You Are Very Expensive

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Category: Read the Teachings

How valuable are you?
The question I think most people have is: What is my value? How much am I worth?
How do you answer this question? What kind of criteria should we have for what we are worth?

Maybe some of us see ourselves in the mirror and some are thinking, I must be worth something. I look young and have an ok body. Others see themselves in the mirror, and seeing wrinkles and a big belly and thinking that I may not be worth so much.
Still others think that I must be worth something, because I've got a good education, have a pretty good salary and has a reasonably high social status. I own three homes, four cars and I am always flying first class, so I got to be worth something.
Others think that I got to be worth something since I have so many friends, I have more than
1000 friends on Facebook. I have a good reputation and I have worked hard for people to like me, so I have to be worth something.

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Other things can be:
I talk a lot and make people laugh, so I got to be worth something?
Or you may think my wife is so pretty, or my husband is so handsome so I got to be worth something since she / he chose me.
Or I'm a pastor of a church in progress, so I have to mean something.
I must be worth something because I'm a good person, I go to church every Sunday, give tithes, help people in need, do not make any big sins and I read the Bible and pray every day so I got to be worth something.

We often think that these things determines our value, and we all have our criteria for what has value.
To a large extent, our criteria for value is associated with deeds, what we do and not do and what we have achieved.

All these thoughts I have presented here reveals only one thing:

  • Value is something I must earn.

The Pharisees in Jesus' time also viewed life this way: Value is something you must earn.
They thought they had earned their social status and value, because they followed the law full time. They thought the value was connected to how right they managed to live.
It was illogical for the Pharisees that Jesus would spend time and be with people who had little value in their eyes. They read the Bible every day (mainly the Torah, the five books of Moses), followed the law and did good things, but these sinners they did not read the Bible and they ought to work harder on their holiness! How could Jesus spend time with them? Loved them and give them grace? And how could Jesus be God when he did this?

Three parables on value
In Luke 15, Jesus tells three parables. The first is about the one lost sheep. It is about that the shepherd leaves the 99 other sheep to find the one that was lost. The second one is about a woman who has 10 coins but have lost one, and she sweeps and searches the whole house to find the one she lost. The last parable, and the most famous one, is about the prodigal son. This is a history of a son who takes his share of his inheritance and goes out in the world and waste all the money in immorality. Finally, he has used up all the money and got only a job as a pig feeder, then he decides to go back to his father.
 All three parables are about the same thing. It's about something that has been lost, but has been found again and that there is great joy when what has been lost is found and there is a big party.
What Jesus want to show us here is that God is like this, he is the one looking for the lost sheep, he is the one who tries to find the coin and he is the one who will welcome the prodigal son back home.

What Jesus also wants to show us is that we are all worth something, even for those who do not seem to have any value? Why on earth looking for a sheep, when you have 99 others, and why search for one coin, when you have 9 others? There is no logic in it, but Jesus wants to tell us how valuable we all are. For we are in many ways and many times the sheep who have gone away, and the coins that were lost, or the son who had rebelled and left his father's house and had messed it up. This also shows us how valuable we all are as humans, God sees all people with value, and he is willing to go to great deal to bring us back to himself.
When the son returns to his father in the parable of the prodigal son, the son says that I am not longer worthy to be called your son. To be worthy of anything is associated with value, isn't it? The son saw his value in his acts, and because he had done so much wrong, he felt that he had lost his value.
He also connected his value with something he had to earn, and something you loose when you did not behaved good.

How often is it that we can feel something of the same? When I have done something or said something wrong, or when you have not prayed for a while, or when I have fallen into the old sin pattern I promised myself never to fall into again, then it's easy to think that God can not quite accept me now. Maybe I'm not even worthy to be a Christian any more? And I might even have committed the unpardonable sin?

What is the father's response to his son's feeling that he is not worthy to be called his son? Does the father say, yes you have lost a lot of value in my eyes now, and you have to work hard and show that you are worthy to be called my son again.
This may be how we would have done it, and that's how the law and legalism trying to do it. This parable that Jesus told about the prodigal son was very controversial when he told it, because they lived under the time of the law. So this parable was scandalous shocking for many of those who heard it, especially for the Pharisees. How could God accept a sinner in this way? How could anyone still be worthy to call himself the son (or daughter) of his father (son of God) after this?
But the father, who is a picture of God, was fortunately not like this.
Luke 15:21-23
And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son. ’
 “ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry;

Did the father say that his son had to try hard to earn to be worthy to be called his son again. No, not at all! We can see that the father did not even say anything, but he shows very clearly that the son still had value, and to show this he is making a big party for him, and his father is very happy to have his son back.

