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A California couple has been arrested for trying to sell their 6-month-old baby outside a Wal-Mart store for $25.   Evidently their need for narcotics outweighed their love for their child.  How desperate they must be to try trading the little one for drug money.  It seems they’ve sunk to the lowest of lows.  I feel sorry for them – what kind of existence is that?  The baby was removed by social services so it’s safe, even though it was born to and nursed by a woman hooked on meth.  You can read an article about it here.

When I read this I was appalled, baffled.  I’m sure the women the father approached in that parking lot were so taken off guard.  “Is this guy kidding?  $25??”  Surely a life is worth more than that. 

You know, satan has about as much appreciation for you and I.  He offers “escape” from life’s pressure and strain or pleasure to ease hurt that ultimately kills – not just our bodies but our souls.  He’s a liar.  He would throw us away quicker than you can snap your fingers, like Friday’s trash. He makes us think we belong when we’re hanging out with people as lost as we are, as if that is when we’re really home.  It reminds me of a story I heard once about a pet store that sold feeder mice people bought to give to their pet snakes for their dinner.  On the outside of the little cardboard boxes the mice were put in for the customers to carry were these words, “Thank you for taking me to my new home.”

Jesus doesn’t abandon or discard anyone.  In fact, He actually paid to have us as His own!  And not with money or some destructible earthly thing, but with His very own body and holy life.  The crazy thing is He did that when we were still completely offensive to Him, still soiled in sin, smelling of disobedience, selfish, “under the influence” of the devil.

The devil plans to sell you to death but Jesus bought you a long time ago, rescuing you, making you safe.  All you have to do is say “yes, I want to be bought by You, Jesus.  I gladly and with great relief accept a place in your family!”  You can’t place a monetary value on that type of transaction.  God doesn’t make returns either – once you’re a child of God He is devoted to be your Father forever.  Literally.

The next time you’re tempted to feel worthless because of your appearance, your performance on a job, your relationships with other people, addictions, hang-ups, or whatever, please know that just to be with you Jesus gave everything and He will never let you out of his sight.   If you belong to the King of kings, Lord of lords, Creator of everything that has been, is and will be, you couldn’t be valued more by anyone.  You are worth God’s pure sacrificial love.  You are priceless.

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.  I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. – John 10:10-11

Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready.  Romans 5:6  The Msg