Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Do you have a collection of anything? I used to call myself a collector of collections, because I couldn’t make up my mind about what I really wanted to put all that time, effort and money into. I have had several collections over the years.

I started collecting stamps one time. I bought a Babe Ruth commemorative first-day-of-issue stamp back in 1983 and that was and is the extent of my stamp collection. I also collected baseball cards for several years and still have a number of mint sets from the 80s. I collected Star Wars figures, but they fell prey to my BB gun and now are missing arms, legs and heads.

Nowadays, I don’t really collect anything. I do, however, seem to accumulate many things. The things I seem to be accumulating today really have no value to anyone else but me. There is a great deal of sentimental value that I place on quite a number of things that would be of no value to anyone else.

I enjoy watching the Antiques Roadshow on PBS. My wife just rolls her eyes if it’s my turn to be in control of the remote and I stop there. (By the way, the reverse happens when she in charge of the remote and she stops on HGTV.) I do find it funny that she also enjoys the Roadshow if she watches for a few minutes.

If you have never watched the show, they travel all over the country asking the locals to bring in antiques they would like to get estimates on. Expert antique appraisers uncover personal stories and assign monetary value to these items. Sometimes they have inherited the item or they may have purchased it at a yard sale or antique shop. They usually reveal how much was paid for the item and compare it to the value today.

The appraisers are always careful to tell the people what the item might sell for at an auction or what a collector might pay for it. This is because the item might not fetch nearly that amount if the person tried to sell it to just anyone. Therefore the price is dependent on the value someone else sees in it.

In Matthew 12, Jesus has a confrontation with the Pharisees. At the beginning of the chapter, we find Jesus and the twelve picking heads of grain to eat on the Sabbath. The Pharisees accused them of working on the Sabbath, which was against Levitical law. Jesus responded by reminding them of the time that David ate the showbread from the temple, which was also not lawful. However, his hunger and strength was more important than Levitical law at the time.

Jesus then went into the synagogue and saw a man there with a withered hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath. The scripture reads, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. (Matthew 12:11-13)

Jesus encountered the man with the withered hand and appraised the value in him. He was worth more than a sheep, more than a sparrow, more than even the Levitical law. This man was also valued by Jesus to be worth His own life, because in verse 14 we see the Pharisees plotting against Jesus. Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him. (Matthew 12:14)

Have you ever felt worthless? Have you ever believed you made no difference in the world at all? Do you ever see what some would call the important people in the world and think, “I’ll never be like that; I’m just a big nothing.”?

Jesus says otherwise. Jesus saw Peter, Andrew, James, and John and said, “You are not just fishermen, you are mine!” Jesus walked by Matthew and said “You may look like a despised tax man to others, but you are great in my eyes. Come and follow me!” Jesus looks down on us and says, “You may think you have lived a horrible life and can never be anything of value to God, but I am the great eternal appraiser and I say you are worth more to me than even my own life.”

How much worth does God place on us? He gave up His entire Kingdom, humbled Himself, and became one of us. He then added more value to us by giving up that same life willingly on a cross. As if that were not enough, He then heaped on more value by defeating death, hell and the grave for us.

He gave all and then defeated all. Why? Because there was no way He was going to be outbid with YOU on the auction block. God loves you that much!

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)

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