walk in the word
Do you know the extent of God’s love for you? God says through the prophet Isaiah, “Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life” (Isaiah 43:4). There is a wonderful truth here that will help you understand God’s heart. Here it is: God will deliver you even at the expense of others. Because God is holy, He demands that a price be paid for sin. But because God is also gracious and loving, He allows a substitute to pay that price for us. It is the principle of substitution, and it is all through the Bible.
Isaiah prophesied that Christ would be our substitute: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6, ESV). And Paul said, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to pay the price for our sin! Though He was pure and spotless and righteous and holy and deserved no judgment, He took our judgment upon Himself so that we might be forgiven.
You say, “Why would He do that?” The answer is in the first part of verse 4, “Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you.” God is saying to you, as His child, “You are precious.” You say, “But I’ve done some things.” You’re not getting it. It’s not about what you’ve done. God has chosen to set His love upon you. You have to let go of all the things that have distorted your perspective of who you are—your pride and the silly little walls that you build around yourself and the “Look at me; look what I’ve done.” We must lay all of that down and pick up instead the message that God loves us with an eternal love.
Let’s not confuse the message “I am valued” with the notion “I am valuable.” We are not valuable. You say, “But I want to be valuable. Where can I find someone who will tell me I’m valuable?” Well, it’s not going to be me, because that message is not in the Bible. The fact that God values us says something about God; it says nothing about us. If you think that God set His love upon you because you have something going on that your neighbor doesn’t, you are wrong! You don’t understand grace. We have no value! None!
This is actually good news. If God loved us because we have value, what would happen when the value changed? What do you do with a rusty car? What do you do with a tarnished piece of jewelry? If the value changed, then maybe God’s heart would change. But listen! God’s heart doesn’t change! I am valued not because I have value, but because God has chosen me.
You say, “I’m not getting it. I don’t understand the difference.” Do you remember when they auctioned off the estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis? It got crazy. A worn footstool went for $33,350. A silver tape measure sold for $48,875 (I have three of those at home!). The most expensive item was a walnut humidor that had belonged to President Kennedy. It sold for $574,500. A stupid cigar box! Here’s the point. Although many of the items were common, they had value because they had belonged to someone important. It’s the same with us. Our value is that we belong to God. That’s the wonderful, freeing truth. That’s why it’s not related to our performance; it’s related to God’s incredible grace.
So here’s the attitude that emerges from all of this: security. If I didn’t earn it; if I didn’t pay for it, if I didn’t deserve it, then it doesn’t all fall on me to keep it going. God loves me, and I am secure in His love. Let’s build our lives on that foundation—it is where our security comes from.
brought to you by change partners