A couple months ago I agreed to step in as the Pastor over youth ministries at our church. My husband and I have always had a heart for the youth so it wasn’t a hard decision for us to make.
We are currently doing a study with the youth by Dare 2 Share. In this video series, this particular lesson started with a dirty $20 bill lying in a dirty and wet back alley, amongst other trash. It was such a visual. The narration told how this $20 bill had been used to buy drugs, the same bill had then been used to buy bullets and that one of those bullets killed someone, and then that same bill was used to pay a young woman for the use of her body. All while this $20 bill was being used for different things, the value of it never changed.
Have you ever felt like you disappointed someone, or even worse, you just felt like you had completely blown it! This could be with a friend, a spouse, a parent or a child. Or maybe you have had someone in your life that they completely blew it in your eyes. Maybe you are having a hard time forgiving yourself or you are having a hard time forgiving someone else.
John 8:3-11 (NLT) As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
When we study God’s Word, we may look at this woman or the woman at the well and not see them as valuable as someone like Jesus’s mother Mary or Ruth. We can look at modern day, we may look at Billy Graham as more valuable than an Al Capone or a Ted Bundy.
The thing is, the day that $20 bill was printed its value was determined. In the same way, the day you and I were born, our value was determined! What you and I have chosen to do with our lives hasn’t made us more or less valuable to our heavenly Father.
Now please don’t miss understand… We all love to study and talk about the grace and the mercy shown to the woman caught in adultery but skip over the “Go and sin no more”. We also often hear the scripture in John, where Jesus is saying “I did not come to judge the world but to save the world”. In the message bible instead of judge it says reject. So, we must understand, Jesus is not and will not reject us, we are valued and loved by Him. On the other hand, we have a freewill and can reject Him while we are here on this earth. If we reject Him, no amount of grace and mercy will save us in the end.
In 2 Chronicles Solomon asked God to make provisions for the people when they sinned. Here was the response: 1) humble yourself by admitting your sins, 2) pray to God, asking for forgiveness, 3) seek God continually and 4) turn from sinful behavior!
The market or the world will tell you the value of something is based on what someone is willing to pay for it. Well God loved us so much that He gave His one and only son to die for us, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life! I don’t think someone could pay a higher price to show how much He loves and values you and me!
Our value never changes but the moment we follow those 4 steps mentioned earlier, our destiny is completely changed!