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Our Value to God

15 August 2011 Sermon Notes By: Joseph A. Nagy, Jr. 2011, OWL In Job 7:17-18, Job asks a very important question, "What is man, that You should exalt him, / That You should set Your heart on him, / That You should visit him every morning, / And test him every moment?" Psalm 8:4-5 asks that same question, Job wasn't the only one to want an answer nor are we. It is a question each and everyone should ask. If nothing else, the answer should strengthen our faith and stoke those fires. We begin to find our answer in Genesis, which partly answers that for us in 1:26-27. "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He crated him; male and female He created them." We are created in the very image of God. That alone should give us pause to at least say "Praise God!" It doesn't stop there, though. All through Scripture we are taught of how He has empowered his servants, His children, do to wondrous things so that we may believe. We keep asking for proof, yet the proof is in all creation! In Romans 1:20 we are told, essentially, that the proof is all around us. In us; I'm sure we all remember laminin. How much more obvious does it need to be that God has placed a high value on all of His creation and an even a higher value on us? Yet we turn away from Him, or - at the very least - don't turn to Him for everything. We have been given the one thing that the rest of creation lacks: A free will to accept or reject God's plan for us. Animals operate on instinct and most aren't even intelligent enough to not drink water from a polluted source much less give praise to their creator. They live in the here and now, but at least that's how they were created. What is our excuse? Even though He considers our best works as filthy rags, have you ever stopped to think about why? Was it really done all for His glory? Or was it done to assuage some sort of emotional guilt rising up in us? Turning to Psalm 139:13-18, Scripture tells us just how much He values us. How much He takes an

interest in us all. Not a passing one either but a keen, hands-on interest. All of Psalm 139 speaks to that interest, to our value, to that relationship. Why would a god, who loves us so much, not want to have a relationship with us? Why would he want us to not have a relationship with Him? John 3:16 succinctly summarizes both our value to Him - "For God so loved the world," - the one He takes an interest in and put a value on - "that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" - and His requirement for us to be in that relationship with Him. For whoever should believe in Him. IN HIM. Not in coffee. Not in gasoline. Not in Obama. Not in Bachmann. Not in (Ron) Paul (or the Apostle). None of those things, or people, can save us aside from HIM WHO DIED FOR US. Our value to Him is so great He died for us. In Matthew 6:26,28-30, Christ has to remind us just how much we are valued. The birds are provided with food and the grass is given a gown of wildflowers that have no match in all of creation. Don't worry brothers and sisters, God does love us and holds us highly esteemed. In the beginning, He saw all that He had created and surmised that it was all good. He values us. He will not abandon us as long as we believe and turn to Him. We were created perfectly. We were created to worship Him. We were created to reflect His glory. We were created to make that choice for ourselves. We've been learning in our bible study to have more of the mind of Christ. Christ knew exactly where He stood with His Father. He knew His value. He was fully taken care of and everything He needed was provided for. Matthew 6:33 really sums it up well, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." God doesn't give a rip about the physical. He's already been down that road with His people, Israel. It's not about physical things now. It's about a spiritual relationship, it's about us coming to Him and Him indwelling in us. Us abiding in Him. Yes, He demands our all, but He is our all. It was never ours to begin with. Yet, after we were given the responsibility to be stewards with absolute authority over what we were given, we have - especially in modern times - completely ignored it in the pursuit of wealth, power, position. Mammon. What has it gotten us? Polluted food and water sources. Steroids in our food. Pesticides on our food and even in it! Where's God in all of that? No where. He values us, but it comes at a high price. How often do we show our almighty creator that we value Him? According to 2 Chronicles 7:14 we know that if we seek after Him, if we humble ourselves before Him,

He will hear us. I told you He asks a lot of us. He wants nothing less than everything we have, but we must have the appropriate reverence before He will listen. Our humility before Him needs to be genuine, just as everything else we do and say must be genuine. If we are to demonstrate that holy, acceptable, and perfect will of God we must give Him our best. Anything less is disgusting before Him and a sin according to Malachi 1:6-8. As the Old Covenant system of sacrifices required a perfect sacrifice - the best of the best - so must our daily sacrifice of flesh and our offering of works in His name. In Colossians 3:17 we are called to give Him our best in all we say and do. We should be in His Word at the time we study best. His name should be on our lips at the time we pray best. We should be listening for Him at the time we listen the best. Where is He prioritized in your life? In your relationships? In your decision making?