Friday, July 18, 2008
Download MP3 (right click to save)
A couple of times this week I ordered out for lunch and it came on a paper plate. Guess what I did with the paper plate when I finished my lunch? No, I didn't wash it; I didn't save it for later. In fact, I've never done that with a paper plate. Now, look we've never had a lot of money, but I've never in my whole life saved a paper plate. I throw it away, of course, like you probably do. And I don't feel any great sense of loss or regret, "Oh, I can't believe I lost my paper plate." No, it doesn't bother me. But we have these other plates at our house, we keep them in a cabinet in our dining room and we save them for special occasions. We wash those when we use them, because it says "fine china" on those. At least that's what my wife wrote with a magic marker on the back. It's the best we've got. And when we're done, we put those plates away very carefully. In fact, if you drop them you're out of the family. What's the difference? Paper plates are cheap, practically worthless, right? You throw them away. Now, fine china on the other hand is expensive; it's too valuable to throw away. Do you know 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."
I think most people feel like paper plates. They've been put down, they've been hurt, they've been neglected, they've been compared, they've been ignored, backstabbed, abused, and they feel pretty worthless. And they are throwing themselves away. Maybe you've been doing that. It's a lot of waste to throw yourself away. You could throw yourself away socially by the friends you choose, or academically by not trying or just giving up, you could throw yourself away alcoholically, chemically, romantically with the people you date, sexually, musically - by the music you listen to, or even suicidally. And here's what's so tragic about that. God didn't make any paper plates! If you think you're not worth much, you're wrong about who you are. Anyone whose treated you like you're not worth much doesn't know who you are either. The one who knows what you are is the One who gave you your life in the first place - your Creator. And here's how He feels about you.
Our word for today from the Word of God, Exodus 19:5, "You will be," God says, "my treasured possession." God says you are a treasure; you are fine china! You're not trash! You're too valuable to throw away, but there's more in God's appraisal of what you're worth. Ephesians 2:10 says, "We are God's workmanship." Now, workmanship isn't thrown together, it's no accident, it's not random. You're a masterpiece; you're a handmade creation of a God who only does beautiful work. And then it goes on to say in that verse that you are designed, "...for good works He prepared in advance for us to do." You are uniquely designed to make a unique difference in certain 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 His treasure, His workmanship, and the one He paid a lot for. 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 had left His Creator plan for you and sinned, He wanted you back so much He sent His Son to pay the death penalty in your place. You are very expensive!
So don't believe the lies in your brain that keep telling you you're a paper plate, that you're worthless, that keep tempting you to throw yourself away. You are fine china! You're to be reserved for special purposes. If you feel like you're not worth much, then it's time to pay a visit to the cross where Jesus Christ died for you. That's how much God thinks you're worth - the life of His Son.
You know, the reason we feel so worthless is we are away from the One who gave us our worth in the first place. The wall between you and your Creator could come down this very day, if you would in your heart get to Jesus and say, "Jesus, You died to bring me back to God, and I am Yours." We'd love to help you get started with Him. Our website is set up really to do that. It's yoursforlife.net. I hope you'll visit us there right away today.
And please, live like the treasure that your Creator says you are.