Know Your Worth!

Whats Your Worth_ (1)

This week, I’ve been learning a lot from small children and foreign dramas.

Let me explain, because I know that doesn’t seem to make sense.

“Small Children” – I watch a pair of toddler boys on Mondays, and they’re the most precious things ever. Recently, the weather here in Illinois has finally started to warm up, so we went outside. That turned into ‘let’s collect rocks from the driveway’. Hold the rock thought, we’ll get there soon.

“Foreign Dramas” – I will admit to watching Korean Dramas because quite frankly they’re just better than most American dramas. That said, because I knew one of the actors from a Korean boy band, I have been watching ONE Chinese drama as well. In this drama, they’re all about the Jadeite trade, which is fascinating and enlightening.

Okay, now that I’ve explained that, let me get to the real point of this post. Are we rocks or are we treasures?

Those little boys (God love ’em) have two different personalities. One didn’t pick up a rock unless it seemed like it would be glittery or pretty. The other just grabbed the first two rocks that struck his fancy. Later, after we washed them and let them dry, do you know which rocks were prettier? The ones I thought were ugly.

Just like that, did you know that Jadeite is hidden inside stones that look like regular rocks? It’s a complete gamble if there’s going to be a precious gem inside. People try to understand what signs show that there is going to be a lot of color in that stone, but they often fail.

Like pebbles and Jadeite, a lot of times even we don’t know our real worth. We may look completely ordinary on the outside, but wait til God gets ahold of us and shows us what’s inside. There’s a scripture similar to this example in 2 Corinthians:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

2 Corinthians 4:7

It’s not our job, necessarily, to look pretty on the outside. It’s not our job to be perfect and irreplaceable.

Jadeite only goes up in value once it’s opened. Once its true colors are shown to the world. It takes some careful calculation and some cutting away of the excess roughness for its true beauty to fully shine.

Sometimes, a stone won’t contain any Jadeite at all. It’s sad, but it happens. These stones are mourned over by their owner, but in the end it isn’t possible to produce Jadeite where there wasn’t any to begin with.

The good news? We’re the stones no one expects. When we came to Christ, we became a new creation, and thus there’s beauty hidden inside us just waiting for the world to see it. Our stone-cutter is Father God, and he’s the very best and bringing out the most shine in our jewel.

The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7b

God knows what’s inside of us. He sees the treasure waiting to shine. Trust Him when he starts cutting off the excess roughness. The things we don’t need or shouldn’t hold onto. Trust Him when he washes away the mud we like to hide behind. He knows how beautiful we’re going to be afterward.

Trust God to be your stone-cutter. Because, the best part? Once that roughness is cut off, the treasure inside can skyrocket the price up to 1,000 times the original purchase price. Our purchase price is Jesus’ blood, so our skyrocketed price? Priceless.

We are God’s treasures and He will never sell us or give us away. To Him, we are beyond precious. So trust Him to polish you today.

To Be Seen

City Real Estate

 

One of the worst feelings in life is the feeling of being overlooked.

Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve felt alone and unseen. I’ve cried those silent tears into my pillow at night. I’ve screamed at the sky and asked God why he isn’t using me the way I want him to.

And then I realized: this isn’t about me. It’s all about timing. God’s timing. Even if we don’t like it, God’s timing is perfect. Maybe (just, go with me here) He knows what’s best for us and maybe, JUST MAYBE, He wants the absolute best for our lives.

Many times in our season of singleness, we feel unloved or left out. Our friends may be getting married or having babies. They may have a “prospect” or a “guy friend” and you’ve got nothing. Trust me I can relate to that one. (Seriously, if that’s you, drop me a comment. I’m living it right now.)

If this is you, feeling overlooked and undervalued, I’d like to introduce you to one of my absolute favorite men in the Bible. The beginning of his story is found in 1 Samuel 16 and the first mention of him is very telling.

Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.”

1 Samuel 16:11

For those of you familiar with the Bible and the study thereof, you will have figured out that this passage is the first time anyone talks about David in the Bible.

I find it interesting that the very first mention of one of the most important men in the plan of salvation didn’t even mention his name. “There is the youngest,” Jesse tells Samuel. Almost like an afterthought. Like he hadn’t even remembered him until that exact moment.

