Precious in God’s Sight…

     In a recent blog post (http://suereeve.com/am-i-really-oh-so-valuable/), I posed the question, “Am I really, oh, so valuable?” I had a feeling this question may resonate with readers, and I was correct. Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate every comment!

     One came from my friend, Jackie, who wrote,

     When I was a new Christian I asked, “Where does God say, ‘I love you?’”  I was so in need of a personal clear word. I found it in Isaiah 43:4! 

“You are precious [valuable] in my sight, honored, and I love you.”

     For over 40 years now these powerful words have brought healing, uplifting, and peace. It continues to be a process as the truth has molded my thinking and carried me through difficulties. 

God loves me!

     Jackie’s comment got me thinking about other words folks may use to describe feeling valued. Synonyms include:

     cherished,

           esteemed,

               loved,

                    precious,

                         prized,

                               respected,

                                    treasured.

     Like me, as well as many of you, Jackie often finds comfort, wisdom and direction through words found in scripture.

     You may already know what I’m about to say, but for those who don’t, I think this bit of insight may be helpful.

     Two different Greek words are used to describe what we often hear referred to as God’s Word, or Scripture. The first, logos, refers to the actual written word, and the second, rhema, refers to the personal speaking of God through the Word. There have been occasions when I’m reading my Bible, highlight a verse or passage and write, “Wow!” in the margin. Rhema is my spiritual “Wow Factor!”

     More than 40 years ago, Jackie read logos in the ancient book written by the prophet, Isaiah. When those words jumped off the pages of the Bible into her heart, logos became rhema.

     I imagine rhema is what the writer of Hebrews had in mind when he said, “Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 NSRV)

I hope these words provide encouragement to you today…

Sue Reeve

Core Values will Guide…

     In my last blog, I posed a question, “Am I really oh, so valuable?” I described the struggle I share with many others to feel valued. I described how the power of scriptures, such as Psalms 139, have provided assurance of my intrinsic value to God. Accepting God’s value, I said, has been the springboard from which I continue learning to value myself as well as valuing others.

     I’ve discovered one way my sense of value can grow is to establish a set of personal core values.

     I was introduced to the concept of core values while in the workplace. The director of the state agency where I worked introduced five core values she expected employees to consider in whatever positions we served, doing whatever tasks our job descriptions required.

     Her directive resonated. I wrote the five core values on a 3×5 index card and taped the card to the edge of my computer screen. Often, I considered the agency’s core values as I prioritized my workload.

     This introduction led me to start thinking about my own personal core values:

          principles pointing me to top priorities,

          guidelines directing me in decision-making,

          ideals influencing my best “No’s” and “Yes’s”

          qualities I want to characterize me.

     While considering, I pondered a couple questions:

          How do I want those with whom I come in contact to remember me?

          At my memorial service, will descriptions by my family be consistent with those given by a more casual acquaintance?

     You can probably tell I’ve given the matter of core values a good deal of thought.

     Recently, I’ve been thinking about the core values of Jesus. Here’s what I concluded. Since Jesus is the exact reflection of God[1]—and since God is all knowing and all being[2], every worthwhile core value is part of Jesus’ character.

     This topic could become an entire Bible study, but that’s not my intention. Here are a few of my favorite core values of Jesus:

  • Loving Relationships[3]
  • Compassion[4]
  • Truth[5]
  • Graciousness[6]
  • Wellness[7]
  • Storytelling[8]

     I will unpack some additional thoughts about the important subject of value next time.

     Until then, I’m praying for you and asking God to reveal to you your deep, deep value…

Sue Reeve

  1. Colossians 1:15
  2. Isaiah 46:9-10
  3. Mark 12:30 &31[relationships with God, others and self]
  4. Multiple New Testament references saying, “Jesus was moved with compassion…”
  5. Many references about Jesus and truth in John’s gospel; John 18:37 is a powerful reference
  6. Luke 4:22; Romans 8:32
  7. Matthew 9:35
  8. The New Testament records 46 stories—parables—Jesus used to illustrate spiritual principles

Am I Really ‘Oh, So Valuable’?

     I wish I could look you in the eye right now and say, “________________, you are oh, so valuable!”

     How do you think you’d feel when you heard those words?

          Warm, fuzzy validation?

               Uncomfortable?

                    Doubtful?

                         Cynical?

                               Unworthy?

     What might be your initial response?

          “YES, I am…”

               “You’re kidding, right…”

                    “Yeah, I know that, BUT…”

                              “Please…don’t say that!”

                                             “No way!”

     I’ve spent a good part of my life believing in my head I’m valuable, and yet not embracing a sense of value in my heart! Even when I put up a good front, most of my many years, I’ve felt ‘less than,’ ‘not quite enough’ or ‘just okay’ more often than feeling tremendously valuable.

     I endeavored to be the best me possible but struggled with an underlying doubt I couldn’t measure up.

     And, always, a little interior voice echoed,

          “You’re not enough,

               Not e-n-o-u-g-h!”

                    N-o-t e-n-o-u-g-h!”

     I know I’m not alone when I describe this experience. So, why do we doubt our value? When did we begin to sense our lack of worth?

     Most roots creating feelings of inadequacy originate during the formative period of childhood. They grow deeper with peer, school and workplace interactions. By the time we’re able to identify them, we’re adults beset with multitudes of responsibilities, and exploring our own issues must be placed on the back burner.

     The realization that I am ‘oh, so valuable’ has for me dawned primarily in my journey of spiritual discovery. The ‘head level’ belief has grown into a ‘heart level’ assurance of my intrinsic value to God. God’s value has been the springboard from which I’m still learning to value myself as well as valuing others.

     My first deep realization came during a season when I discovered a person whose love and acceptance I desired more than anything no longer valued me. During one of that season’s darkest moments, I read Psalm 139 from the Living Bible. The ancient words, paraphrased in modern English, sank into my spirit, assuring me in the darkest, deepest depths of my being that the God of the Universe values me.

     I invite you to read this portion of scripture for yourself (The Living Bible can be found on one of my favorite sites: www.biblegateway.com.) Snippets from this passage that changed me forever:

      1O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

      You chart the path ahead of me… Every moment you know where I am

     You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head.

     12 For even darkness cannot hide from God;

     15 You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! 16 You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!

     17-18 How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly… when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!

     While I still have a long way to go in this arena, I feel assured I will continue to grow because I believe God wants us to grasp the divine value attached to our lives and will, with grace and faithfulness, teach that truth.

     In the next few Listening on the Journey… blog posts, I will delve more deeply into the discovery of VALUE. I hope you’ll join me.

Until then, I hope you’ll ponder this thought: “__________________, you are oh, so valuable!”

Sue Reeve