How to Measure Your Worth by Pastor Don
Below is the closed captioning (slightly edited) for this sermon. How important it is to have a real measure of our worth? Remember that three periods … means a pause and what is in [brackets] is what the congregation said.
Have a blessed day!
Here we go. You ready? [ready]
Your worth is measured by what you give, not by what you get. [amen] Let me read it again. Your worth is measured by what you give, not by what you get…Let me cut through that one more time? Your worth is measured by what you give, not by what you get.
This is the after Christmas message because the reality is that some of us are depressed or sad or disappointed during the holidays because somebody didn’t get us something. Or, what they got us wasn’t something of great value, it wasn’t impressive, it didn’t knock us out and therefore we were disappointed. Or, maybe the phone didn’t ring and nobody called and we spent the holidays alone. And so we were depressed because we didn’t get the love of the church or the love of a sister or the love of a brother and so we were a little disappointed. And maybe we’re like kids, they open their presents and their gifts and they measure their worth and importance by what they got. How many gifts they got. Oh, I thought for sure after 20 years of marriage, this year he would have given me a ring. And I was sure that when I opened up that big box, I really thought that it was going to be a cashmere sweater that, and I dropped 14 hints about it and still he didn’t give it to me and…And so we end up measuring our worth by what we got or what we didn’t get.
But the Gospel of Jesus Christ tells us our worth really is more measured by what we give, not by what we get. The satanic side of Christmas and most people don’t like it when I talk about it, but if it’s root was truly of God, then why do more people commit suicide during that time period? Why are people more miserable? Why is it that the lesson the children are taught is that no matter how much you get, it’s never enough? And that is the message every child. I raised three. And, they’re wonderful kids. But I always noticed that at Christmas, no matter how much money mommy and daddy spent, it wasn’t enough. If we got the Playstation, then we should have gotten the maka, maka that goes with the Playstation and the 14 other toys that go with that. And so the kids were disappointed and the parents, we were busted and disgusted because why? Our Christmas, because its root is not Godly, and its root is not, let’s just be honest, the root of it is based on commercialism and getting. It’s not based on the love of Jesus and giving but it’s based on getting. It’s based on shopping. It’s based on materialism. It’s based on all of those things that have little or nothing to do with the Christ child.
And so when we try to get our perspective on this, an amazing thing happens, our self-worth becomes diminished during this time period… Our self-worth becomes involved in how Uncle Joe treated us. You know, I loved Uncle Joe but he didn’t even call this year, therefore your worth gets diminished. A sister invites another sister to come for Christmas dinner and she’s too busy because she has her immediate family to care for, and so she says to a sister who’s hoping for reconciliation, “I can’t come.” And then, by comparison, this sister says, “I’m diminished.” You know, “I’m diminished.” Or the member of a church who has a long list of what everybody should do for her, even though she does very little for anyone else. But she measures her worth based on what’s the church going to do for me? What’s the church going to do for me? Nobody called me this Christmas.
Well, who did you call?… Why would you measure your worth based upon someone calling you when your worth is really measured on who did you call? Who did you bake a bunch of cookies for and go knock on their door and give it to them? What about that neighbor, that snotty neighbor that’s a pain in the behind? You didn’t bake him anything so you cannot expect him to be changed as a result of your commercialism which is based upon getting… and not giving…
Well, remember, don’t be mad at me. I was asleep when the Lord spoke this to me this morning. [laughter] I was minding my business and He says, “Your worth is measured by what you give, not by what you get.” [hallelujah] Why would we wait for one time of the year to give people stuff? Maybe we could make people, you know that song from the movie, (singing) “A very merry unbirthday to you, toot, toot, da la da loot, a very merry unbirthday to you. toot toot da loo toot toot. Let’s all congratulate us with another cup of tea. A very merry unbirthday to you, toot toot, dough, ye, dough lo. luda, luda, da loo.” You guys don’t know that? [laughter] You had deprived childhoods, huh. [laughter] Deprived childhoods, huh. Nobody gave you a copy of that for, huh.
