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February 1, 2011

How much are you worth?  Well… that depends.

Each of our bodies contains chemicals and minerals like aluminum, copper, zinc, silicon, chlorine, nitrogen, and iron.  The value of the elements in our body is roughly $4.50.  Of course, that amount fluctuates with the stock market.  According to the Imperial State Institution for Nutrition in Tokyo, Japan, our skin is worth $3.50 or about 25 cents per square foot.

Perhaps more comforting is the study by Wired magazine which analyzed the value of fluids, tissues, germ fighting chemicals, and organs and came out with a figure close to $45 million (assuming one could sell one’s parts on the open market - a practice that is considered illegal and unethical).

According to Leviticus 27:3-7, at age 60 a male is worth 50 shekels (about $260) while a female is worth 30 shekels (about $155).  Teenagers, by the way are worth less (at age 20 males are worth 20 shekels / females 10 shekels).  Hey, don’t blame me.  I’m just the messenger.

David, considering his body (and life) responds to God, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13 NLT).  Think about that for a moment.  Your face and features, your voice, your style, your background, your characteristics and peculiarities, your abilities, your smile, your walk, your viewpoint…  everything about you that is uniquely you is found in only one person since creation.  God wanted you to be you.  He designed you to be the unique person you are.

David goes on, “You saw me before I was born.  Every day of my life was recorded in your book.  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (Psalm 139:16 NLT).  God was personally involved in the daily details of your life even before you were born.

Paul expands on that truth when he writes, “For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT).  God entered into humanity (Jesus) and died for each of us.  How valuable is the body and blood of Jesus?  That was the price God paid so that we could live in relationship with Him, living out His tremendous purposes for our lives.

Each year over 1 million babies are aborted in the US (about 200,000 plus in California).  Since 1973 (when abortion was legalized) that adds up to over 50 million babies aborted in the US.  Annually over 42 million babies are aborted world-wide.  More than statistics is the ongoing tragedy in human lives.  Today our society grapples with questions about euthanasia, assisted suicide, human cloning, stem cell research, how to respond to those who are terminally ill or in uncontrollable pain, and a growing list of other bio-ethical issues.  These are not easy issues with easy answers.

How we understand the value of human life will determine how we respond to what threatens that life - even how we view the value of our own life.  Sanctity of life comes down to our response to the presupposition that God sanctifies life - your life.

How much are you worth?  To God… priceless.

May we learn to value our lives and the lives of others as God values life.