Friday, July 5, 2013

I'll give you $5

Any kind of sale whether you call it a moving sale, a yard sale, a garage sale or an estate sale - they are HARD work!!! I was reminded of this in May when we had our first moving sale. We were blessed beyond measure with family and friends that helped us and it was beyond successful. It was more than we dreamed or imagined or even prayed for because God was the center of it. Everything that He is the center of is successful and He showed us that all week long.  Everyone that came to the sell heard about the love of Christ and Matthew 28! We didn't waste an opportunity to share. God blessed that so much that He allowed us to be at the airport when a couple that we met at the sell came back from their mission trip that we had been praying for all week!! That was a God thing for sure!

One thing I did notice during our 2 days of selling was how everyone wants something for nothing. And even if you have your prices set low they still want to give you less than you are asking. We had several professional (for a lack of a nicer term) hagglers. We had several scenarios with one in particular (who literally called me a sucker to my face) over the price of several items. And even though frustrating at the time, the Lord clearly used these moments to show me some things and make me ask myself some questions.

What I noticed was that their value of the item and my value of the item were not the same. Clearly my value was higher. How did I come to that value? Why was my value not the same as theirs? Why was theirs not the same as mine? Why did they find it less valuable? How could I help them to see the value was actually higher, or did they know it but didn't want to actually pay the asking value? Did they just want something for nothing? I heard God say, "this is a perfect example of Christianity". What? What do you mean God? I prayed over the next few weeks asking God to explain and show me what He meant.

So I began to ask myself what value do I put on Christ? Where do I get my value from? Is my value the same as others? I first started with what does value mean. According to the dictionary value is :  relative worth, merit, or importance.  So according to the definition what is my relative worth of Christ, His merit and His importance? Can people around us see His worth, merit and importance in our lives as Christians? Does He have any value in our life, or do we just want something for nothing? By that I mean, do we just want to have fire proof insurance and call our self a Christian but not actually do anything?

See God was using this sale to teach me and show me some important lessons. It is not a secret that I have been frustrated with how slowly our support raising has been. But God was showing me some things that I hadn't thought of before. See our obedience depends on others to be obedient and we can't go until others are obedient. I have been praying for those to be obedient soon, but God was telling me "show them the value". See I have great value for the lost and dying in the world that are going to hell if we don't reach them with the gospel. It literally keeps me awake some nights thinking about it. I see the value in God's people everywhere, not those just like me. Where did I get that value? From God himself, that is not something humanly possible to just start loving people like that.

If something has value, you will go to great links to protect it, love it, cherish it and so on. The deaf children in Mexico have great value to me. And I am willing to go to great links to protect, love and cherish them. Trust me, there is NOTHING in my human, fleshly nature that finds that much value in the forsaking and suffering for others. But my spiritual side does. The side of me that is closest to God is longing to show them their value in Christ. The kind of world they come from they definitely feel that they have no value, they struggle with finding self worth and value. And I want to show them that they are valuable and how to value God too.

We can all value God more by learning about His character and seeing His redemptive plan for mankind in His word. We can value God more by being obedient and seeing humanity with the value that He sees us with. We can value God more by trusting Him to provide and not trusting ourselves or our plans more. We can value God more by the giving of our first fruits as He commands us, and even test Him with this. We can value God more by being in an intimate relationship and communication with Him daily. We must decrease so HE can INCREASE!!!

Another thing God showed me was that we sometimes allow others to determine our value of God and we don't stand up firm when it comes to placing value on God and the commands of God. So to demonstrate this I will use the moving sell to show you what I mean.
Professional Haggler offers $20 for a $60 item, Mike tells him no. He leaves, comes back(Mike is gone) and offers $30 - I call Mike and he says no. He looks around and comes back and says how about $35 - I call Mike and he is like okay, I don't have time at work to be haggled all day long - just sell it. I tell him okay $35 and he gets his wallet out and passes by $50's and $100's to count out for me $34 and tells me that is all he has. I tell him I have change, but he says "no, I am doing you a favor by taking it off your hands". I was like okay good riddance we need things to go. Right after that a man comes up and tells me that he would have given us $60 in a heart beat because it is worth more than that!! See we allowed another person to change our value on something and it really was worth the value we placed on it. Same couple came back - she wants to know if I will take a $1 for a book that is marked $2 and I say sure and he hands me 87 cents and tells me that is all he has - really!!! He also offers us $5 for a bike that we have $20 on. This is a great mountain bike practically new and only needs a new tire. So I am encouraged by friends and family there to tell him no! So I do and he starts in with it's not worth $20 and he is doing me a favor again, and I said "No! It is worth all of $20" He then proceeds to offer $6 then $7 and I am told to walk away and they tell him NO!
We sold the bike the next morning for $20!!!!! See God honored that we didn't allow him once again to  change the value we placed on the item.

Unfortunately, there are people out there that find no value in the people of other countries and don't mind telling you that. And people who will tell you that there are plenty of lost people here (which I totally agree with) but my question to them is, "what are YOU doing about it?" Because I am doing something about the people God has called me to minister to in Mexico. And if God asks me to come back here and minister to the people here, I will do it. But until God clearly tells me that He doesn't want me in Mexico, I can not allow others devalue to influence my value!!!

So I share all these moving sale experiences with you to say this. Don't let others determine your value of Christ or allow others to lower your value of the things of God. Stand firm, increase your own value and then show others how valuable God is and how they can increase their value of God. See God hasn't ever lowered His value on us and He doesn't expect us to do the same thing. He expects us to stand firm in our boldness and declare His value in our lives!!! Remember the value of each other and of those that are not like you or live in a different country or even a different religion. They have value to God and we must be the first to show that to others. Seriously, how could we go wrong with placing a higher value of God over anything else in our lives? We CAN'T!!!!

I pray that my life will reflect the value of God and His command in Matthew 28. Not because I am someone special or better than anyone else - because I AM NOT!!!! I am just a sinner saved by grace to glorify God with all that I am and all that I do!!! He found value in me and I plan on showing others how to find their value in Christ and because of Christ. Lord, may you never find me offering you less than the value you put on your commands and your people.

We are asking you to pray for our meetings that we are hosting with people about praying to join God's work in Mexico. Pray for all the staff and kids at the Ranch. Pray for us to make the deadlines for our last training and language school. Thank you so much for continuing to keep up with us and supporting us, words are not adequate to say thank you!!!

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