The Value of the Soul
The stranger snapped out his switchblade as he approached Terry. "Give me your shoes!" he ordered. "Give me your shoes or I’ll deep-six yah." Growing up on the East Side of Detroit, Terry had learned early not to let people push him around. Besides, his mom had just given him these Reebok shoes last week and he was not about to let someone take them away.
Staring directly into the stranger’s eyes, Terry responded, "You talk the talk, can you walk the walk?"
The stranger, thrusting the knife into Terry’s chest, said, "Ya, I can walk the walk, but I’m going to do it in your shoes."
This is a good example of total disrespect for human life. To kill someone for a $45 pair of shoes is senseless. Two thousand years ago there was another display of total disrespect for human life. Jesus Christ was murdered because some people were offended by His righteous living. While it may seem that Jesus was killed by people who placed little value on human life, He actually gave up His life because of the value He placed on our souls.
What is the value God places on a soul? What would cause Christ to allow Himself to be stripped of His royalty and damned for our transgressions? Though we will never be able to comprehend why He loves us, we should try to grasp the depth of His love for us. Mr. Otto, in his song Looking Through His Eyes, expresses his desire to see the world as though he were looking through God’s eyes. Otto writes, "... for if once I could see this world the way You see it, I just know I’d serve you more faithfully." Although we may be small and insignificant when compared to the universe, God is still moved by the plight of our lost souls. Imagine how motivated we would be to reach others for Christ if we truly viewed our "equals" with God’s compassion.
Craig had become a little careless. Now, a lapse in good judgment had gotten him in some minor trouble. This was Craig’s first brush with the law, but because he was in the military, he had to spend a few months in the "Big House." Although Craig always knew his Christian family loved him, he never knew the depth of their love until he went to prison.
When he first broke the news to his family, he expected them to be critical because of his wrongdoing and the shame he had brought on them. To his surprise, instead of turning their backs on him, they rallied around him. They organized a support network to be there in his time of need. The family flew halfway across the country to visit him. They kept in continual communication by phone and mail. The U.S. Mail and AT&T posted record earnings those months. The block Sgt. would often shake his head in unbelief as Craig received his daily bundle of mail. Although Craig’s family did not approve of what he did, they still loved and cared for him. Comparing the support he received to what the other prisoners received, Craig realized just how much his family truly did love him.
Although Craig knew his family loved him before this, he did not comprehend the depth of their love until he saw the lengths to which they went to help him. Likewise, we are not able to comprehend the depth of God’s love for us until we see the lengths to which He has gone to help us. Many of us have not given enough thought to how much God lowered Himself when He came to save us. We need a full appreciation of how great God really is. When this reality sets in, our hearts will overflow with declarations of "How Great Thou Art" as we praise and worship Him.
Statically, takeoffs are the most dangerous part of flying. Despite this precious gem of information, I still love takeoffs more than any other part of flying. Although I have flown dozens of times, I am continually awed by how insignificant I feel as I look down and see the cities shrinking below me. Peering out the window, the homes turn into doll houses, then match boxes and finally to tiny specks. Millions of houses and cars can be seen in a single glance. Flying is a reminder of the greatness of God and the complexity of His awareness. God is not only personally aware of and concerned with my problems, He is personally aware of all the problems in the world.
If we could travel in space, we would see cities and states as little more than specks. Eventually our planet and sun would be indistinguishable from the trillions of stars in our universe. Yet, God is larger and more powerful than the universe He has created.
Our narrow view of God’s greatness is often perpetuated by the humanness of our world leaders. The President of the United States, for example, is a powerful man in charge of a great nation. Yet, he is still a human with the same limitations as you and I. We must be careful not to minimize God’s greatness simply because He has taken a personal interest in our minuscule world. Our concept of His greatness is often so inaccurate, it is an insult to Him.
Breakdown of the universe showing the
magnitude of the God who created it.
(Source: National Geographic, June 1983)
God is aware of every activity in the universe. Not only does He know when a sparrow falls from the sky to the ground, He is also aware of a supernova collapsing in the farthest corner of the universe. Playing chess requires much concentration to maintain an awareness of each chess piece. This is especially true if you are thinking several moves ahead of your present play. However, when playing 3-D chess (movement of pieces on three chessboards) keeping track of all the pieces becomes overwhelming for most people. God is not only aware of every atom in the universe He is controlling them. Although our minds become numb when exposed to such vast numbers, we must strive to grasp an appreciation for our Almighty God.
God has a personal interest in many creatures such as animals and angels. Yet, He has chosen to treat us humans special. He has chosen to become married to us. God is not just asking us to come to Heaven and be His friends, He wants to share everything with us, even the personal intimacy of marriage. God invites us to enjoy a position that even the angels cannot share. It is beyond human reasoning to understand why we were chosen for this honor, but we were.
Many people do not appreciate the fact that God loves us. They assume that love is just natural for God. A tribe, whose name means "The People," live in a remote jungle in Brazil. Although they seem primitive and crude by our standards, they feel the world revolves around them. When told that God loved them, they responded, "Of course He does, we are The People!" Pride knows no barriers.
The contrast between the greatness of God’s royalty and the humiliation He experienced when becoming a man is profound. As humans, we have a difficult time comprehending the sacrifice Jesus endured just to become like us. As great as this sacrifice was, it is small compared to what transpired on the cross. More happened to Jesus than just physical torture, He was spiritually damned. God looked at Jesus as though Jesus had actually committed our sins. God then punished Jesus spiritually for each of these sins.
Before Jesus went to the cross, He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane. Luke 22:44 states that He began to sweat drops of blood. Intense stress can cause the small capillaries in the skin to break and blood emerges. The stress Jesus was experiencing was not from the anticipation of being mobbed and killed. He was under stress because He was about to experience something that He had never experienced before. He was about to be separated from the Father.
When Jesus was hanging on the cross, the sky darkened and Jesus cried out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" God, the Father, had to turn His back on Jesus because of our sins. The separation and spiritual damnation Jesus endured indicates the depth of love God has for us and the value He has placed on our soul.
Andrae Crouch, in his song, I Don’t Know Why Jesus Loved Me, writes, "He left His mighty throne in glory, just to bring us redemption story." It was these words that caused me to dedicate my life to reaching the world for Christ. If God was willing to step down from His mighty throne for me, the least I can do is step down from the throne of my life and give Him complete control.
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