Whoever mocks the poor insults his maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished. … Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him. … And the king will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ … Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ (Proverbs 17:5; Proverbs 14:31; Matthew 25:40; Matthew 25:45 ESV)
At My Life Matters, we believe every single life is sacred, important to God, worth serving, significant to and in the world and inviolable.
I love to quote Andrew Liggitt, who often says, “‘My Life Matters’ is a declaration. Everyone’s value comes from their creator, so we share the story of Jesus, who gave his life to adopt lost children into God’s family.”
As you look at the verses above, we see people’s lives matter to God. He urges us to neither mock nor oppress people. Christ teaches us that when we grant service, we grant it to him, and when we withhold service, we withhold from him. We could literally walk through the entirety of the Holy Bible and see these realities are constantly present. With absence of appropriate values and behavior, there are consequences. With the presence of appropriate values and behavior, there are results.
That being said, not everyone knows why their lives matter, to the degree to which their lives matter or exactly to whom their lives matter most. No less tragic, people often do not understand why their neighbors’ lives matter. We have five overarching values that we hold constant for our own remembrance in doing ministry, and which we share with children and young people constantly. In brief, each person is made in the image of God, belongs to God, is being sustained by God, is valued at the cost of the Lord Jesus’ life and has an eternity.
Let’s be honest, that someone is made by God — made in his image, no less — is reason enough to value them as an inviolable part of humanity! Actually, any one of these overarching values is reason enough on its own, and together it is a mountain range of reasons.
Consider the following: Yes, mankind, made up of each man, each woman, each boy and each girl is made in the image of God. Genesis 1:26 says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’” (ESV)
Everyone is God’s very own possession. Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” (ESV)
God is holding everyone and everything together, watching over his creation. Hebrews 1:3a says, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” (ESV)
No doubt, God sent Jesus because He loves people. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (ESV)
For sure, everyone has an eternity. Matthew 25:46 finds Jesus saying, “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (ESV)
We must share these truths! We must help people discover how much they matter to God and how much others matter to God. It will change everything. It will change how we relate to ourselves, to our world, and to others. We will finally see we not only have no right to mistreat one another, but we have every command to treat one another well. Absolutely, your life matters!
Would you like to learn more about My Life Matters? Come to our Connections event at The Warehouse on March 16. Call us; we’d love to tell you more!