“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)
My husband and I recently went out for a nice date night dinner and as we were walking to our table we passed by two little girls digging into a scrumptious chocolate and more chocolate dessert.
We rarely ever eat dessert. Neither one of us needs the extra calories nor do we feel inclined to spend the extra money. But on this occasion we decided differently. Ok – I decided differently.
This culinary delight was a warm chocolate fudge brownie topped with a healthy serving of homemade Bailey’s ice cream topped with a warm drizzle of chocolate sauce.
I have no idea how many calories were in each bite. I didn’t care. I knew I would have to work out extra for the next three days in order to mitigate the damage. I didn’t care. As I savored each bite I just couldn’t help but think, “this is so worth it.”
So Worth It.
We all have our own “so worth its”. For some it might be gel nails, a weekly massage, an automatic cat litter cleaner box, a baby sitter on Friday night, professional hair coloring and highlights, a vacation, or the gym membership. There is no shame in having a “so worth it.” We all need and want things in our lives that bring us pleasure.
We might even say we deserve those things.
When we think we deserve something that means we believe we have done something or experienced something that entitles us to some kind of reward or assistance or result. Our world reinforces this idea.
- It’s been a long week – I deserve to get a manicure.
- I work and therefore contribute to the family finances – I deserve to buy that new outfit.
- We haven’t been on date night in a long time – we deserve that dessert.
- I put in my 40 hours – I deserve to get my paycheck.
Having a “deserving” mindset will convince us we should be rewarded for our efforts. For many, this is a stumbling block to fully experiencing salvation through Jesus Christ because we think we need to earn it in order to deserve it. We must do more, give more, be better in order to deserve Jesus dying on the cross for us.
Today’s verse tells us a different story.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (emphasis mine)
There is nothing we do, or can do, that enables us to say we deserve salvation. In fact, God’s word is pretty clear that we do not.
“We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23)
“For the wages of sin is death…” (Rom 6:23a)
We do not deserve the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for us. There is no way we can ever earn it. The thing we think we do well today we will completely fail at tomorrow. We will repeatedly hear the message that we will never be good enough, never deserve it. Pretty soon, this message will work its way into our hearts as “you aren’t worth it.”
Again, today’s verse tells us a different story. It is by grace we are saved. It is a gift from God.
There is a big difference between deserving something and being worth something. Deserving something is our estimation of ourselves. Worth is bestowed by the beholder.
For many of you that chocolate dessert would never be worth it. Gel nails and manicures are not worth it to me. What is worth something to one person may have no value, no worth to someone else.
Worth is completely in the eye of the beholder.
God is your beholder and He loves you so much He sent His only Son to die for you.
The sacrifice of Jesus is the ultimate gift from God expressing His love for us. Jesus looks down at us from the cross and declares “You Are So Worth It!”
This humbles me. There are many days when I certainly do not feel worth it. I question the Lord’s judgment. I make mistakes and feel powerless to live into the relationship God desires to have with me. Maybe you know this feeling too. You know the feeling of being beaten down and nothing – not even that manicure – makes you feel worth it. You may have even heard today “you aren’t worth it.” Not worth hiring. Not worth marrying. Not worth staying married to. Not worth being invited. You feel powerless. Oh those wounds will run deep. And you will question God’s love for you.
On those days when we feel the most defeated we must hang on to this: no matter what others say, no matter what the world will tell us – Jesus is our beholder.
Jesus is the one who bestows our worth.
Jesus says a lot of things about us. He calls us beloved, adopted, and perfect. He tells us we are chosen, forgiven, redeemed, and holy. He delights over us, values us, and give us strength. He calls us friend and daughter.
Before we can truly believe any of that and before we can live fully into who God says we are and calls us to be – we must believe this:
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly… God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:6, 8)
Jesus declares “You Are So Worth It!”
We must believe this.
Love and blessings,