It was a typical day. The soccer team was just finishing practice when someone suggested they explore the large cave nearby. On a video that’s surfaced, you can see them laughing, joking, not a clue about what was to happen.
As they entered the cave, the skies were relatively clear. However, an hour after they entered, a sudden downpour swept through. The water swelled in the cave, and the team found themselves trapped over a mile underground, with no way to get out. It was cold, black, and very cramped. For days, they were cut off from the rest of the world. Slowly the cold, hunger, and lack of oxygen began to take its toll. The terrifying thought.
But not all was lost! Above ground, word quickly spread. Soon rescuers were called, and a dramatic rescue effort began.
Elite Navy Seals arrived, who began to swim through the cave, looking for the young people. Miles of tight spaces, tunnels, and muddy, pitch-black water were traversed. With each passing day, the search became more urgent.
Back in the pitch-black cavern, nine long terrifying days had passed. All sources of light had gone out. The youth are faint with hunger and quickly running out of oxygen.
And then, a light piercing through the darkness of the water. They were found!
As I’ve been watching this, it has struck me how much effort has been expended to save just 12 children and a coach. There are millions of dollars that are being spent. People are volunteering their time, expertise, and even their lives. Jobs have been put on hold. Differences put away. Elon Musk has flown his top engineers over.
Because they realize the value of just one child. To them, saving one child would be worth all the effort, time, and expense. There is no cost too high to save just one person.
The Value of You!
Do you realize your value?
6,000 years ago, our world was cut off from the light of the universe. As the blackness of death spread across this planet, a rescue effort was put in motion to save humanity.
“God so loved the world…”John 3:16
The Creator of us all, sent His Son, on a daring rescue mission to reconnect this blackened cave with the realms of heaven. He lit the darkness for 33 years. Then, at our own hands, paid the ultimate price to save humanity. Through his death, a path was formed through which men and women might be rescued from the blackness of this cave.
And now, there is a husband, father, and savior who has been desperately searching for his lost family! Saving no expense! Pouring out all the resources he has at his disposal, to save His precious children.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”Romans 5:8
For 6,000 years, his heart has ached for His loved ones who have been lost. He has given all to save you! You are worth everything to Jesus. He loves you with an incomprehensible love.
Do you believe it?
The Value of them!
It’s not just you that’s worth everything to heaven. Your neighbor, friend, co-worker, classmate, the stranger on the street, all are worth everything to Jesus.
Do you live your life with the realization that your neighbor is worth the life of Jesus?
He was willing to stop doing what he knew wasn’t wrong so that his brother with a weaker conscious might be saved (Romans 14:21, 1 Corinthians 8:9-13). Are you willing to deny yourself to save your sister or brother?
Do you love Jesus enough to love them with all your heart? Are they worth it?
As the world is falling apart around us, God is looking for the church family that will come together in close unity.
John 17:20-21. “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
Church this morning, we must become an army of one! But to be an army of one, we must understand the value of one! Every person in
our congregation is worth everything.
I think that there are times that we forget how much the others within our church and this city are worth to God.
“Desponding soul, take courage, even though you have done wickedly. Do not think that perhaps God will pardon your transgressions and permit you to come into His presence. God has made the first advance. While you were in rebellion against Him, He went forth to seek you. With the tender heart of the shepherd, He left the ninety and nine and went out into the wilderness to find that which was lost. The soul, bruised and wounded and ready to perish, He encircles in His arms of love and joyfully bears it to the fold of safety.”Christ Object Lessons, 188.3
Building a Family – An Army of One.
Maria and her daughter, Christina, lived in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of a Brazilian village. Christina spoke often of going to the city. She dreamed of trading her dusty neighborhood for exciting avenues and city life. Just the thought of that horrified her mother, who knew exactly what Christina would have to do for a living.
That‘s why her heart broke. That‘s why she couldn‘t believe it when she awoke one morning to find her daughter‘s bed empty. Knowing where her daughter was headed, she quickly threw some clothes in a bag, gathered up all of her money, and ran out of the house.
On her way to the bus stop, she entered a drugstore and got one last thing. Photos. She sat in the photo booth, closed the curtain, and spent all the time she could on making photos of herself. With her purse full of small black and white photos, she boarded the next bus to Rio de Janeiro.
Maria knew Christina had no way of earning money. She also knew that her daughter was too stubborn to give up. When pride meets hunger, a human being will do things that were before unthinkable. Knowing this, Maria began her search. Bars, hotels, nightclubs, any place with a reputation for streetwalkers or prostitutes. She went to them all. And at each place, Maria left her photo—taped to a bathroom mirror, tacked to a hotel bulletin board, fastened to a corner telephone booth. And on the back of each photo, she wrote a note. Then her money and the pictures ran out, Maria went home.
A few weeks later young Christina descended the hotel stairs. Her young face was tired. Her dreams had become a nightmare. But as she reached the bottom of the stairs, her eyes noticed a familiar face. She looked again, and there on a lobby mirror was a small picture of her mother. Christina‘s eyes burned and her throat tightened as she walked across the room and removed the small photo. Written on the back was a compelling invitation, Tears sprang into her eyes. Rapidly ascending the stairs, she rushed home to her mother.
“Whatever you‘ve done, whatever you have become, it doesn‘t matter. Please come home.”
Point 1: The Value of You
Point 2: The Value of Them
Point 3: Building a Family – An Army of One
What Christ has given up to save us is beyond our comprehension. You are worth everything to Jesus. He loves you with an incomprehensible love. He loves your neighbor the same.
Do you love your neighbor?