For it is by grace you have been saved...

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Needle and a Cup - Is This All I Am?

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that my wife and I were looking into some new life insurance.  We decided to go ahead and make the change.  Now, if you've ever been through this process, you know that before a company will issue a new policy, they need...well, just a little information.  Like your family history going back 18 generations and the name, address and phone number of every medical facility you've even been within 10 miles of in the last decade.  You know, simple stuff. 

Which is why a lady showed up at my office the other day with a needle and a cup.  The needle was to draw a blood sample with; the cup...well, you can figure that out.  Actually, worse than just the cup was the fact that she also handed me a couple test tubes with instructions to transfer from the cup.... you get the idea.  So there I am, stuck in the arm and playing mad scientist with the cup contents.  Just a bit awkward to say the least. 

And here was my thought process.  With this needle and cup, this company is going to develop a summary of my life to see whether it's worth insuring or not.  All my life reduced down to the contents of that needle and cup.  Is this all I am?

Much of life these days has been reduced to these kinds of things.  Most of us are summarized by a series of numbers: bank numbers, ID numbers, Social Security numbers.  We're a series of user names and passwords.  A digital blip on the screens of this world.

Or we summarize ourselves by relationships.  I'm husband, or dad, or ___________ (insert job title here).  While those relationships are great, and I love nothing more than being "Dad" or "Sweetheart" (to my wife, not on the job!), or whatever...still, is this all I am?  Is this the sum of my existence?  Or is there more?

God would say, "There is much, much more."  As Samuel was sent to find the next king of Israel, he ended up at the house of Jesse, doing a lineup of the man's sons.  Each one, from Samuel's immediate summary, looked pretty good.  But God said of each: "This isn't the guy."  And then there was David.  Out taking care of the sheep.  Little David.  He wasn't big and tall and strong and impressive looking.  His numbers wouldn't have made anyone look twice.  But God said, "Man looks on the outside, but I'm looking at the heart."  

God saw in David more than a summary of his relationships, more than his current job title, more than what would have been discovered with a needle and a cup, had such things been around.  God saw what He would make of this boy.  He saw the shepherd king whom He would make into a foreshadowing of the true Shepherd King to come.  

And God sees each of us in that way.  Not just in the physical makeup of our DNA; not just in the summary of our digital footprint; not only in our relationships in this world.  He sees us in relationship with His Son.  He sees sinners in need of salvation; unworthy of His love, deemed worthy of His sacrifice because of His love and mercy.  Oh, He sees so much more.  We are, in Christ, so much more.

Keith and Kristyn Getty, maybe this generations best hymn writers, have penned a new hymn along with Graham Kendrick which speaks to this a bit.  It's called, My Worth is Not in What I Own, and it speaks of exactly what it sounds like.  We are more than the things of this world.  We are more than our physical makeup, our material wealth, our family history. Our value is found in Christ, and in Him alone.  He sees us through the lens of Christ, what He wants to make out of us in Christ, and that's where we find our true worth and value.  This is all we are: in Christ.  Here are the words to the hymn and then a video of the Gettys singing it.  I pray this will be an encouragement today for someone.

My worth is not in what I own
Not in the strength of flesh and bone
But in the costly wounds of love
At the cross

My worth is not in skill or name
In win or lose, in pride or shame
But in the blood of Christ that flowed
At the cross

I rejoice in my Redeemer
Greatest Treasure,
Wellspring of my soul
I will trust in Him, no other.
My soul is satisfied in Him alone.

As summer flowers we fade and die
Fame, youth and beauty hurry by
But life eternal calls to us
At the cross

I will not boast in wealth or might
Or human wisdom's fleeting light
But I will boast in knowing Christ
At the cross


Two wonders here that I confess
My worth and my unworthiness
My value fixed - my ransom paid
At the cross


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