I was listening to the IHOPKC web stream one morning, and after worship the worship leader prayed:
“God, we want to be all that you paid for.”
All that He PAID for.
This phrase stuck out to me…Jesus paid for me…He paid for my life with His. As I continued to think about Jesus literally paying for my life, I felt like He whispered to me, “I don’t buy junk. You are not junk, because I paid for you, and I don’t buy junk.” He was planting the knowledge of my worth before Him deeper in my heart, and it filled me with a sense of contentment and joy.
“Of course Lord! Who willfully buys junk?…” My thoughts went on. Who in their right mind looks at an item, whether it be clothing or a home furnishing or a car and think, “Wow, that’s a piece of junk that will probably break in two days…I’ll take it!” Who buys things with hard earned money that are not desirable? The whole reason it costs money is because there is value attached to it. We purchase things because they have value, not because they are junk.
Jason exemplifies this more than any other person I know (okay, maybe my dad is like this too). He does extensive research on anything he purchases, making sure it is all that he wants it to be, complete with warranties if it breaks or something goes awry. Though buying things can sometimes take LONGER, he does it to make sure he gets the greatest return for his money. If it is known to break in a short while or has terrible reviews, he won’t buy it– he’ll wait until he finds something to suit his needs. Jason, and I’m sure most of us, don’t buy junk…and God doesn’t buy junk either.
What fascinates me is that Jesus paid the highest price He could for us, but we do not come with warranties or money back guarantees. Quite the opposite. Jesus paid the highest price for us– His own flesh and blood– not when we were all spiffed up and looking amazing and desirable, but rather when we were broken, weak, foolish, and frail. In reality… we kind of were junk. But that’s not how He saw us as He carried the sins of the world to the cross, and it’s not how He sees us today. Through all of our filthiness of sin, our frailty to be faithful, our proneness to break and break others, He still gave the highest price for us: His own life. With absolutely no guarantees we would be worth it, He purchased us so that we could become His because in His eyes, we have incredible value.
Truly, we all have failed God and have lived less than He created us for in some way or another. There are times the shame of our choices and the brokenness we feel seems to overshadow the well known melody, “Jesus loves me THIS I KNOW, for the bible tells me so.” Rather than feeling loved, we feel shame and we feel dirty because we see our brokenness and foolishness. But that is not how God sees our life, no matter how “off” we feel we have gotten. He honestly doesn’t see our lives as junk…He doesn’t want to return us to get His “money” back, nor does He get angry He paid such a great price for our lives. On the contrary, He continues to lavish His love upon us because despite our brokenness, our foolishness and weakness, He sees beyond it at the incredible worth we are to Him. The truth of the incredible value He places upon our lives is what transforms us. Internally we no longer believe we are junk, broken, frail and sinful. Instead we begin to live as His beloved, knowing we are chosen, accepted, and strong in Him.
The parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price in Matthew 13 reveal this so powerfully:
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:45-46
There are different ways to understand these parables, but I’m interpreting the man who buys the field and the merchant seeking pearls as Jesus Himself. Jesus is the one who, upon finding a treasure in a field, gave up His entire life WITH JOY to purchase the field, and upon finding a pearl of great price, sold all He had to possess it.
Jesus found treasure in the field of our life, and rather than taking the treasure out, He hid it once more and bought THE ENTIRE FIELD. By purchasing the field of our lives, ALL of who we are became His so that no one else could lay claim on us. Though we may have been overgrown with weeds and thickets and rocky in areas, He saw value for our life knowing that hidden within was great treasure ready to be unearthed. Our hearts are a treasure to Him, the place He wants to possess and worth all that He has, even when it is hidden from the world and at times from our own eyes.
I remember years ago when Jason and I were in a very difficult place in our marriage he turned to me and said, “I forgive you and I will keep loving you because I know you are worth it and that there is treasure in your life I will see in time.” WOW. Jason understood the Lord’s heart. He saw the value of my life even when he was experiencing some of the thorns and rocks, and he kept loving me because he knew there was treasure in me. Jesus purchased our lives seeing the treasure in our hearts, even when it was hidden in a rocky, overgrown and forgotten field. We are not junk, we are treasure to Him, and He joyfully purchased us with His own life.
The parable of the pearl is much the same. Jesus is like the merchant who was SEEKING for great pearls. The Lord’s eyes scan to and fro throughout the earth searching for those whose hearts will be loyal to Him (2 Chron. 16:9). When He found us, He saw that we were a pearl of great price, so He gave everything up (the comforts of heaven), and surrendered His life to acquire us.
Jesus had eyes for one pearl, the pearl of your life. It’s amazing that while there are so many of us, God possesses the ability to have single devotion and love for each and every person. As a new mom, I’m beginning to see how this is possible. I love Eternity so uniquely and completely, yet I know when we are ready to have a second child, I will love them just as much! Their life will have just as much value that I will be willing to do anything for. God’s love is complete for each pearl on this earth. We are not junk, we were sought after and found to be pearls of great price.
Thank You Lord that You see our true worth, and that You gave everything to possess us.
My prayer is that the truth of our worth and value before Him will be planted deeper in our hearts and increase more and more. It truly is what transforms our life, and what allows us to love others as He has loved us.