Wednesday, January 28, 2015
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I ordered out for lunch and of course it came on a paper plate. Guess what I did with the plate when I finished lunch? I didn't wash it, no, I didn't save it for later, no. In fact, I've never done that with a paper plate. Now look, we've never had tons of money, but I have never in my life saved a paper plate. I throw it away, like you probably do! And I don't feel any sense of loss or regret, "Oh, look what I did to my paper plate." It doesn't bother me.
But we have these other plates at our house. They're in a cabinet in the dining room, My wife put them there. We save them for special occasions. And we wash those after we use them. I mean I think my wife wrote in magic marker on the back "fine china". At least, uh, she probably thinks she should. They're the best we've got - those dishes. When we're done, we put them away very carefully. Because if you drop them, you're out of the family. Now, what's the difference? Paper plates are cheap, practically worthless. You throw them away. Now, fine china, oh no, that's expensive, too valuable to throw away. Guess which one most people feel like today.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "No Paper Plates."
Yeah, an awful lot of people feel like paper plates these days. I mean they've been put-down, hurt, neglected, compared, ignored, left out, abused. And they feel worthless, they're throwing themselves away. It could be you've been doing that. I mean there's a lot of ways you can throw yourself away. You can throw yourself away socially by the friends you choose, academically by not trying or just giving up. You can throw yourself away alcoholically, chemically, romantically, sexually, musically. You can even be suicidal.
But when you get close to Jesus you find out God didn't make any paper plates! If you think you're not worth much, you are so wrong about who you are. And anyone who's treated you like you're not worth much, they don't know who you are either. The One who knows what you're worth is the One who gave you your life in the first place, who gave you your worth in the first place - your Creator. And here's how He feels about you.
It's in our word for today from the Word of God; Exodus 19:5, "You will be My treasured possession." God says you're treasured; you're fine china. You're not trash! You're too valuable to throw away. But there's more in God's appraisal of your worth. He says in Ephesians 2:10, "We are God's workmanship." Now, workmanship isn't just thrown together; it's no accident. You're a masterpiece. You're a handmade creation of God the Creator. And then He goes on to say in that verse, "You are designed for good works, which He's prepared in advance for us to do." See, you are uniquely created to make a unique difference in people's lives.
But there's more! 1 Corinthians 6:20 says, "You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." God says you're a treasure, He says you're His workmanship, and you're the one He paid a lot for. Look, you can tell how much a person values something by how much they're willing to pay for it. Well, God paid for you with the blood of His one and only Son, Jesus. And even though you and I have left His creator's plan for us, we've sinned; He wants you back so much that He sent His Son to do the dying for your sin. To pay the death penalty in your place.
You're special, so don't believe the lies that your brain keeps telling you that you're a paper plate, you're worthless, you keep being tempted to throw yourself away. You are fine china, reserved for special purposes. If you feel like you're not worth much, it may be because you've never begun a relationship with the One who gave you worth in the first place. Who feels so deeply about you, who loves you so sacrificially. Listen, don't believe the lies about who you are anymore. Find out the truth of your worth by giving yourself to the man who died on a cross for the sin that actually just dumps all kinds of lies on our worth.
Today, let this be the day that you say, "Lord I take this life out of my hands, I put it into your hands. I'm putting my total trust in the man who died for my sin. You run it from here on." That's a new start. That's a new beginning. That's a new story. In fact I want to invite you to our website - ANewStory.com and be sure, you belong to him.
And live like the treasure that your Creator says you are.