If you ever watched Tom Hanks in “The Terminal” you have an idea of what it means to be “unacceptable.” He plays a citizen of Crocotia (Fictional place, I think), who has flown to New York on a personal mission, but when he checks into customs at JFK, he’s informed that civil war makes his passport invalid. To make the long story short, he ends up living in the terminal for 9 months while they attempt to straighten out the mess. Each day he stands in line to have his application to enter New York approved, but each day his paper is stamped as denied. The counter agent tells him “he’s unacceptable.” He hears that every day. If you’re like me, you hear it also. But, Romans 15:7 tells us that “God has accepted” us. We are acceptable to him.

But not only are we merely acceptable. We are valuable! As we were cleaning out Kathy’s Mother’s apartment this week, we found an heirloom broche that came over from Austria with Kathy’s grandmother. It must date back before the turn of 1900. It’s not pure gold, nor silver, or any other precious material, but appears to be plain plastic. but it’s a valuable item because it connects us to our heritage. Kathy gave it to our daughter in law for Mother’s day. I expect it will be a treasured possession for all generations. It’s valuable to us, as we are valuable to God. We are his prized possession. John, the beloved apostle, tells us in 1 John 4:4, “But you belong to God, my dear children.”

The thing that makes us valuable is the fact that God loved us. It’s not because of anything natural to our own character. It’s something about God’s character. Just as Israel was the object of God’s sovereign choice, so too is every believer today. Moses explained this truth to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 7:6. He writes, “The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” Why did God make this choice? Moses went on: “The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you.” Just as there is nothing externally valuable about the broche, there is nothing externally valuable in us. What makes us so precious is not our intrinsic value, it is only the value placed on us by God’s love. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 7:23, “You have been bought and paid for by Christ so you belong to Him.” God so loved us that he bought and paid for us with his most precious possession, His only begotten son. Isaiah 43:4, speaks to us as well as Israel; “God says, ‘You are precious to Me.’”