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What the Bible Tells Us About What We’re Worth From time to time, we may ask ourselves “Who

am I? What am I worth?” We may look to others to tell us who we are and what we are worth, or we may answer ourselves. If we think like this, then we will be toys for the devil to play with. The Bible says our hearts are deceitful above all things, so we should not trust what our own hearts say. That is why some people are so full of themselves, and other people get so depressed. However, we shouldn’t chase the opinions of other people or worry too much about feeling good about ourselves. Instead, there is a much better and surer way to understanding our worth and our purpose. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” Paul wrote to the Corinthians who were impressed by people’s eloquence and wisdom; who sought to emphasize differences between Paul, Peter, and Apollos; and prided themselves over others based on their spiritual gifts. But Paul wanted to remind them that God calls the lowly and foolish so that there is no room for boasting. Who are you? I hope you can answer simply: I am the one whom God has called, whom He has loved and made righteous and holy, and redeemed for His purposes. What value is there in foolishness, weakness, and being low and despised? 1. “But God choose the foolish things of this world …” God did not choose the wise and learned. Jesus chose fishermen to be His closest disciples. They were not scholars or part of the religious establishment. They did not have degrees from seminary. Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Matthew 11:25-26 25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

God chooses those who choose to believe in Him. No matter how much knowledge you have, we will never be able to know God without faith. To understand what God has for you, you need to first take a step beyond what is possible to reason out. The ways of God may seem foolish to us. Unless we trust God, we will always be fighting against the ways of God. He will tell us to love our enemies, to give up something, to say or do something that we do not understand. Will we trust Him? 2. “God chose the weak things of this world …” When God told the prophet Samuel to anoint a new king, He sent him to a family that was not particularly famous. In that family, God chose the youngest son—considered so unlikely to be chosen that he was still out watching the sheep. 1 Samuel 16:6-11 6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord‟s anointed stands here before the Lord.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” David was not the most impressive of Jesse’s sons, but God told Samuel that outward appearance is not what matters. David was faithful to God and God promised that his would be established forever. If we want our lives to matter and want God to use us, then we need to learn not to depend on our own strength but to trust God that He will do His work. God has a much, much longer time horizon than we do. He is willing to do things slowly if necessary. It is good to be ambitious for God, but we must also realize that it must be His power at work. If it is simply our own ability, then it will not last. There must be no other name that is glorified but Jesus. Zechariah 4:6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: „Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,‟ says the Lord Almighty. 3. “God chose the lowly things, and the despised things …” God is near the humble, but far from the proud. Jesus came into the world in humble circumstances. He rode into Jerusalem on a young donkey. He spent time with the despised and outcast of society.

Isaiah 61:1-2 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord‟s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, God chooses those who are willing to come to Him. It doesn’t matter whether you have lots of money or no money, what matters is that you are weary of this world and hungry for more than the world can offer. People like this respond to the Good News. Jesus said the kingdom of God is like a banquet feast. Luke 14:16-24 16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, „Come, for everything is now ready.‟ 18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, „I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.‟ 19 “Another said, „I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I‟m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.‟ 20 “Still another said, „I just got married, so I can‟t come.‟ 21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, „Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.‟ 22 “„Sir,‟ the servant said, „what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.‟ 23 “Then the master told his servant, „Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.‟” We should not look down on people, but rather we should realize that called these people to inherit the kingdom of God. Therefore, we should honor and treat the poor and lowly with respect. James 2:1-5 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here‟s a good seat for you,” but say

to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 4. “God chose the things that are not …” God is the one who sees the potential in us and calls it forth into being. He gave Abraham and Sarah a son when they were old. He made Abraham into a great nation. When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, He called them out and made them into a nation, and brought them into a land prepared for them. He showed abundant grace to Paul, turning him from the most violent persecutor of Christians into the most effective apostle. Sometimes we may look at ourselves and be disappointed. But God never gives up on us, so we should not give up on ourselves either. God created each person with incredible potential, and I’m not just talking about what we can accomplish in this world. God has truly incredible things prepared for those who love Him. The Bible says that all creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed (Romans 8:19). What we will be has not yet been fully revealed. Regarding God’s plans for humanity, 1 Peter 1:12 says “Even angels long to look into these things.” When Jesus comes again to make all things new, then we will fully understand the worth of human beings. Don’t say “I’m nothing. I’m not worth anything.” No! You are incredibly special. God created you special and He treasures you. Satan was jealous of Adam and Eve, and wanted to see them fall from their high position. What would have happened had they decided to obey God? We don’t know, but God did something wondrous so that all humanity could return to the place and purpose He prepared for us. We haven’t seen it yet. 1 Corinthians 1:29-31 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” Do you realize what God has done for you? Do you see how much He values you? Stop seeking to find your worth in what others think about you, or what you think of yourself. We may not be much. That’s fine. God chooses the foolish things in the world, the weak things, the low and despised things, and the things that are not.