When I was about 11 I had a mountain bike. It was my prized possession. I road that bike everywhere. I loved to do "tricks" on my bike. Amazing stuff that would blow your mind like:
- No Hands!
- Standing on the bar in the middle (holding handlebars)
- Popping a Wee-lie
By far my favorite stunt was jumping. This was the holy grail of bike stunts; defying gravity as I soared through the air mere inches off the ground. But that didn't last long.
Soon I was plotting how I could get "Big Air". I found some cinderblocks and a scrap of plywood. I started with one cinderblock and when I hit the jump the board broke and I went flying off the bike.
A more intelligent young man would have realized only greater injuries were down this road, but I was not to be deterred by reason or sanity. I put another block to brace the middle of my ramp and "Got back on the bike". Note: Good advice without context is bad advice.
I hit the jump with all my might and it was AWESOME! I landed without a scratch. Now I had experienced a whole 8 inches of air! Gateway drug is the proper term. Because over the next week I added a block every day making the jump higher and higher. Two weeks later I had built a monstrosity of a ramp. I was sure this is what I was put on the planet to accomplish. My destiny awaited.
I petaled with furious intensity and hit that ramp like a BMX Rock Star! I swear I heard Bon Jovi and saw flames as I was flying through the air. I landed the jump and it was the most thrilling ride of my life! Then I tried to petal. My bike made an awful clicking sound ceased up and dumped me face first the ground. I was in much pain, but I was more concerned about my bike. As I gathered my self together and examined the bike
I realized the entire back gear mechanism had sheered off. It was completely trashed. That day I learned why BMX Rock stars do not purchase their bikes at Walmart. I had lost my prize possession for a few moments of pleasure. I would have given anything to go back and not take the jump.
So many of the things we chase after end with disappointment.
Even success isn't enough. I wanted a bigger and bigger jump until it broke me. In an interview with Kevin Durant the "Second best" player in the NBA admits being a top three player out of 7 billion people is pretty good. But it's not good enough. Talk to any top performer and they will all tell you they are "hungry". The truth is we all have an infinite desire inside us.
God knows the only thing that can satisfy our infinite desire is an infinite God.
In the book of Jeremiah God says it like this:
"Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit."
He explains the result a couple verses later:
"for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water."
God is angry in this passage. He has freely offered Himself the infinite source of love, joy, peace, and everything good, but his people instead picked an inferior cheap knockoff.
True value is measured by what someone is willing to pay. God paid for you with his only son. He wants you that bad. When I broke my bike I was disappointed because I knew I didn't have the money to fix it. I knew my parents didn't have the money to fix it. In the same way we have broken ourselves, and we don't have the payment to fix it. Our brokeness is a result of sin. We have "changed our gods". We have all worshiped and pursued things that could never satisfy. And we are left holding the broken pieces. Paul wrote to the church at Rome:
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The price to repair our broken lives is death.
You can see the problem. If I could fix my bike by amputating my leg that wouldn't do me much good. So God sent Jesus, and Jesus paid it all. He died for you and me to purchase our broken lives and make us brand new again. You can be made new by accepting this gift of God.
"Dear God, I admit I have sinned against you by chasing my own gods. I ask you to forgive me. Please come into my life and by my Lord, my Savior. In Jesus name Amen."
If you pray that to God and you mean it. Then you are made brand new. This is the first step to getting your value from God. If you already have accepted God's gift of salvation, but still can't get your self-worth from God. I'll explain how to do that in Part 4.