Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Devotional: Battered and Bruised



"Battered and Bruised"  

by Sharon Jaynes 






THE STORY:



The speaker came out onto the stage.  He pulled out a one-hundred dollar bill. 
"Who would like this one-hundred dollar bill?" he asked. Hands shot up all around the room. 



Then he crumpled the paper, threw it on the floor and ground the dirt into it with his foot.  Holding up the dirty, crumpled and tattered money, he then asked, "Now, who wants this one-hundred dollar bill?" 



The same hands went into the air. 



"And that is why God still wants you," he continued.  "You may be battered and bruised.  You may be tattered and torn.  You may be crumpled and creased.  But that does not change your value to God any more than what I have done changes the value of this one-hundred dollar bill.  You are still precious and valuable to the God who chose you, redeemed you, and loves you as His own." 



"He knows how we are formed; he remembers that we are dust" (Psalm 103:14). God understands that we are fatally flawed creatures, yet deems us immeasurably valuable no matter how crumpled and soiled we are. 



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Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us" (2 Corinthians 4:7).  In Paul's day, it was customary to store treasure in clay jars.  The common container disguised its contents and didn't draw attention to the treasure within. You and I might not look like much on the outside. We may appear as common as jars of clay, but inside are hidden incredible treasures.  Inside these old cracked pots reside the most incredible treasure of all...Jesus Christ.  And that makes us valuable. 

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In Louisa May Alcott's book, "Little Women," she includes a conversation from Mrs. March to her three girls, Meg, Jo, and Amy.  "I only care what you think of yourself.  If you feel your value lies in being merely decorative, I fear that someday you might find yourself believing that's all you really are.  Time erodes all such beauty.  But what it cannot diminish is the wonderful workings of your mind - your humor, your kindness, and your moral courage.  These are things I so cherish in you." 


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WHY IT'S IMPORTANT:


Our culture places an ungodly amount of significance on a woman's appearance. Outward trappings of appearance are simply that...trappings.  But God sees us as simple jars of clay containing valuable treasure...and that makes us beautiful to Him.

Dear Lord, even though I am battered and bruised, I know that I am still valuable to You.  Thank You for loving me so much that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to die for my sins.  Thank You for making a way for me to have eternal life through Jesus' sacrifice.  Thank You for seeing me as Your priceless treasure.
In Jesus' name,
Amen.
 

  



Today's devotion was taken from Sharon's book, "I'm Not Good Enough...and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves."  If you would like to learn more about how to overcome the lies of the past, visit her website.  While you're there, check out the laminated prayer card with Scripture verses about Who You Are in Christ .  This inexpensive book tucker will help you remember to see yourself as God sees you. http://sharonjaynes.com/

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