Young girl praying-Christian PhotosA few years ago, our pastor challenged us to search our hearts for those areas of our lives that were held in chains of bondage. After a time of prayer and confession, we wrote down the names of those chains and ceremoniously dropped them into a box. Through the sacrifice of Jesus’ blood, we walked away as a free people, no longer in chains. It was powerful.

But the story doesn’t end there. As I read the words of Jesus in my Bible, I noticed a note I had written in the margin sometime earlier. I have no idea who said it or when I wrote it, but the note said, “Sacrifice means to give up something valuable to gain a greater reward.” I paused. Was that really true? After all, we would give our lives for our children without considering ANY reward, simply because their lives were worth it. Wasn’t that the true definition of sacrifice—to do something without any thought of a reward?

But then I read the second sentence, and my heart broke. The second sentence said, “Jesus’ reward for His sacrifice was me…and yet, He thought I was worth it.”

I sat in my pew and cried. Jesus–the perfect Lamb, Son of God, Creator of the universe, King and Lord of all–sacrificed His life because I was the reward.

And He thought I was worth it.

Oh, blessed truth! I am worth loving! I am worth dying for! My life has meaning, not because I’m a writer or a speaker or a wife or a mother or a nurse or any other label. My life has meaning simply because Jesus thought I was worth the sacrifice. I was a worthy reward, and He was willing to die in order to have me.

And you.

So what is holding us back? What’s keeping us in bondage, holding us back from being all He created us to be?

Fear of rejection? Fear of failure? Fear of what others might think?

The truth is, none of that really matters. What matters is that He thought we were worth the sacrifice of His life. We are His reward, and in His eyes, we are worth it.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NIV)

Grace and peace,


(Photo courtesy of