Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 12 - August/September 2006 > Pastor's Piece - How Much are you Really Worth?

Pastor's Piece - How Much are you Really Worth?

by Dr Barry Wright

Have you ever wondered how much you are really worth? Some people think that they are pretty important and worth a great deal while there are others who feel they are of no value at all.

If we look at our pharmaceutical value, it would not seem to add up to very much. One laboratory technician has suggested that the human body contains enough fat to make seven bars of soap, enough iron to make a medium size nail, and sugar sufficient to fill a small sugar bowl. He says that the amount of lime in the human body would be sufficient to whitewash a two by four metre room, and the phosphorus would provide enough material for approximately 2000 match tips. He further declares that there is ample sulphur to kill a few score of fleas, enough potassium to explode a toy cannon, and sufficient magnesium for one medicinal dose. If added up in today's currency, it certainly isn't a staggering sum. He suggests that we would most probably be worth not much more than 10-20 dollars at the most.

When we read verses like 1 Peter 1: 24 that says, 'All mankind are like grass, and all their glory is like wild flowers. The grass withers and the flowers fall', it would seem that this confirms that we are not worth much at all.

However, I am thankful that the Lord tells us in Matthew 10: 31 that 'You are worth much.'

We are fortunate that God does not just look at our pharmaceutical value. Even while we are going in the way of sin and following all the pleasures that can be offered by this old world, the Lord sees in us something that is precious.

In Matthew 13: 45, 46 Jesus' parable of the pearl of great price reminds us that this is true. This parable has a double meaning and while it applies to those seeking the kingdom of God it also shows Jesus, the heavenly merchantman, seeking lost humanity whom He sees as the pearl of great price. While He sees man suffering from the results of sin, He also sees the possibilities of their redemption. Those whose hearts have been a battleground in dealing with sin and have been rescued by the power of love, are seen to be even more precious than those who have never fallen.

God looks upon us all, not as vile and worthless, but as we might become, through redeeming love.

In the 1930s, Gladys Aylward, missionary to China, was walking down the main street in Yangcheng, an isolated town in north-eastern China, when she came across a repelling sight. Sitting on the pavement was a coarse dirty woman with heavy silver earrings dangling from her earlobes. As she approached her she noticed a little child leaning against her knee. An appalling sickly child, clad in a dirty bit of loincloth, with legs like stalks, a swollen belly and with running sores all over her head and body. Its condition was so bad it was impossible to even tell whether it was a boy or girl and it looked as if it were likely to die. The woman, whom Gladys discovered was a child dealer, was offering to sell this little girl for two dollars. After berating the woman for being involved in such a trade, Gladys decided that she needed to give this little child a home otherwise it would probably die. All Gladys had were a few coppers, equal to about nine pence, and so a deal was struck. This little girl, to be nicknamed 'nine pence', was now given life by an unknown person who was prepared to share her love and take her into her home.

How much is a person worth?

In this case not very much in terms of monetary value.

Some years ago, the story is also told of the rescue of a little girl who had fallen into the shaft of an old abandoned well in the USA. Newspapers picked up the story and before long rescuers with the best equipment available were making their way to this scene in an effort to save her life. No expense was spared. All over the country prayers were offered for her safety. Anxious millions awaited the outcome, so when the lifeless little body was brought to the surface, the whole nation were there to mourn the heartbreaking loss.

How much is a soul worth?

From these two stories it would seem that it could be anywhere from nine pence to millions of dollars. However, the Scriptures make clear that the value of each person cannot be measured in terms of money, but only through the value that God places on each and everyone of us. The Scriptures make clear that we are of more value than a whole world of property, houses, land or money and our worth can only be measured and evaluated through the death of Jesus on Calvary. He gave His life to purchase our freedom from sin and He would still have endured all this, even if we were the only one. We are all precious in His sight.

1 John 3: 1 tells us to 'See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God's children - and so, in fact, we are.'

Let us make sure that His sacrifice for us was not made in vain.

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 12 - August/September 2006 > Pastor's Piece - How Much are you Really Worth?