Summary: We will look at 6 criteria used to determine a things value, and we will see by every standard we have great worth to God.
Our Value to God
Our Value To God
Many have arranged the thoughts of John 3:16 in different ways and under different headings, this is my favorite:
God = The Greatest One
So loved = The Greatest Degree
the world = The greatest amount of people
that He gave = The greatest generosity
His only begotten Son = The greatest uniqueness
that whosoever = The greatest invitation
believeth in Him = The greatest simplicity
should not = The greatest certainty
perish = The greatest possible loss
but = The greatest difference
have = The greatest possession
eternal = The greatest length
life = The greatest gift
When we notice in John 3:16 the greatest generosity it helps us to understand two things about God:
1. The first is His character and nature: He is extravagantly generous. Ephesians 1:7,8 "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,
which He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight..."
2. We understand the depth of God’s care for us, as demonstrated by His generosity, or said differently it speaks of our value to God which is what we want to preach on today.
John 3:16 makes abundantly clear our value to God, "For God so loved the world that..."
We are so often bombarded by the fact that we are sinners it makes it very difficult for some to grasp, "how God could love a sinner such as I, could yearn to turn my sorrow into bliss, nor rest until He had brought me nigh, how marvelous is love like this.... Such love, such wondrous love..." We are so often aware of our unworthiness that we sing, and rightly so, of amazing grace. Today, I want to leave the discussion of our unworthiness alone, and I instead want to concentrate on the value we have to God.
If all you ever think about is your unworthiness before God, it can lead to feelings of condemnation and alienation, when in fact there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ, and we who were far off, have been brought nigh. The emphasis of this message is not what you were before Christ came into your life, but the great value that God places on you, and the love He has for you. For some this will be a very liberating message.
What is Value is Determined by?
How do we determine a things value? As we go through this list, you will see that by every standard of value, God loves you greatly.
In determining a things value we usually use the following criteria:
1. The cost of labor and production.
How much does it cost to make and produce a thing is an important item in determining a things value. Jesus told a parable about counting the cost before you build a tower, or before you go to war. Luke 14:28-30 "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish [it], all that behold [it] begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
God knew how much it was going to cost Him to make and redeem man long before the first man and woman were created. (Eph 1:4) In Gen. 1:26 there is no hesitancy suggested in the creation of man, even though God knew what was ahead for His Son. He knew how much it was going to cost Him, and He went ahead with the project anyway. Why?! Because in His eyes it was worth doing. The cost of creating and redeeming man, was outweighed by the value He placed on having us to be near Him. You have great and enormous value to God!
2. Purchase price.
A second item that we can consider in the value of a thing is the actual purchase price paid.
Some people will pay millions of dollars for a painting of water lilies. I wouldn’t, because I don’t have that much money and even if I did, I wouldn’t place that much value on a painting. Some people pay thousands of dollars for beanie baby stuffed toys. I wouldn’t, because they aren’t worth hardly anything to me. Some people pay enormous sums for movie memorabilia, I wouldn’t. Some people pay great amounts for Barbie dolls, I wouldn’t. I hope your getting my point, which is, that to the degree something has value to YOU, you will pay for it.
How much God paid for us, says much about His valuation of us. In heaven gold and jewels have little value, in fact gold will be pavement upon which we will walk. What then is of value in heaven? If heaven had a vault to protect its most valuable property, what would be kept in it? Not silver, not gold, nor any such thing. If we could open heaven’s vault we would find the person of Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. God spared no expense in purchasing us, He gladly and willingly emptied His vault, that we might be His choice possession.