On The Journey, Judy Bowman Your price

My first job after graduate school was as a psychotherapist in a small town in west Texas. I worked for a public mental health agency and we were missioned to serve all the psychological needs of the community. We saw anyone and everyone that walked through our doors. It was a great learning experience for me. One of the aspects of our clinic was that our fees were based on our client’s income. The more they earned, the more they paid. But no one left without paying something. The idea was that people tend not to place value on things they receive for free. So even our poorest clients would pay something for their therapy sessions, even if it was just a dollar. And if they didn’t keep their appointments, they would still be charged. Very few would no-show their sessions this way. This arrangement didn’t come close to meeting our operating expenses, but that wasn’t the point anyway.

After all these years, I think our assumptions about value and worth were right. Life has taught me that people tend to not value things that come to them without a price. When something is valuable to us, we take better care of it. We make sure it doesn’t get damaged and, if it does, we have it repaired. We use it for the purpose for which it was made. We don’t let others misuse it. In the first letter of St. Paul to the church at Corinth, the truth of this is brought home to us directly: “You were purchased at a price” (I Corinthians 6:19-20).

Thank about that for a moment. “You were purchased at a price.” You are so valuable that God bought you with the life of His only Son. What would you purchase with the life of your only child? Can you even imagine that kind of love? And yet that’s how much God loves you. In the midst of your sinful life (in the midst of my sinful life), that’s how much God values and loves you. He loves you more than you can understand, and with a love that is beyond your human comprehension. Knowing this should call each of us to have a conversion in our hearts and in our lives. We belong to the Lord. He has claimed us as His children through the sinless blood of Christ. All that we have, all that we are is His and His alone. Every breath we take is a gift of His generous love. This knowledge has big and practical consequences for us:

1. All human life is precious and must be treated with dignity and respect from the moment of conception until natural death.

2. Parents have a duty to raise their children in His Church, teaching them about God’s great love for them and guiding them in the way of that love.

3. We must love one another as God loves each of us.

4. Our bodies belong to God. They are the temple of His love for us and should be treated with holy respect.’

5. Every day is a gift from God and so we must spend it doing good and working for the benefit of others.

6. No one is outside the love of God. Even if we don’t like them, God loves them ferociously.

7. No one is unable to be redeemed. No matter the sin, no matter the sinner. We are ALL the prodigal children of the Father. By His mercy, we seek His forgiveness. Through His grace, we are saved.

8. God has never been closer to you than He is at this very moment. If you’re still reading this, it’s only because God is calling to you. He longs for your friendship because “you were purchased at a price.” He has valued you above and beyond anything else in the universe. You are the treasure of His Sacred Heart.

What’s your response to this sort of overwhelming love? How do you begin to be grateful?

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” — St. Augustine (354AD-430AD)

Glenda Smiley, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church

Pleasant Valley Baptist will suspend in-person services until further notice due to COVID-19. Wednesday worship time can be watched on Facebook or YouTube. Come join with us as we hear from God’s Word.

PVBC had a wonderful, inspiring on-line message brought by Brother Cody Cranmore on Sunday. During this pandemic, if you feel yourself drifting away from God, be sure to watch to be refreshed.

Our world, leaders, families and friends need our prayers. Please pray for these days in which we now live. Everyone must realize the greatest need and answer to our struggles is to turn back to God. Our nation must acknowledge God, His Son, and our sin. Be expecting Christ’s return. Remember to pray about the vastly increasing cases of COVID-19 and take precautions to protect yourself and others.

Georgia has a hugely important run-off election to settle control of the US Senate. Democrats stated goal is to fundamentally change the character of America’s future forever which will come at great cost. Everyone must vote in this run-off on January 5th. Pray for President Trump and other leaders of our country.

Pray for members Mike Cross, Denise and Ken Pitts, Betty Pitts and her extended family, Mike Smiley, Glenda Smiley, Larry Armstrong and Paul all need our prayers. Our Pastor and his family earnestly need prayer for COVID-19. Pray for our shut-ins Carolyn Denton and Lula Petty and others with high-risk situations. Pray for our churches, missionaries, and evangelist.

We want to praise the Lord for Pastor’s improvement as well as Donald and Louise Prangle. Continue to pray for them.

Pleasant Valley Baptist continues to live-stream Facebook and YouTube mid-week Bible study. Visit or view our services for encouragement from God’s Word.

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