But when we look at that, I’m giving a gift and it’s my unbirthday it’s not my birthday, I’m doing it. I’m expecting to be joyful on an unbirthday, then we could be happy all year. We could be happy all year if we would give the spontaneous gift that no one’s expecting. Because, when you don’t give a gift at Christmas time, since people measure their worth based on getting something,… they just get depressed. Well how about having an unChristmas, Christmas? How about next week, you know, why don’t you send me a card next week. Cause I’m going to need it next week after preaching this today. [laughter] You know, send me something next week and say Pastor Don, just thinking of you. Love you.
Because see, there’s some people that got depressed cause last year they got 15 Christmas cards and this year they got 5… And they measured their worth according to what they got rather than according to what they gave.
So, then I wrote down the next thing the Lord spoke to me. And it’s an old Baptist song. Some of you old Baptists remember it. I’m an old Baptist, I remember it. (singing) You can’t beat God giving. No matter how you try.” And then the old Baptist brother will go, “hmmmm, hmmm, hm.” [laughter] You know. Sister Eloise would chime in, “Wow, you can’t beat God giving, no matter hoooooowwwww, hooooowwww, hoooooowwwww you try. hmmmm, hmmmm,” [singing] Yeah, yeah, that’s it. That’s it. That’s it. Well, what’s that old song, what did they discover with that old song? That just because you can’t beat God giving, doesn’t mean you should be so focused on getting. It means you should be out there competing with God to try and out give Him…
You see, the world is upside down. What is somebody going to do for me? Is the motto. And the spiritual motto is, what can I do for somebody else? [amen] What can I really do for somebody else? Jesus said to His disciples before He left the earth, He says, “If, if you really love me,” Here’s what He says, “If you love me, you would” what? “obey me.” So, He didn’t want a present, a material bracelet, a charm. He didn’t want a new coat. He didn’t even want a phone call. He just wanted obedience. He says, “If you obey me,” He says, and why did He want us to obey Him? He wanted us to obey Him for a simple reason, it was for our own good. So He was giving us something very precious. He said, “If will obey me, guess what? It’ll work out better for you.” So He’s saying, “I will give you the gift of life, if you will obey me. And your life will turn out better.” So, even in His command, He was trying to give us more than we were going to get… Isn’t that what He was saying? He was saying, “If you will obey me, it’s for your own good,” and He says, “and guess what you’ll get. You will get oneness with the Father.” [amen] And what happens when we get oneness with the Father? You get everything. [hallelujah] Everything.
You’ll get all the getting you can get, just by what? Giving. So, anyway, I just want to, you know, I just want to encourage you and I want to give you a Bible example of this. Remember the story of Joseph?… Yeah, Joseph, Joseph gets in the flesh only because he hadn’t learned it yet, but by the time he gets to be a man, he learns it. Joseph gets a gift from his father. His father gives him a coat of many colors. You know, he had a multi-colored coat.
That’s why I wore this one today. You can’t see it, but the people on TV can probably see it a little bit better. But this is multi-colored. It’s got red and green and brown and black in it. See, it’s multi-colored. But, you know, my wife gave me this so. She insisted that I get it. [amen] Cause, when I was in the store and I put it on and she said, “Don, you, we’re getting that.” [laughter] You know, and she gave me a gift. She used her own credit card. [laughter] Gave me a gift.
So, Joseph had a coat of many colors like this. But his, I’m sure, was more fabulous, cause it was like, you know, hand-woven and really something. And his brothers got real upset about it. You all remember the story? [yes] See, his brothers got up in the flesh cause they didn’t get one. They measured their worth according to what they get, not according to what they gave. Cause there’s no where in the scripture that says they gave Joseph anything but a hard time. [amen] You know, they beat him up, threw him in a hole, and sold him into slavery. I don’t want that for Christmas. [laughter] Some of you do, please sign up for, come for counseling, you need that.
