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      1 Peter 1:18-19

      Jim Davis

      We live in an age where we know something about money and the cost of living.

      We measure crime by what it cost. The United States holds the dubious distinction of being the nation that incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than any other country. The U.S.S.R. imprisons 268 people per 100,000 population, and South Africa 333, but the rate of incarceration in the U.S. is 426 per 100,000. The U.S. prison population has doubled in the last ten years, and spending on prisoners has soared to $16 billion annually.("Bars and stripes forever." Time, Jan 14, 1991. Page 21.)

      The cost of living invades every facet of our lives. Wife to husband: "I cut down in our expenses last month. I charged everything on the same credit card so that it will only take one postage stamp to pay the bill."

      I hope they don't raise the standard of living any higher. I can't afford it now.

      The worst thing about history is that every time it repeats itself the price goes up.

      Things are so bad financially that one supermarket is putting in a recovery room.

      Most people don't care how much they pay for something, as long as it isn't all at once!

      A person's self-esteem is measured by the size of the paycheck a person brings home.

      We value others by how much income they are capable of generating.

      If our children make big money we exalt and praise them.

      We live in a society where people use money and things to build a good self-image and make them feel better.

      Some have become so capitalistic that they think that godliness is a means of great gain.

      1 Timothy 6:4-5
      ". . . he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain." (NIV)

      Paul is warning us that we must be careful that we don't measure the Christian life in dollars and cents.

      If we prosper we think it's a blessing from God.

      If we aren't prospering we think we are cursed.

      In an age where people tend to measure themselves and others by the almighty dollar it may be necessary to stop and take note of some things we need to be grateful for.

      There has never been a time when redemption was cheap. Peter impresses us with the cost of redemption.

      1 Peter 1:18-19
      Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

      Takes bold and thoughtless person to know the cost and not respond. Think of how much has been given and how little we seem to appreciate it? Have you ever made an extreme sacrifice for someone or a cause and no one seemed to care.

      It is not that God expects something in return.

      Luke 6:34
      And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. (KJV)

      God knows man's potential to sin. We somehow think that God should send a lighting bolt or an unemployed angel to take care of such matters immediately. Yet, God forfeited the life of his Son to redeem us from sin.

      I. WHAT IT COST GOD?

      A. Our redemption cost God His son. We think that everything should have a price tag so we can measure its worth.

      1. Training a horse for the Kentucky Derby has a price.

      2. Building a car for the Indianapolis 500 has a price.

      B. How much is your child worth? Sometimes we speak of the cost of rearing a child. Something of more value in that child than one can measure in dollars and cents.

      D. How can we measure the value of God's son.

      John 3:16

      1. Dear to God as our children.

      2. He was approved of God.

      Acts 2:22
      Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

      Matthew 3:17
      And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

      Matthew 17:5
      While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

      3. Earthquaked--veil rent--heart break of God.

      4. You've snatched my son from me the most precious thing I have.

      D. Your redemption cost God something.

      E. Have you ever watched a love one die?

      F. What if you stood at the foot of the cross and watched your son die?

      II. WHAT IT COST JESUS?

      A. Cost his life.

      Under His Wings

      An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture of God's wings... After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick.

      When he struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke

      would rise.

      She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast.

      Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live...

      The psalmist said this about God, "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;..." (Psalm 91:4)

      Matthew 23:37
      O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

      Being loved this much should make a difference in your life. Remember the One who loves you and then, be different because of it.

      1. Would you sweat blood for me?

      Luke 22:44
      And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (KJV)

      Romans 9:1-3
      I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

      B. Death of Christ had a unique purpose--relates to you and me.

      1.Relinquished his rights.

      Philippians 2:1-9

      2. He didn't just die. He died because there was something that could never be accomplished without it.

      1 Peter 1:21
      Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. (NIV)

      Ephesians 1:17
      I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. (NIV)

      3. Death is an inevitable decree of God. Jesus was born to die. But he died for a reason. That reason relates directly to you and me.

      4. Jesus did not die as a simple fact of history. He died for you and me--we must see that personal contact. Something is wrong with our conception of redemption if we do not see ourselves in it.

      III. WHAT IT WILL COST US?

      In his book Claim What is Yours, David Grubbs gave an illustration of obtaining unclaimed treasures. He wrote, "For more than 40 years, Ace Pawn Shop had been a fixture on West Main Street in my hometown. Now it was closing. Fred and Lydia Fischer had run the shop as a 'mom and pop' operation, and when Fred died, Lydia found that she couldn't go on alone. Rather than sell the business, she decided simply to close shop and move south. As a final gesture of appreciation to the customers who had made life so good for them, Lydia sent a card to everyone who had an item in pawn and offered it back free of charge. The sign in the window told the story: PawnShop Closing-- Claim What Is Yours."

      A. In one since it cost us absolutely nothing.

      Romans 6:23
      For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)

      B. But redemption must move us to a life of self-sacrifice. If redemption came cheap it would be worth nothing.

      1. I want to go to heaven more than anything else, but so many times I am willing to pay less for it than anything.

      2. Self surrender is logical, sensible, as well as being absolutely scriptural.

      C. It was difficult for Jesus to get across to his disciple the fact that the kingdom of God needed top priority in their lives.

      1. It was hard for the disciples to understand that it would take everything they had.

      2. I'm sure that they would not have wanted it any other way.

      D. Jesus' encounter with two people.

      Matthew 8:18-22
      When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." Another disciple said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead." (NIV)

      E. Jesus said before we build we must count the cost.

      Luke 14:27-33
      And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, `This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' "Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. (NIV)

      F. Sometimes I catch myself saying yes and meaning no.

      CONCLUSION:

      Ephesians 1:3-6
      Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (KJV)

      We have been made accepted in the beloved.

      We have been adopted.

      On a flight to California, Penelope Duckworth, a chaplain at Stanford University, talked with a Christian woman who had adopted a Jewish daughter. She explained that after Hitler had annexed Poland, the Nazis came to her village to round up Jews. She had been shopping hear the train station where German soldiers were loading Jews into rail cars. Those helpless victims were destined to die in a concentration camp.

      That woman saw a soldier pushing a Jewess toward the station, and she had a little girl toddling behind. He stopped her and demanded, "Is she your daughter?" The terrified mother looked straight into the Christian woman's eyes, who then was standing nearby and said, "No, the child is hers." From that moment the Christian woman took that Jewish girl as her own daughter. By grace God has claimed us for His own. We were condemned, not as innocent victims, but justly as sinners. We were powerless to save ourselves. We were headed for the second death, which is eternal exile from heaven's life and light and love. But the very God we rebelled against has redeemed us through Jesus' death on the cross.

      Praise God--once alienated; now by faith adopted!

      A bumper stated: "SALVATION DON'T LEAVE EARTH WITHOUT"
       

 

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