The movie, Saving Private Ryan, is set during World War II.  Three sons from one family have enlisted to serve their country … to fight for freedom … and two have been killed in the line of duty.  One son remains.  Captain Miller, played by Tom Hanks, is sent to bring the remaining son, Private Ryan (Matt Damon) home safely.  There are some pretty gruesome battle scenes … I’m sure nothing as bad as actual war.  SPOILER ALERT!  Captain Miller is fatally wounded, but Private Ryan is saved.

The last scene in the movie ripped my heart out.  An aging Private Ryan is standing with his family at the grave of Captain Miller.  He wonders (tearfully, if I remember correctly), if he has lived his life well enough … was his life worth the price Miller paid?

All I could see was me standing at the cross of Jesus.  Was I living my life in a way that Jesus would feel that I was worth dying for? Am I worth all the pain and suffering that He went through?  Are you?

Scripture tells us that Jesus says a resounding “Yes!”   Romans 5:8 says “… God demonstrate(d) his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 

You may ask, “How do you really know that?  You don’t know me … or what I’ve done … or where I’ve been … or who I’ve been there with.  I’m not worth much of anything, let alone being loved like that!”  That is true… I don’t know… but God does.

Ephesians 1:4-6 tells us “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.” 

Let’s unpack these verses.

“For he chose us”He chose us.  He didn’t get stuck with us.  We weren’t the booby prize.  He CHOSE us.  It blows my mind that He even knew me, let alone chose me… or that, knowing me … really knowing me… He would choose me.

“before the creation of the world” Before the creation of the world is WAY before we were even a “twinkle in our father’s eye” … or before he was a twinkle in his father’s eye, and so on.  It was before we could do anything good, or even want to do something good.  It was before we could love Him, or know Him, or choose Him … or anything.  His Love is completely separate from what we do.

“to be holy and blameless in his sight” – OK, so God chose us before we could do anything good or bad … and Jesus died for us while we were still sinners… do we think that He didn’t know we were anything but holy and blameless?  The next three words say it all.  In His sight.  Because of what Jesus did … and because we are in Christ … and because we have been cleansed by Jesus’ blood … He sees us the same way He sees Jesus … as holy and blameless!

“In love”God’s reason for saving us.  His love… not our works.

“He predestined us for adoption to sonship” Predestined… His original plan, His heart’s desire … It doesn’t mean we have no choice, but His heart’s desire was … and is … for us to be His children.  Not just His creatures … or His subjects … BUT HIS CHILDREN!  His beloved, cherished, provided for, image-bearing children.  And we even have an inheritance!

” In accordance with His pleasure and will” Choosing us to be His children gives Him pleasure.  Have you ever thought about that?  God has everything.  He lacks nothing!  Yet His relationship with us gives Him pleasure!

“To the praise of His glorious grace,”His glorious grace.  Grace is always a gift.  If it were earned it would be wages.  But it is His Grace … His favor … totally unearned … totally unmerited … towards us.

“Which He has freely given us in the One He loves.”Freely given.  He isn’t stingy, doling out a little grace here and a little love there.  Nope!  He is generous beyond measure.  He lavishes … pours it on … slathers … His love and favor on us!

If we stand at the cross of Christ, and wonder “Was it worth it?  Are we worth it?  Am I worth everything you went through?”  God’s answer is a resounding, “YES!”  Not because we are so smart … or so good … or do such great things?  Nope.  It is only because of His unimaginable … unending … LOVE.  He says we are … and were … worth it … even before we were born … even before we could do anything good or bad … even before we could even reciprocate His love … even when we mess up big time!  HE SAYS WE ARE WORTH IT!
 God, what can I say?
Your love is amazing.
I try to wrap my mind around it,
And I just can’t.
Please help me
Wrap my heart around this,
So I know in my “knower” …
In the core of my being …
That You love me…
And those around me, too.
All I can say is
Thank you …
And all Praise and Honor
To You

Help me live my life
In such a way
That my Thank you
Is more than just words.
Only You can do that.
Thank You
From the bottom of my heart.




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