A few months ago, we began a series of articles (see links below) where we explored what is valuable in life from God’s perspective. And we used the illustration of weighing things on a scale because scales were used in the Old Testament as a means of assessing the value or quantity of a commodity. We still use scales today, for example, at the grocery store to assess the value of any produce sold in bulk. In bread bakeries, flour is often weighed as opposed to measured, due to the fact that flour will get compacted to varying degrees. Batches of dough can come out differently each time when flour is measured by volume, and whoever is making the dough must keep adding water or flour to get the right texture—all of which takes extra time and concentrated effort. Once flour is weighed, the batches come out perfect every time with no extra time spent adjusting for texture.
In a previous article, we referred to this verse, “A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight. (Proverbs 11:1), and alluded to the fact that God, who penned these words through Solomon, was more concerned about other things than the scales used at market places. And just as a false weight will throw a scale off and make it forever inaccurate, false doctrines will consistently give false readings and false values without the user even knowing it.
The Gospel is the standardized weight of the Bible by which doctrines and teachings can be measured. This is a very important truth in assessing whether a doctrine, teaching, or practice is biblical or not. It is what John meant when he wrote:
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God…Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. 1 John 4:1-2
In other words, the Gospel is what everything must be measured by to find their true value.
We also discussed how a value was placed on Jesus when Judas betrayed Him for thirty pieces of silver:
And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forebear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord. Zechariah 11:12-13
Judas threw the thirty pieces of silver on the temple floor when the realized that he had “betrayed the innocent blood” (Matthew 27:4) then went and hung himself. Judas, who had long been dipping into the disciple’s treasury, had now come face to face with the innocent lamb without blemish whose worth cannot be measured. How can we place a value on the Son of God who created all things and died to redeem all mankind—to those who believe on Him? Jesus Christ is the standard by which all things are measured, not the other way around. Yet in America today we too have placed a price on Jesus, and we will only go so far in our commitment to Him; and in so doing we have not only placed a price on God but on ourselves also.
When Jesus died on the Cross for our sins, He purchased us with His own precious blood, a priceless one-time sacrifice. You may remember when Jesus was visiting Lazarus in Bethany and Mary anointed His feet with the costly anointment of spikenard (John 12:3), Judas was offended at the tremendous waste. Remember, too, this was the same Mary who had offended Martha by not being busy in serving. But Jesus said something to Martha that we could all take to heart:
Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke10:41-42
Like David, Mary had a heart after God, and this pleased Jesus very much.
One thing we should realize is that when Jesus purchased us with His blood, a priceless sacrifice, it put a new value on us. We who have received Christ as Savior are not our own anymore because we now belong to Him. Think of it this way: things are worth what people are willing to pay for them—usually rare commodities being worth more. Gold for example is something that people will spend their lives trying to acquire, but in Heaven, it will be used to pave the streets. Diamonds comprise the other commodity that is so highly prized in the world, but in reality, they consist of nothing more than carbon that has undergone a transformation through heat and pressure.
When Jesus purchased us with His blood, He placed an immeasurable value on us, but at the same time we are not our own anymore as we belong to the purchaser. This has a lot to say about the way we should be living our lives. As we have shown already, Mary’s life was forever changed, but are our lives really changed? Now that we belong to Christ, we should live our lives each day as unto the Lord.
As the days grow darker, spiritually speaking, in this world, we pray that believers in Christ will become all the more acutely aware of the need to surrender their lives to the Lord as fully as they can on a daily basis. Life truly is a vapor passing to the sun’s rising. As believers, we can take great comfort in knowing Jesus as our Savior; let us be determined to make the remaining days of our lives count for Him. Too much time is being wasted by the average North American Christian, and in reality, we don’t have that much time. There is something to be said for living each day as if it were our last.
When we consider the things happening today in the world, it grieves us, but we can understand the fact that our world is corrupt and perishing. But then when we see what is happening in the church, it becomes most difficult to comprehend and accept.
We believe our final hour is fast approaching, while so many Christians are so worldly minded, they are basically shaking hands with the Devil. Over the past few years especially, our ministry has been heavily tested as to the purity of our devotion to the Lord. We have watched other ministries whom we have known and respected give in to compromise—a little bit at a time.
It is even more disconcerting to watch ministries known for the gift of discernment giving into compromise. Some of these ministries are now making their decisions based on what will bring in the most money. Given the status of our economy, making ministry decisions based on finances can be a very real temptation. But our question is, what happens to a ministry’s discernment when its decisions are based on financial profit? Our ministry would have never even started if we had been unwilling to offend people. We have been compelled these past nearly ten years, of the Lord we believe, to publish materials and print articles that might offend and consequently lose some of our readership. Again, we ask, what happens to a ministry’s discernment when its decisions are based on not offending anyone? Our own conclusion is that discernment ceases to exist where compromise is the “God” that rules. We decided that we would rather have our ministry remain small or even die through lack of finances than to die the surer death of compromise. And quite frankly, we have stood in awe watching our ministry survive this many years when we would put out publications that left us wondering if this one could end in a lawsuit that might be our final deathblow.
Take a look sometime at some of the major Christian publishers and distributors and notice how many of the books should not be there. You will find books promoting yoga and contemplative prayer, books written by mystics, books by emerging leaders, books by New Agers, but these are all popular books because the trend in the church today is toward apostasy, and that is what sells.
So, back to our original question in this article—What is your cost? It is Jesus who purchased us with His blood—a priceless commodity. We really have no other place to go when Jesus asks us, “Will ye also go away?” Our reply can only be, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:67-68).