But Joseph had this coat of many colors, a gift from His father. And he messed up. He measured his worth based on the fact that daddy gave him something that the rest of them didn’t get… And then he bragged about it. He told them, showed them, and whatever. And then, you know, sometimes you can’t tell people your dreams… Joseph dreamed a dream where all his brothers are bowing down to him. Well, he didn’t have enough spiritual knowledge to realize he was saying that all of his brothers would be tribes and they would bow down to him. Well, of course, they’re going to bow down to him, because why?
Joseph got a coat of many colors, but what did he give. Joseph gave freedom to his nation. Joseph got a coat of many colors, but what did he give? He gave a picture of Jesus Christ to the world for all time. Joseph got a coat of many colors, but what did he give? He went through slavery. He went through bondage. And then he used his wisdom to what? Give glory to God in a heathen nation.
Oh, if only the Body of Christ could wake up and figure that out. We are supposed to give glory to God in this heathen nation. Stop complaining about your job and the unsaved people around you that make you miserable. God placed you there in order to bring a change. [whew! amen] You understand? You’ve been placed in the place, surrounded by heathens to make a difference. You are the salt of the earth. You are salt in that place. You’re the only light that shines in there. [amen] You know, there’s some businesses that are only prospering just to keep you employed. It’s the only reason. That’s the only reason. There’s some people that are getting rich just so they can pay you a salary. Stop whining and complaining about it.
Let me tell you something. I work with Christian folk all the time. And it ain’t so great. [laughter] [true] Moving right along… Let’s get clear about this. Humble. What does humble mean? Humble does not mean you deny your value or your worth. To be humble doesn’t mean you have to put yourself down. It doesn’t mean you have to devalue yourself. But humble means you have to accept some things.
The first thing, if you’re going to be really humble, you have to accept the fact that the flesh is not able, nor is it willing to recognize your superiority… I’d better take that again. Yeah, you child of God, you should walk around knowing you’re superior. Know that you’re born again, that you are really something. Knowing that you can quote scripture, and you can do all the things that the Gospels says you can do. Yeah, you should, I know that… I know that when I walk into the YMCA, I know Pastor Don is here and he’s superior. I’m 20 years older than all those guys, but I’m going to score. I’m going to do a reverse dunk in my mind, [laughter] but, I’m, right David? [laughter] I’m going to look like it. You have to know you’re special. You have to know you’re special. You are not unworthy because somebody didn’t give you something. You are not unworthy cause somebody didn’t call you. You are not unworthy because somebody forgot your birthday, the size that you wore, or any of those insignificant things. [laughter] What makes you think that somebody should call you and say what you want them to say. No. You’re worth more than that.
You only need to get approval from one source and one source alone. His name is Jesus the Christ. [amen, hallelujah] And if He approves of you, then you are worthy. I said, then you are worthy. [amen] I didn’t get one of my Christmas gifts, so what. Listen, the world cannot, the flesh, it will not and it cannot fully acknowledge your superiority as a believer. Your feelings cause you to have the value system of the world. And that’s what makes you feel unworthy. When you have the value system of the world, then it causes you to feel unworthy. To feel disappointed and put down. What do you mean?
You’re collecting unemployment and you’re unworthy. Listen, oh Child of God, you should collect social services and not be ashamed. Cause when you were working you, that’s your money coming back to you. Everybody else is stealing, and ain’t getting nothing back for it. You know, I just wrote an article in the newspaper about that. The banks got a bail out and then they didn’t loosen up the credit lines and what they’re doing now is they’re bouncing everybody’s interest rates really high. They bounced one of my cards to 31.33%. That’s usury, that’s robbery. I said, that’s robbery. [amen] Now because they’re robbing me, why should I feel put down? Why should I feel put down because I cannot pay the bills at the level they put upon me when they are committing a crime? You know.
