God sees beyond face value, Watson tells Chapel
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
The Chapel audience got a real grilling from Robert Watson on Monday morning at Grand Canyon University Arena.
But the best part of the witty talk by the teaching pastor of Sun Valley Community Church was not the grilled cheese sandwich he cooked onstage and then “sold” – even though his humorous asides about it were a feast of laughs.
What mattered most was the way it drove home his point about our value to God.
Watson began by showing a photo of his family, talking about how he met his wife on a mission trip to Africa (with more humorous asides) and then revealing the question that dogged him in college – just as it probably hounds a lot of current students:
“Am I valuable?”
He said his thinking at the time went thusly:
“I’m valuable if … fill in the blank. I would be valuable if I could do this, if I could look a certain way, act a certain way, be a certain way, get a certain title, make a certain amount of money. Then I would be valuable.”
That kind of thinking, he said, is caused by “a world that’s full of lies,” a world that spurs these types of thoughts:
“You’re not valuable unless … fill in the blank. And we tend to speak this lie over other people – you would be valuable if you did this certain thing, if you behaved a certain way, if you dressed a certain way, if you looked like this. Then you would be valuable. And these lies, they begin to rattle around in our minds, and we become anxious.”
Jesus addressed those inadequate thoughts when He spoke these words in one of Watson’s favorite Bible passages, the Sermon on the Mount:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
So how much are we worth to God? That’s when Watson really got cooking. It’s not often – like, never – that a Chapel talk is delivered with smoke rising above the speaker’s head.
Watson deftly cooked that grilled cheese in between one-liners and then auctioned it off, finally “selling” it for $50. But when the winner didn’t have cash and Watson asked for donations from the audience, three students came up to the stage with $20 bills. (Don’t worry, he gave the money back.)
“Man, this is such a great school,” he said, evoking more laughter. “You’re like, ‘Hey, a terrible investment in a grilled cheese sandwich, here’s my cash, I’ll help you out. No big deal. I don’t know you but I trust you and you seem like you’re good with money.’”
But Watson’s point had been made.
“What is the value of that grilled cheese sandwich?” Watson asked the audience.
“Sixty dollars,” came the response.
“Because … somebody was willing to pay that price,” he said.
Watson noted that $60 pales in comparison to the $28,000 a 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich fetched in 2004. A Hollywood, Fla., woman saw what she believed was the likeness of the Virgin Mary in the toasted bread, and in those 10 years it never grew any mold even though it was surrounded by nothing more than cotton balls in an enclosed container.
It all set up Watson’s main point, that even $28,000 comes nowhere near the value God sees in each of us.
Are you valuable?
“I want to answer that question for you,” Watson said. “The answer is, emphatically, ‘Yes, you are.’ You are far more valuable than you realize.”
To show that, he cited Romans 5:8:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
“True love is action oriented,” Watson said. “He demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. God in the flesh. That God who spoke all that into existence would empty Himself, take on the form of a baby in a manger, to live a perfect life and then to choose to allow Him to be sacrificed on your behalf to pay the penalty for your sin and my sin.”
It was simply a gift, Watson said. We did nothing to earn it. Ephesians 2:8-10:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
So what do you see in the mirror? You can be sure it’s not what God sees.
“Maybe you see all the flaws and all the things you wish were different,” Watson said, “and all the things you feel like you can’t measure up to, and maybe there’s things from your past that you regret, that you’re ashamed of, and it’s become your identity, and you’re going, ‘Well, I’m all these things I’ve done wrong.’ But God looks at you and He says, ‘I see a masterpiece, a work of art.’”
Watson closed with this:
“My desire for us walking out of here today, myself included, is that we would stop thinking or saying, ‘I’m valuable if,’ and we would replace that with ‘I am valuable, period.’”
Nothing cheesy about that idea.
● For a replay of Chapel, including the music by the Worship team, click here.
● Next week: No Chapel because students are off for the Veterans Day observance.
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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