Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Friday, November 10 - How Much Is It Worth?

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” — Matthew 6:26

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In 2022, a Mickey Mantle baseball card sold at auction for $12.6 million. The card instantly became the most valuable sports collectible in the world. So, what made this baseball card so expensive? For starters, Mickey Mantle’s Hall of Fame career amounted to more than 500 home runs, a lifetime batting average of .298, and seven World Series championships with the New York Yankees. That’s just scratching the surface. Furthermore, the card’s value was increased by being exceptionally well preserved and in mint condition.

Are you still not convinced this card was worth that kind of money? You’re not alone. Valuing these cards can be tricky. It really comes down to an individual’s personal valuation.

My nephew truly loves the Atlanta Braves’ phenom outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. My son is aware of this, so when he found an Acuña card in a brand new pack, he thought about giving it to his cousin. I thought this was a wonderful idea and encouraged him to do so.

However, he then mentioned that his Acuña card was signed. Puzzled, I asked him to bring it to me so I could look at this “signature.” As he handed me the card, my widened eyes instantly noticed that my son had written his own name in black ink across the front of the card. I moved the card to reveal his grinning little face. With his hands behind his back, he said, “My cousin is going to love it!” My forehead wrinkled as I stuttered through a response. “Eh, I’m sure he will buddy,” I said.

He knew that a signature would increase the value. Unfortunately, he didn’t know that his own signature would now completely devalue the card. Poor guy!

Valuation is something we typically get flat-out wrong in life. We tend to value things above people, this person over that person, or underpay for this and overpay for that. What a mess!

We must look to our Savior to really understand valuation. Jesus gives us the standard of valuation through His teaching and example.

Jesus taught on the pitfalls of anxiety in Matthew 6:26. His remedy? Remind us of our value. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Jesus’s answer to the disciples’ fear was also more talk about their value. In Matthew 10:31, He says, “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

And finally, Jesus taught us the standard for valuation through His example. We look no further than the cross to understand our true worth. Our redemption came at a high cost. Ephesians 1:6-7 says, “to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

We don’t have to worry about what others think about our worth. Our position in society, accomplishments and accolades are all meaningless when it comes to our value in the eyes of God. We are valuable because God made us in His image. He loves and values us so highly that His Son paid the highest price for our redemption on the cross.

This is the ultimate standard for valuation. God’s signature is all over your life!

— Ryan Noelte

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