You all should not be ashamed of the fact that right now you’re feeling the credit crunch and you probably need credit counseling. You probably do. You should be quick to say, Pastor Don, I can’t pay my bills. I need some help here. You’re going to have to admit the fact that you need help because in the past 2 or 3 years I’ve been telling you, I’ve been prophesying to you what’s going to happen with the financial markets. I prophesied to you what you were supposed to do. I told you it was coming apart and what you should do with your money. I mean, if you were in bad shape because you didn’t do it. You know, everybody can’t be married to my wife who’s rich. Some of you have to get by on somebody else’s money. But why would you feel put down by it.
If you’re unemployed right now, why should you feel any least, any less, what are you talking about? What are you talking about? Unemployment is as high as it has been since the depression. There’s a whole lot of you out there that are unemployed. Don’t feel bad about it. Joseph was unemployed and in jail. [amen] I said, Joseph was unemployed and in jail. [yes] Praise God. Somebody say, “Praise God,” in here. [Praise God] Apostle Paul lost his job. He couldn’t go back to being in the Sanhedrin court. He couldn’t finish his training with Gamaliel. He was done. He saw blinding light. God didn’t like, you know, build him an altar in the sky. God knocked him off his high horse. [chuckling] Come on now.
And so, what is true humility? True humility is accepting the fact that God has made you a superior being and that your worth is not valued, your worth is not placed, your worth is not based upon what the world says you are worth. [amen] And so then, you take Moses. Moses was the most humble man that ever lived… Moses was a friend of God. He was a murderer. He was a murderer and he suffered from depression and moved out to the desert, sat on the back side of the desert for 40 years. Till finally God spoke to him from a bush and said, “Yo.” [laughter] “What up?” [laughter] “What ya doing sitting here acting like you’re worthless?” when what, “I called you to lead the people.”
My Jesus is Lord. We need to learn to extend true service. And we need to extend true love to people, to those who can’t see your worth. The people that cannot see your worth are the very people you need to extend yourself to. This won’t go over real big, but hey. There’s a difference in the value system of the Spirit and the value system of the flesh. The value system of the Spirit says, that your worth is based upon how well you will serve the unworthy. What you will do for your enemies will determine that God will put you on a spiritual higher level. That you can come up out of unworthiness by what? By serving the meek and the lowly. By what? Not counting them as less than you, but taking the time to do it.
Yeah it’s true that the guy, the bum that washes your windshield, he only wants a quarter or fifty cents, because at the end of the day, yes, it’s true, he’s probably going to get high on it. He’s probably going to buy drugs. But it is a ministry, it is an opportunity to do what I watched my mother do every time. She never, ever, would leave the window up and look the other way like many of us do. She’d always wind it down and hand him a dollar and say, “This is a God dollar… You buy food with this, or clothing, but if you buy drugs with it, it’s not going to turn out good for you. I am blessing you because Jesus blessed me.”
So extend true service and extend true love. Remembering what? That people of the flesh can’t see your worth anyway. They can’t see your worth. You’re not doing it for them. You’re doing it for your Lord. You’re not doing it cause it’s Christmas, you’re doing it because it’s an un-Christmas day. You’re not doing it because its a birthday, you’re doing it because it’s an un-birthday. You’re doing it to get to receive something that is greater, which is you want a higher level of worth and esteem in the eyes of the Lord than you care about in the world.
Let the husband who is of worth give increasingly and unceasingly more to the unworthy one… I’m going to let that sink in for a minute. You get that Murray? Let me do it again. Let the worthy husband give increasingly more to the unworthy wife… You could change her. You could change her. Wife, instead of coming to church and feeling superior, why don’t you view the unworthy husband as worthy and serve him?… My wife doesn’t decide whether she’s going to put food on the table for me on the basis of what I did last night, or where I went last week, or what I said, or didn’t say. She serves according to the Word…
Anybody thinking here? [umh, hmh] That’s the way God designed it. God designed it. He said, you know, He says, “You can heap burning coals upon your enemies,” by what, by serving them, treating them as if they’re worthy, even though they’re unworthy. And the reason is, why? In just a matter of time, the Lord could change them and they become superior to you. Lord have mercy. This is good stuff. And then why? They become superior to you.