If you mess it up for yourself or someone you know does this, do they lose their value? No, in God's eyes we do not, and when we see this, we will start to see ourselves and others with God's eyes too.

Created in God's image
Value can not be achieved in this world, it can only be measured against the image we have been created in.
Genesis 1:27
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

  • You are created in God's image, that's why you have value?

God does not want his image to be destroyed, so he would do anything to restore it. That is why God sent his son Jesus, because he did not want his image, which is you, to perish. The fact that God sent his son to die on a cross, are showing us how much you are worth. You are bought with a high price!

Our true value does not come from what we are doing and have done, but what really shows our value is what Jesus has done.  Our value is shown by the high price Jesus paid to redeem us from the power of sin and death and how he restore us back to His image.

I remember a few years ago I was speaking at a seminar, and I got a lot of good response. I felt very encouraged and felt I got self-value by it, but after a week I lost this feeling and I felt almost a bit depressed. I started to search for someone or something which could give me this feeling of self-worth again, but didn't quite find it. I asked Jesus why I had this feeling? Jesus reminded me that I measured my value by what others thought of me, but Jesus said, Your value is in me and that you are made in my image and not what others think and believe about you.

Again, this is the truth I want to show you today: Your value is not in what you do and not do, your value is not in if others like you or not, but your value is in that you are created in Gods Image and that Jesus paid a very high price for you. Your value is in the fact that God loves you and you meant so much to him that he sent his son Jesus to died for you.

I know this may be difficult to obtain, and I do not know if I totally see it myself, but the more we see this truth, the more we will be set free.

You are more valuable than the 1000 Mercedes
Let me say this in a different way that might help you:
If you were worth nothing, would someone give his life for you? You are so valuable that it was a person who was willing to die for you.
How we handle things often show how much it is worth. If you had a new Mercedes, would you treat, protected and taken care of this car in the same way as a 20 year old Toyota?
Maybe one that does not understand its true value would, and there are probably many who have not seen their true value as well and they treat themselves and others in that way too, but if you really understand how much a new Mercedes is worth you would have treated it very different?

You are more worth a 1000 Mercedes, you were so expensive that Jesus gave his life for you.
And because you were bought for a high price, God do not treat you as a garbage either! He sees value in you even if you do not always behave like that.

Think of a diamond, before being washed and polished it does not look valuable at all. It almost looks like an ordinary worthless stone. But because there are someone who see the true value in them, they wash and polish it and get a high price for it.
You are a diamond in the eyes of God, he sees the true value that you have, even if no one else would see it.
He knows that you do not always look like a diamond, but he wants to help you so you can see your own value, and the more you see your own worth, the more you will look, act and become like the diamond that you really are.
 
Our values have something to say in almost all areas of our lives. In how we look upon sin, in how we communicate with others, how you treat others, how to resolve conflicts, and how you treat yourself.

If we completely and fully saw our true value, for example jealousy would not be a problem anymore. If we saw our true value, sin would also be no problem.


Legalism, religion and value.


We as Christians should be the first and foremost to know our true value, but it is sad to say, this is often not the case, in fact, almost the opposite. Why is it so? I think legalism and religious thoughts have crept in and stolen this truth from many of us.

Let me first define what I mean by legalism and religion. It is possible to define it this way: Man's attempt to be worthy enough for God, it's about following rules, regulations and laws to be accepted by God (or people).

Legalism and religion will always measure your value against how much you can manage to live up to rules and regulations. It is not only about the Ten Commandments, but we may have many unwritten rules that we also measures our value by, such as: How often do you pray, read the Bible, go to Church and so on. It also measures your value against how holy you have managed to live. The less sins you commit, the more value you have. This is a logical thinking and a human thinking.
It is logical that if I am a great sinner, I'm worth less then other people. But fortunately this is not God's way of thinking!

But it is very easy for us to unconsciously be under this legalistic mindset, that I am only worth something when I have behaved well or achieved something.

This legalistic thinking always leads us to try to strive to be accepted by God or that we are to be worthy for him in some ways, or that we will be worthy to receive something from Him.
If you constantly feel that you are not worthy to be a Christian or to be forgiven by God, you are under this legalistic mindset.
I have good news for you! Jesus fulfilled the law for you, and because he is worthy, you are worthy, and it has nothing to do with what you have done or have not done. We no longer live under the law, the law who says that you are only worth something if you have behaved well enough.

This legalistic mindset has crept into Christianity more than you may realize, even in charismatic circles that say that they preach grace and not law.

I struggled with an sickness for many years, and I studied the subject of healing a lot. I read books and was even on two trips to the U.S. and went on several seminars there. Much of it was good, but there were also things that I have seen later that was not good.

