he gives us a sermon about something, Roberta, age 9….. If we live with a shovel, pitching everything on to someone else, that’s the value our children will learn….

We need to regularly detox our brains and spirits….not just our bodies…                                                                                                                           2 Timothy 1:7 "God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and a sound mind."                                                                                          I would say that Jesus was pretty successful in completing His mission, without getting pulled this way and that. He refused to get caught up in the enemy’s traps, but always spoke what God had spoken into the daily twists and turns called life. He stayed in the word and walked in communion with the Father. He raked in everything that was good, profitable, spiritually viable, and mission oriented.

I read that Isaiah made sure he had a rake and not a shovel mentality.                       Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 

Corrie ten Boom, who ministered to her fellow captives and the guards, in Hitler’s death camps, once told a friend, "... People thank me  so much and it used to worry me because I didn't want to get a big head. So I began to collect those compliments like flowers.

'Thank you,' I'd say. 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.'

Then at the end of the day I'd kneel down and I'd say, 'Here You are Jesus, I present them to you as a bouquet, they're all Yours.'" 

Roy Disney said “It’s not so hard to make major decisions, once you know what your core values are”….

I’ve heard Winnie tell girls, before you think of getting serious, get a few things settled up front, “Do they attend church regularly (before you let yourself fall in love with them). Do they tithe? Do they read the bible regularly and habitually (before you knew them). Oh yes, you can find out this stuff if you are really serious.. Do they have a regular prayer life (get up beside them and see what they pray). Believe me, you can tell a person’s relationship with the Lord, by how they pray!

If they don’t pass this test, back off Jack and Jill, or you’ll be tumbling down the hill, spilling your little pail of water!!!

Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last!

We are told in scripture that our praise and worship, is a private performance for the Lord. There may be a thousand folks giving praise and worship all around us, but our praise should beperformed for an audience of one!! He’s the only one we need to impress.

Psalm 100:1 “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. v2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing. v3 Know that the Lord He is God: it is He that has made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. v4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. v5 For the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures to all generations”.                                                                             

Also look at.. Psalm 33:2 “Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to Him with ten strings. v3 Sing to Him a new song, play skillfully with a shout of joy”.

Courage is about remembering who you are and what you believewhen you face opposition… With so many things that are not politically correct or that are offensive to someone…so many find themselves being careful about speaking their personal convictions. So they are prone to give reports like a fourth grader who spoke on the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday. He said ”The pilgrims came here seeking freedom of you know what. When they landed, they gave thanks to you know Who. And because of them, we can worship each Sunday, at you know where.”

When it’s for the Lord, we should not be intimidated to honor Him wherever we are or who we’re with. 

We are what we repeatedly do, excellence is not an act, it is a life style. We don’t throw God left overs! We give Him the First part of our finances, we give Him the first part of our time, we give Him the first part of our interests, talents, and abilities. When we do that, we will put the needs of others first as well, cause that’s where our values are.

Jesus told them in Matthew 25:40. “And the King shall answer and say, as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me”……Those in the family of God should be all about helping one another look so good, that folks will want to be a part of whatever we are part of. 

The Levites didn’t just comprise the priesthood, they were responsible for setting up the tabernacle, they took it down when it was time to move, and they transported it to the next location. They did it as ministry unto God, and they did it their entire lives, for an audience of one!

If you pick up folks and bring them to church, then take them home afterwards, do it unto the Lord with joy and excellence. 

If you greet folks before and after service, do it unto the Lord, and do it with joy and excellence. 

If you help with the children, do it unto the Lord, and do it with joy and excellence. 

Where we mess up, is when we don’t do it all for Him, and we get lazy in the dedication of our service, and begin to give Him the left overs!!!

When He receives the first part, that means that we have prayed, prepared and prioritized about what we are offering to Him….

It’s an honor to serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!!! 

You know the drill, “Give respect, and you get respect”..                                        I must confess that I’m just not that wrapped up in titles…                          But I refer to the president as “President Trump”, to honor the office which he occupies as leader of our country. It is a title that is greater than any one person who holds the title…. I call the judge in court “Your Honor” because I respect and value his office and his position. 

I like the way Bill Gaither says it, in his song about the family of God…. “You will notice we say "brother and sister" 'round here- It's because we're a family and these folks are so near. When one has a heartache we all share the tears, and rejoice in each victory, in this family so dear.

I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God- I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood! Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, for I'm part of the family, the family of God”.

Psalm 75:6-7 “This I know, the favor that brings promotion and power

doesn’t come from anywhere on earth, for no one exalts a person but God, the true judge of all. He alone determines where favor rests. He anoints one for greatness and brings another down to his knees”.

Back in the middle ages, there was a Danish King (Canute) who ruled over England. As often was the case for Kings of that era, those who surrounded him in the court, would fill his ears with praise and talk about his greatness, power and invincibility. We call it kissing up…

The king finally began  to believe all this flattery and he held a special event. He gathered his court officials together and had a processional where his throne was carried down to the seashore and there he sat for a few moments watching the surf.

As he saw the tide begin to come in, and the waves begin to approach his throne he commanded the waves to stop and no longer come in.

But no matter how forcefully he ordered the tide not to come in, his order was not obeyed. Soon the waves engulfed him and his chair.

History says that, from that day on, the king never wore his crown again. Instead, he hung it on the cross of the statue of the crucified Christ which stood in the cathedrial……Where do you find your "self-worth"?

Don't take the glory away from God. Let’s hang our crowns on His cross,

because it all belongs to Him. "

Shall we pray this prayer together….

Heavenly Father, I surrender my life to You! For You are the mighty and all-powerful God, worthy of all my praise. As I come in worship to You, Lord, sometimes I am so overwhelmed by what is going on around me that I am lost for words. But I know that by the inner working of the Holy Spirit, all I need to do is call on the name of my Lord and Savior.  Thank You Lord for that privilege! I thank You for filling me with renewed purpose as I honor You through the gift of life that I have received. Help me, Lord, in all the situations I face, to always magnify and glorify You.  

Lord I know that when temptation comes my way, as I stay close to you, I shall triumph over whatever situation I face. I want to thank You for the opportunities I have to live for You and You only, and to walk in complete obedience to your word and will. In the words of Proverbs 3:5 I will trust in the Lord with all my heart, and I will not lean on my own understanding. In all my ways I acknowledge him, and He will make straight my paths. Lord, help me to always remember that I can let go and let God. In Jesus Name, Amen…..

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