What always happens? We decide that our mate is unworthy, and we act like they’re unworthy. They don’t measure up, and so we treat them like that. Then they separate and divide. Then what happens? The guy gets a wake-up call from the Lord. The one He was hoping you would have given him, but you didn’t give it to him. So, what happens? Five years later you find him, he’s an upstanding man in the community, he’s living right, he’s doing right, he’s serving the Lord, and you what? You miss a great opportunity because why? You treated him as unworthy, and then after awhile he becomes worthy, and then you go, “Oh, I could have had a V8.” [laughter]…
In every marriage there comes a time period where you look at the other person and you say they’re not worth it. It’s I can’t take another day of this. They are not worth it. But what happens is, somebody else comes along and they go, whoa, he’s polished up pretty good. You know, she’s acting pretty nice. I’ll take her. Why? Because all the work has already been done. And, you know, thank you, Brother Barry’s shaking his head. [laughter] Brother Barry had to drag his wife in here. Drag his wife in here. She was shooting daggers at me every time I preached. [laughter] You know, but one Sunday I walked up the aisle to meet her half-way. The power of God hit her and changed her life, now she’s the what? The director of Christian education of this church. But what if I had figured and told Barry, “Listen Barry, this woman is unworthy. She’s never going to receive the Lord. You need to, listen, you need to ditch her and run quick.” [laughter] … You, Lord have mercy!
Alright, so here’s the conclusion. Throw off gimme, gimme. Throw off gimme, gimme. Throw off an attitude that somebody else ought to be doing something for you. Throw off the attitude that if somebody really loved you, they’d give you a car. Throw off the attitude of I need this to make me special. If I could have this, I’d be the bomb. Forget about it. Throw off the whole thing that your value is connected to losing 30 pounds. What if you keep the 30 pounds and die and go to heaven? You think Jesus is going to get, has a scale up in heaven? [laughter] I would have used you but you were overweight. [laughter] What are you? What’s wrong with us? Why do we have this gimme, gimme attitude. If I had a little bit more I’d be worth a little bit, something. If I had a bigger house, I’d be worth more. If I had more money, I’d be worth more. No, it’s a lie from the pit of hell!!!
You are God’s child, and He loves you just the way you are. And He’s going to get you through your go through as soon as you stop going gimme, gimme, I gotta have. I gotta have. I gotta have. We see the fruit of that, a whole nation, and a whole planet is going down. [amen] Because why? The had the gimme, gimme. What would happen if you didn’t measure your value by how much you were in control of?… Cause some of us, if we’re not in control, we don’t really feel of any value. But if we could start controlling people and things and places, then our value in our own eyes goes up…
Jesus couldn’t control the Pharisees and the Scribes. But He didn’t think anything less of Himself. But why do you have to associate, if I can control my husband, if I can control, if I can control circumstances, if I can control the situation, then I’m more of value. We walk higher when we think we’re the boss. We’re in control.
Listen, life is a series of learning to be happy in an out-of-control circumstance. That’s what life is all about. Cause you can’t control things. If God wanted you to be in control, He would have made you God. [come on!] But He didn’t. What He did was He made the universe and He put a whole lot of things in it that we can’t control. To why? To remind us that we don’t have to value ourselves based on, I’m in control. Good word – Amen. Praise God. [amen]
And then, here’s another one. Why would you value yourself on the basis of you get your way? Why does it, why do you, why is it some people just can’t be happy unless they get their way? What’s wrong with you? You should be happy whether you get your way or not because you don’t know for sure that your way is the best way…
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