Friday, August 13, 2010


What is something worth? Determining an object's value is an important process and is determined by a number of factors; rarity, condition, potential for increase, place in history, authenticity, and the price one is willing to pay. For instance, this picture of Willie Mays shows him at the genesis of his remarkable career, wearing a Minneapolis Millers minor league uniform from the 1951 season. Mays was arguably the greatest baseball player of all time, therefore his minor league uniform became highly valued by collectors of baseball memorabilia. Not knowing its historic value a gentleman bought this uniform for $50.00. He later verified it to be May's actual uniform when he found a photograph of it showing the same tear on the jersey's right sleeve that his had. Being able to verify this uniform as being the actual one in the photograph made it worth much more than $50.00. It is currently valued at between $60,000.00 and $80,000.00. That is what collectors are willing to pay for it.

That thought leads us to this question: "What are we worth?". It can be answered solely by what God was willing to pay for us.

In the previous blog, "A PERSON'S VALUE Part 1", we saw that a slave owner found no value in a 65 year old man named Ben. Nothing could be further from the truth, that someone might have no value! Our planet could be the only inhabited one in the vast un-ending sea of space. Consider the possibility that those of us on planet earth are the only people in all the universe. If that is so then each one of us, even the most supposed insignificant one of us, is extraordinarily rare. But whether that is true or not here is one thing we know; our value has been forever established by what our Father was willing to pay for us: His only Son, His shed blood.

C.S. Lewis said, "He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less". Have you determined your value the same way the Lord did? It will change your life.

Honestly. What are you worth?

Thursday, August 5, 2010


While preaching in Tulsa, Oklahoma my wife and I visited the Gilcrease Museum. Advertised as 'one of the country's best facilities for the preservation and study of American art and history', it houses over 100,000 books, manuscripts, documents, and maps, some dating back to 1494, two years after Christopher Columbus landed on our shores. Among many rare and historic documents and paintings I viewed copies, not photo-copies, but original hand made copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation, both signed by Benjamin Franklin.

To write that I was impressed is a huge understatement, but a small one page handwritten document affected me the most. It was a two column inventory roll entitled the "Complete listing of the slaves of the Robert M. Compton estate with age, name, and their value Madison County Tenn. 1848".

On it a six year old boy named Cos was valued at $275.00. A twenty five year old male named Stephen was valued at $650.00, a young woman, Sylvia - $425.00. As I read this list my heart began to ache. But the most heart breaking record of all was this one, (and I record it here just as it appeared on the original inventory): "Old Ben, age 65, no value, -0-".

How terrible!

How much is a person worth?