And where is David while EVERYONE else is attending a ritual sacrifice to the I Am? David is left back at home. “Just” the youngest. Watching the sheep and the goats while everyone else is in the limelight, parading before God and the prophet.

How do you think that particular conversation went?

“David, your brothers and I are going to witness the prophet Samuel offer a sacrifice. Watch the sheep and goats okay?”

Do you think David wondered why he of all people had to stay behind? Do you think he felt a little left out and unloved? Unseen? Overlooked?

You see, not all grand plans have exquisite beginnings. Even though Jesse summons David to stand before the prophet and EVEN THOUGH Samuel anoints David as the next king, there aren’t any fireworks or a parade. There isn’t an announcement that “David will rule this nation next!” There is no press release or instant fame and fortune.

After Samuel anoints David, he leaves. David leaves. David goes back to his sheep and his goats. He continues to serve his father, to obey and listen and do what he’s told. And he waits.

Sometimes we take for granted the moments that happen in the waiting. We so badly want the end that we don’t take time to appreciate the little things. We forget to tend to our sheep and our goats. We forget to love ourselves and our lives even if we know there is more for us.

Today, let’s make a pact, you and I. We will live adventurously. We will not take the mundane for granted. We will pick up our callings and we will do what we can with what we have. We will wait for God to open doors and we will say yes when he does. Today, let’s agree to stop trying to make it all happen for ourselves. Let’s agree to let God be in charge and give us every good thing he has for us.

God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

Psalm 18:30

You gotta have faith!

Gotta Faith 
  
“Take control of what I say, O  lord,
and guard my lips.
Don’t let me drift toward evil
or take part in acts of wickedness.
Don’t let me share in the delicacies
of those who do wrong.” Psalm 141:3-4 NLT
 

 I love this Psalm written by David; it shows the power of prayer! This Psalm is written by David, and if you read Psalm 141, you can see it’s a prayer for safe keeping from wickedness.  I’m sure we have all been in situations where we have wanted to say or do something that we knew was contrary to God’s will. Sometimes it can seem as if people just want to test out your faith by pushing your buttons. David is my encouragement in those moments. I look at the life of David, and I see a man who truly had a relationship with God. David knew he could not go through life without God. He needed the power of God to help him in those tight situations. We can truly appreciate David’s example of relying on God in situations cannot handle in our power.

Can you imagine showing the love of God to someone who talks about you behind your back but, smiles in your face? Someone who attempts to slander your character with lies? What about someone who steals from you? What about someone who hates you enough to kill you?

I believe that the prayer in Psalms 141 was during the time where David was on the run from Saul, who was trying to kill him. Saul was very jealous of David. During his time on the run, David had two opportunities to kill Saul. Even David’s men were encouraging him to kill Saul. Their theory, God, was delivering Saul into David’s hands for payback. However, David being a man of God refused to kill Saul even though Saul was trying to kill him. This prayer in Psalms 141 could have been what helped David remain faithful to God and not kill His anointed one. We also see how God protected David during this time because Saul never captured David. God is faithful. He will provide. David’s story is proof that God will answer prayer and provide in our hour of need.

I thank Jesus for dying for our sins and sending us the comforter who can help us be like David when we run into trouble. Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) tells us about the fruits of the Spirit. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  We should be excited this means we don’t have to rely on our strength when faced with trials and tribulations. Galatians 5:22-23 is another one of my favorite passages in the Bible, it’s so encouraging! It reminds us that we are human and apart from God we are imperfect.

We can all recall a time when we found it hard if not impossible in our strength to love or be gentle with someone, remain joyful in the midst of pure chaos and confusion, show kindness to someone whom you may not like, or maybe you’re like me and struggle with patience. I have good news; God will provide! So next time you’re in a situation where you see yourself lacking in one of these areas before you react pray! Ask God for the strength through the Holy Spirit to overcome the situation. As with David God will give you the strength to overcome!

Prayer:  Father God, we just want to thank you, Lord, for your protection, faithfulness, and guidance Lord. You’re so worthy of all the praise and glory. Guard the words of our mouth oh Lord and let us not partake in evilness. We thank you, Father, for the fruit of the Spirit that allows us to get through trying situations. Please remove anything in us that’s not of you Father. Continue to mold us Father into the faithful Christian men and women you’ve called us to be. It’s in the precious name of Jesus that we pray and give thanks. Amen.