In some books I read about blockages to healing, they said that if I did not give tithes and blessed and prayed for Israel God would not heal me.
They also said that you had to confess all our sins both before and after we became a Christian before God could heal, and we had to make sure we did not fall into any sin also. They did not say this directly in this way, but often it was what they indirectly said it. I may even have said this in previous teachings too.
This mindset will lead you into fear and bondage, for what if you forget to confess a sin you did 20 years ago or if you did not have money a month to give the tithe, or forget to pray for Israel, will God withhold his healing then?

Would just like to briefly say this:
I believe in repentance, and to confess sin and lies you have believed in and replace it with the truth. Repentance is really about to turn from a lie and turn to what is truth. We may have been programmed to think wrong, believe a lie, and it can be an block to healing, but the main thing is to see that God is for you and that he loves you. It is the devil who wants to hide the truth about God for you, especially through legalism, and yes it is an block to healing when we believe his lies about God.
If you believe that God puts demands on you that you have to make yourself worthy of healing, it will be the main blockade for healing. What it is all about is to get a correct picture of God and rest in the fact that he is good.

I remember coming back from a trip in the U.S. where I had been at seminars on holiness and healing, but I still had not been healed and I searched for things that could block it, such as sins I previous had committed.
I had done pretty well for a while when it came to sin, I did not fall in any of the "big" one(I think I lived quite righteous, but I had some sins that where grate in my own eyes anyway), but then I remembered that I had bought some DVDs that was fake when I was in Thailand, and I thought, this must be it! So I made a campfire, confessed my sin and burned all my DVDs, and I thought: God will heal me now! But nothing happened, and I felt again that there was something more I had to do or confess to be healed.
I struggled and struggled to make me more valuable for healing, but nothing seemed to be good enough. There was always something more I needed to do, so I could deserve to be healed. I did not know that I had put my selves under law again.

This lasted a few years until one day I sat frustrated in a hotel room in Chiang Mai in Thailand and cried out to God: What more must I DO?
Then I heard Jesus's quiet and gentle voice say: Just know that I love you Tore!
This sentence has turned everything around for me, and it's one of my biggest revelations. It took some time before it dawned on me, because I was so used to think legalistic, but it has set me free!
This is the only truth you need to know too: Just know that I (God) loves you!
This truth is what will heal you too, when you let it sink into your heart!
It will also set you free from striving and the frustration of never measure up.

Knowing that God loves us unconditionally will make us see our value, because why love something that has no value. We are valuable, that is why God loves us.

Legalism we tell us that God only gives us something and love us when we have made ourselves worthy of it, but Jesus tells us that everything is by grace, it is totally undeserved!

Do you know that to be legalistic and focused on sin is self-focusing? If you only focus on your sin, your sin will be the focus. If you look up and see Jesus, He will be your focus, not your sin, and then you will become more and more like him. If you focus on your sin, you will become more and more like that sin, and it will bind you.


A new creation and value.

I wish also to say something about that we are a new creature, this is also a key to see our value.

Many Christians have this misconception that we have two natures on the inside, a sinful nature and a new creation.
I can understand that non-Christians can not fully understand their value, because they still have a sinful nature on the inside, they have not been born again yet. But for a Christian, it should be easy, but unfortunately it is not, because legalism has again come in and stolen this truth about the new creation from many of us.
Many see Romans 7 as a normal Christian life. It's about the evil I do not want to, I do, and the good I want to do I do not do, but if you read carefully you will see that Paul describe himself as one living under the law. If you live under the law you will have this experience, and that is true, but you are not under law any longer. Paul say that we are not under the law, several times including in the chapter before, in Chapter 6.  I have learned that we must read the Bible in context, but I think many people forget this sometimes, and we just take things out of it's context. You need to read Romans 7 in context with both Romans 6 and 8 and not just pull out a few verses.

Why is this important when it comes to our value? Because if you identify yourself with the sinful nature, you will never be able to fully accept and love yourself. You can never love an evil side of yourself. You can try to live with it and suppress it as those who have not been born again to some extent try to do, but you will never fully be able to love yourself.
That's why Jesus also had to crucify your sinful nature, he had to kill it totally and again restore you back to who you were created to be.
Romans 6:6
Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

I have good news for you: You have no sinful nature on the inside that you have to try and suppress by trying to crucify it. You are a new creation, and it is your true identity. This new creation is holy, pure and righteous in fact, John says that as Jesus is, so are we in this world. (1 John 4:16) We are not Jesus, but we are identical with him in our new creation (remember that we already are created in His image), and this is not from ourselves, that we should not have any works to boast about, this is also completely and fully by God.
When you see this, it will do something about the way you see yourself and how you value yourself.

