Sermons

Summary: Outreach message describing our value to God

Introduction (title slide)

Everyone wants a good deal, but what’s a good deal for one person may not be such a good deal for another.

Whenever I fly, I like to read “Sky Mall” magazine , the mail-order catalog that is found in the seat pocket in front of your seat.

This magazine contains some of the most overpriced and unnecessary merchandise available.

For instance, they have an electric nose hair trimmer for $32.

But one of my favorites is called the “Correct Posture Dog Feeder,” which, according to the description,

“…this feeder’s raised stand allows your pet to stand upright in a more relaxed, healthier position.”

This is actually only a dog dish with legs that you can purchase for $44.95 plus shipping and handling.

Whether you are buying a car, a house, a TV, clothing, or groceries, you want a good deal.

But we don’t want to pay more for something than we have to; in essence, we don’t want to overspend.

God doesn’t either. But the advantage God has over us is that he is not going to be ripped off.

¨ He’s not going to be fooled by bait-and-switch advertising…

¨ …or “0% down, 0 interest and 0 payment” deals.

¨ He’s not going to be closed on something he doesn’t want and…

¨ …he’s not going to pay more for something than it is worth to him.

But we might and we feel like we didn’t get a good deal if something we bought turns out to be less valuable than we thought it would.

Like let’s say you bought a 16 year-old fixer-upper house and you quickly found out that you’re not a very good fixer-upper.

What you thought was a good deal could quickly turn out to be a not-so-good deal. And it did.

But God could’ve felt the same way after he created the human race.

He creates two people whose entire existence revolves around worshipping God and loving each other—and observing one rule.

All they needed to do was to stay away from one tree. But they couldn’t. At first, it probably was not too hard to stay away from the tree.

They could even walk by it while they’re eating fruit from other trees, and not give it much thought.

But then over time, they became more and more curious. “Why that tree? What’s so special about that one?”

And one day, it was just too much, and with the enemy’s help, they got the answers to their questions.

As a result, sin enters their world and changes everything. And as time went on, this race of people whom God created would eventually…

¨ reject him,

¨ mock him,

¨ resent him,

¨ claim he didn’t exist,

¨ and even kill each other in God’s name because they couldn’t agree on how to worship him.

Some would say they believed in him, but not really.

And then, when he became one of them, he was subjected him to…

¨ personal rejection,

¨ public humiliation,

¨ judicial perversion

¨ and physical torture

…resulting in a slow, painful, lonely, agonizing criminal’s death.

Now, if someone did this to you, how would you respond? The answer will depend on their value to you.

If its someone for whom you care deeply—someone who is valuable to you, then you would stop at nothing in the pursuit of reconciliation.

And that’s exactly what God did. So at the risk of appearing politically incorrect, or having a low self-esteem,

…or not being fully self-actualized, the first thing I want us to think about this morning is that…

We Are Sinful

I don’t know if there is a less politically incorrect or sociologically controversial word than “sin.”

¨ To some, it sounds judgmental.

¨ To others it smacks of intolerance.

¨ For others it may represent abuse.

Or maybe, you’re very comfortable with the concept and have even reconciled the issue between you and God.

The word entered our language by way of the Bible, yet few people who have heard it…

…really understand what it means in the context of the Bible from which we got it.

At some point, everyone must come to grips with the fact that God does not regard the issue of sin in terms of comparisons.

When we think about whether someone is good or bad; sinful or not, we tend to think of it relative to how they compare to us.

And usually, if someone is better than us, they’re not very sinful, and if they’re worse, they’re really sinful.

But the common denominator is that we tend to set ourselves up as the one who decides what is right and wrong…

…and then we judge ourselves and others accordingly.

Yet the difference is that we judge ourselves based on our intentions, but we judge others on their actions.

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