Two For A Penny

Worth. What do we base it on? Accomplishment? Applause? Prestigious recognition? Awards? And how much effort goes into proving that we are important? Or how much frustration is the result of wondering if anybody noticed? Is worth something we have or something we achieve by dressing up?

   Christians can understand that worth is something we already have, and yet we often live as if it were something we have yet to earn. (We have ulcers, inflated egos, and hidden insecurities to prove it.) The value of a person is not measured on an applause meter; it is measured in the heart and mind of God. Any believer can rest assured, for on God's scale, the needle always reads high.

  "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows" (Matt. 10:29-31).

   Three things strike me about these simple, beautiful words of Christ. First: His will encompasses everything in my life. If God

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wills to allow the death plunge of an innocent sparrow and can somehow incorporate that tragic event into His total plan for the world, then He certainly must be doing the same with the apparent tragedies that occur in my life. There are preachers today who present an image of God as one who stands helplessly before the sick, the disabled, the unemployed, and the weak in faith because their lack of faith has somehow carried them away from His will. But their God is too small. Limiting God's will to what is good for me (from my finite perspective) is to rob Him of His sovereignty over all things.

   Second: God is involved with us even in the most minute detail of life. The hairs of my head . . . numbered! Really! I as a musical artist am feverishly trying to get myself noticed in the world — the right picture, in the right spot, in the right magazine — so I can get myself in the right place at the right time, wondering if I should get the right manager who can do all these right things for me. But God says, "Hold still; I'm counting — 12,534 . . .12,535 . . ." (Except that in my case, it would be—12,534. . . 12,533. . .!)

   We are already recognized, fully known by the only Audience that matters. He knew us before the beginning of time (Rom. 8:29-30) and even prepared good works that we could walk in (Eph.2:10). If you ever wonder whether you're getting enough publicity, just open the Bible — you'll find your picture splashed on every page.

   Third: God not only knows us, but He assigns us the highest value in spite of knowing us completely. "You are worth more than many sparrows." My perception of this concept went through a wonderful metamorphosis as I meditated upon it. At first I wasn't very impressed. How many sparrows am I worth! Fifty? A hundred? At least a thousand, I hope! And then it hit me. Sparrows may not be very important to me, but they are very important to Him. He conceived of them in His mind and created them with great care. He fashioned them with perfect aerodynamics and set them soaring in the sky. He taught them how to gather food, to reproduce, and care for their young; and when one flies unwittingly into the invisible trap of my plate-glass window and falls lifelessly to the ground—He knows. Suddenly the worth of sparrows shot up — and so did mine, as well as the value of every person on the face of this earth.

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   You and I are the creatures He prizes above the rest of His creation. We are made in His image and He sacrificed His Son that each one of us might be one with Him. Sparrows are sold at two for a penny; we were bought with a much higher price.

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