If you are a Christian you are a new creation, the old has gone and everything has become new, and this is also of God, there is nothing more to do to make this happen!
2 Corinthians 5:17-18
17 Then if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. The old has passed away. Behold, all things have become new.
18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;

If we got a new creature in addition to the old one, it will be bad news, not good, as the gospel really means.
We are a new creature, so we should no longer be slaves to sin.
But why am I not experiencing this you might say? That's because you do not see yourself that way, you still think that you have a sinful nature on the inside, it feels like it, and that's why you act like it as well. If you see yourself as a new creature without sin, you will also start to act like that.

If you are left with many questions after what I have said, I will recommend you a teaching I have that talks about this subject much deeper.
See my teaching Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Christian, what is your true identity on
 www.bible-teachings.com (See this link: What is Your True Identity?)

Spirit, soul and body, and value.


In many charismatic communities it is a popular teaching about spirit, soul and body. It is about that we are a spirit, has a soul and lives in a body.
I do to a large extent I agree with them, but the danger lies in when we divide up the spirit, soul and body in a very distinct way. In fact, I find no basis for this division in God's Word, you will see more that spirit, soul and body is more something that are closely connected, it is one unit, but three parts.

Often in this teaching it will say that our spirit is the new creation and who you truly are, the problem with this is that it also implies that our souls and our bodies in a way is a bit evil. If we are to follow the logic of this, we can easily start to believe that the body and soul does not belong to God, and it is still part of the sinful nature. This is actually not Biblical.
We can only look at this verse we started this teaching with:
1 Corinthians 6:20
For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

So both the spirit and the body belongs to God, it is not only the spirit that belong to God but both.

This view that the spirit is good while the body is evil comes from a Gnostic thinking that all matter is evil while the spirit is good. Gnostics believed that Jesus could not have come in the flesh, but that he was only a spirit. This heresy are something John strongly opposed both the Gospel of John and in his letters.

Now I am not saying that those who preach a very distinct division of spirit, soul and body are heretics, I listen to many of them often still, but there's something about the logic that can easily be tracked back to a Gnostic thinking.

Just a side track: The two heretical view that the first Christian struggled with and who influenced the early Christians, was Gnostic (which taught that sin does not exist and that spiritual things are good and all physical things are evil, John spoke against this) and legalism (which is about that must follow the rules and regulations to comply with and be worthy of God, Paul talked a lot about this, especially in The letter to Galatians). I think this is just as applicable today, I can see that these heresies have affected us much, even today. But even if we have let ourselves be fooled by some of their thoughts, and philosophies, it does not mean that we are not Christians any more, or that we have lost our salvation, if so most Christians would not be Christians then.

 I also think both heresies devalues us as humans, they take away our value.

Why is this important?
Because if you think that your soul and your body is evil, how can you accept yourself or see value in yourself?
You will begin to despise your personality, that sits in your soul and the body you see in the mirror every morning.
You can try to say thousands of times that you are accepted by God and are valuable and so on, but if you think subconsciously that your body and soul is evil, you will never be able to fully accept yourself and see your true value. All of you, spirit, soul and body are created in God's image, not just your spirit!

Body and soul are neutral, but it depends on who controls it. You also got a free will, and you can use your free will to do something wrong with your body or do something good. Paul encourage us several times: Since you are born again, are a new creation, then also use your bodies to serve righteousness and don't use it for unrighteousness as you did before. (See, for example Romans 6:15-23).
Give glory to God through your body Paul also says in the scripture that we started with in 1 Corinthians 6:20. And Paul says that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit in the verse before.

We have a choice to do wrong or to do right even though we are Christians, we can still choose to glorify God with our bodies or not, but if we do wrong, like a sin we do, does this take away our new creation or value, or is it our soul or body that is evil, and we must try to suppress it? I don't think so.

Our bodies have needs and desires, and they can affect us, but it does not mean that the desires in  themselves are evil, we have the choice and authority over our limbs and feelings too. It is our thoughts that determine our actions, and we can take thoughts captive before the body and mind react to them.

I know I could have gone deeper into this, but see my teaching of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Christian, what is your true identity on www.bible-teachings.com (See this link: What is Your True Identity?), where I explain this even deeper.

In the end
I hope through this teaching that you have gotten some new revelations about how valuable you really are! And I hope the truths I have though can help you to see your freedom in Christ, and that you are called to freedom.  You do not have to be under things that make you sad and depressed any more. Know that you are incredibly valuable to God and rejoice in this truth every day.

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The Vision

1 Encourage you to grow in your Christian life and to get a deeper understanding of who God is and His love for you! (1John 4:17)
2 Helping you to stand against our enemy, the devil, so that you can experience the victorious Christian life! (James 4:7, Rom 8:37, 1Pet 5_8-9)
3 Inspire you to teach others! (Matt 28:18-20)
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