“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God” (1 Peter 1:18–19)

In my real estate class, I was yawning my way through all sorts of boring standards of practice, restrictions, taxation, etc. When I read that real property taxes are also called Ad Valorem, which is Latin for “According to value”, I lit up! Since every owner pays taxes based on the assessed value of his property, the more it’s worth, the more one pays.

Love for our neighbor can be taxing. We may even decide it’s not worth the cost. But in this moment I found a blessed reminder of how different God's love is, and how our value rests in Christ alone.

When Adam and Eve left the garden, God could have said “Good riddance to bad rubbish” and been done with us. When the Israelites turned their backs to the Lord, time and time again, to worship false idols, he could have let them destroy themselves. “Burn me once shame on you, burn me twice, shame on me”. Instead, he came with a different word of forgiveness 70x7.

When I first read Matthew 18:21-22 to my son when he was little, he asked me for a calculator. Lol But isn’t that how we all are? Not only with others sin, but our own. I credit Chad Bird for teaching me I really don’t need to be good at forgiving myself. It’s God’s forgiveness that has the final word.

When Jesus walked the earth, he could have taken one look around and declared the home of our heart a dump! Time to start over. Cleanse the earth of evildoers and build a new playground. New wife. New life.

Only, we are God's artistry revealed. The pattern of our veins weaving and pumping life into our hearts should rightly evoke awe and wonder. It’s not cliché that God knows the number of every hair on our head. God truly knows what He’s doing! He makes no mistakes. So why would we ever assume he would abandon his creation, his image-bearers? And yet, when we sin, so many of us fear God is not with us and does not love us.

God promises to make all things new, but not by deeming us uninhabitable domains and tearing down our walls. Instead, as a master architect he timely and precisely crafted the plan to place eternity in our immoral hearts. To nail our sin, yesterday, today and tomorrow, to the cross. Once and for all!

Knowing how precious the blood of Jesus is, how can we not see our value as the object of his affection and a dwelling place for His Holy Spirit? (1 Corinthians 6:19–20).

Jesus’ sacrifice destroys any notions that you are not valued! God loves you! Not as the world loves. Not in comparison to counterfeit self-love. One that covers shame, sets us free from sin, and secures a forever home with the Lord!