Summary: What is a life worth? What price can be put on a person’s soul? What about your life, what is your life worth?
March 1, 2009 – Bought and Paid For - 1 Peter 1:17-21
What is a life worth? What price can be put on a person’s soul? What about your life, what is your life worth? If we were to try and put a dollar figure on what it costs to purchase a soul, could we do it? Several studies have been done to calculate the cost of raising a child to adulthood. The figures vary depending on where you live, the lifestyle of the family, and other factors, but on looking at several of these, I found that the ‘average’ cost in North America to raise a child from birth to 18 years old is about $220,000. Now if that child goes to post-secondary school, add more, if they live at home after that add more, and if they’re still dependant on you…well maybe it’s time for them to get a job.
But those are just physical costs; food, clothing, shelter, entertainment, etc. And that’s only till they’re grown up. What about the cost of their actual LIFE? What does THAT cost?
`Today, we continue in our study of the book of 1 Peter. Two weeks ago we talked about being ‘prepared for action’ and living holy lives. This week, we’re going to look more deeply at WHY we should choose to live our lives for God. Turn in your Bible to 1 Peter 1:17-21. It’s page 857 in our blue pew Bibles. I’ll be reading from the New International Version.
17Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. (NIV)
Pray: calling on our heavenly Father…
‘Father’, a name which can bring up all kinds of thoughts about the man we call our earthly father. He may be or have been a wonderful father, a real man; someone we are proud to call our dad. He loved us, supported us, taught us, and yes even disciplined us, but he did all these things out of love, and so we love him, we respect him, we honour him. Or perhaps the term father brings up different emotions, different memories that we are not so proud of. Dad wasn’t there for us when we needed a shoulder to cry on. A hand that should have protected us instead was raised in anger. What should have been an example of love was not that at all, and perhaps dad wasn’t there at all, we never knew him. And so we feel differently towards him, and our image of ‘father’ is tainted, stained and sad.
Whatever image we have of our earthly father, do not place that upon God, our Heavenly Father. Even if our dad was perfect in our eyes, he still pales in comparison to God who gives us life. And it is only when we really know God as FATHER that we can truly understand who He is, what He is really like, and how much He cares for each of us. So when Peter says we ‘call on a Father’ he is telling us that we need to have that kind of relationship to God; WE ARE HIS CHILDREN! 1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (NIV). God loves His children perfectly. He made each one, He cares for each one, He has a plan for each one, He makes each one unique, He gives gifts to each one, and He longs for each one to love Him in return.
Sometimes we may hear a child, or maybe even ourselves, say something like, ‘Dad loves my brother/sister more than me. He likes what they do, not what I do. He treats them better than He does me…’ Have you ever said that or thought that about your siblings? Well guess what? God will never do that. He judges each one of us on an individual basis on what we do, not comparing us to anyone else; He is impartial, says Peter. God does not look at my work compared to yours, or his to hers, or his to his, or me to my brother or sister…it’s what I do, and how I do it. What do I do for the Lord? What is my attitude towards God? He knows it, and He judges me on my actions without comparing me to anyone else, whether they be a great spiritual leader, or a lying, cheating, murderous thief. We are judged impartially. Is that fair? I was sent a little sermonette on the ‘glorious inequity of grace’ written by John Fischer, and I wanted to read just a portion of it.