That’s a funny combination isn’t it? Yet that’s exactly what we are—both unworthy and invaluable. This is the truth the Bible teaches, and no one made this point more clearly than did the apostle Paul.
I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. (1 Corinthians 15:9)
Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. (Ephesians 3:8)
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. (1 Timothy 1:15-16)
Paul says he was both unworthy and undeserving to receive his place of service in God’s kingdom, yet Scripture assures us that he was invaluable to the advancement of it. Guess what? So are you! Now, I am not suggesting that you will be used by God to pen some special revelation. The Cannon of Scripture is closed. What I am suggesting is that God has a perfect plan—a plan for you to be used to further His purposes in this world. Even though you, like me, are unworthy, you are still invaluable.
You may not be preaching the Gospel from the pulpit, but you are preaching it with your life every day. People are watching you closely, checking to see if your walk matches your talk.
Please don’t think for a second that I am suggesting you or I can achieve a life of perfect living. Spend one day with me, and you will know I am not suggesting that! Sin no longer reigns in the life of the believer, but it still remains, as Romans 7 so eloquently reminds us. What I am suggesting is that the believer desires, more than anything else, to live a life that is pleasing to God. And the more we see just how unworthy we truly are, the more we consider the unimaginable price Jesus paid for our salvation, we see just how invaluable we are to Him.
Think about this: we are not needed, but we are wanted. In the eyes of the world, you could be needed but not wanted. But in your life with Christ, you are not needed yet still wanted. Now, if that thought doesn’t light the fire of your faith, your wood’s wet! In Romans 12:6 Paul writes, “We have different gifts according to the grace given to us.” Note three things contained in this verse:
1. Everyone in the body of Christ has been given a spiritual gift.
2. This gift is different and unique to us.
3. The gift was given according to grace, not good works . . . mercy not merit.
Have you ever received a gift and left it unopened? How would you feel if you found out a gift you gave to a friend remained in the box unopened and unused? Would you be hurt? Perhaps even highly offended?
So . . . what have you been doing with the gifts God has given to you? Peter instructed that “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). Though unworthy, you are invaluable simply because you are Christ’s. Jesus paid an unimaginable price for you, one that you could never have paid for yourself, simply because He wanted you to be His.
The Gospel teaches us these truths: undeserved favor was lavished on unworthy people at an unimaginable cost simply because of God’s incomprehensible, unconditional love. Like Paul, we are to acknowledge our unworthiness . . . but in the same breath we receive the truth that we are invaluable to Him and to the advancement of the cause of His kingdom.
Jesus has given you everything you need to do everything He has called you to do. Don’t wait for the perfect time—it never comes . . . or for the perfect opportunity—it never knocks. Just trust in the One who has called you and equipped you for that calling. What He began in you He will finish (Philippians 1:6), and He is not finished with you yet. If He was, He would have called you home.
Unworthy and invaluable—what a wonderful combination!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!