International Ministries

Above All

January 25, 2011 Journal
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"Above All," by Michael W. Smith,
is the song we sang before chapel began. The Japanese translated version was taught to some of the girls before the chapel message.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Where do you get your confidence? Is it based on what you do or how you look? By what others think of you? On who you are related to or who your friends are?

There is a story called “Johnny Lingo’s Eight Cow Wife.” In it, “Johnny Lingo” said that many things can affect a person. Things that happen on the inside and things that happen on the outside. But the thing that matters most is what a person thinks of themselves.

Johnny was smart. He was successful. He lived in a culture where a man must pay a “bride price” to the bride’s family to be able to take the girl from the family. In his culture, the man paid in cows. Two or three cows for an average wife, 4 to 5 for a good one.

            When “Johnny Lingo” married Sarita, he paid 8 cows for her bride price. The people in Sarita’s village laughed. Sarita was not beautiful, but timid and plain. Her own family thought they would only be able to get one cow for her. Sarita’s whole village thought Sarita’s father made a fool of Johnny. But Johnny had thought about his decision to offer 8 cows. He thought about what it would mean to the bride to know that her husband had settled for the lowest price. He thought about what she would feel when other women boasted about how much their husbands had paid for them.

Johnny loved Sarita. He wanted Sarita to know she was worthy of love. In her own village, Sarita did not think she was beautiful. But in Johnny’s village, everyone knows she is an 8 cow wife. Sarita’s self esteem and her beauty rose to match.

God wants us to know we are worthy of love, too. How much was God willing to pay for us? Much more than 8 cows!

The song we sang talks about how great God is. He is above all others, greater than anything we know or can imagine. And He bought us with His life. That is much more than 8 cows. He thought we were worth that.

The Bible says (Romans 5:8) “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners (God’s enemies!) Christ died for us.”

What do you think would have happened to Sarita if she never went with Johnny to his village? She wouldn’t have enjoyed being so loved and admired. She wouldn’t have changed from timid and plain to an 8 cow beauty.

For God so loved the world, Japan, Soshin School, Class ____. Put your name there. For God so loved ME! …that He paid with His life. So that by believing, I could move to His village and have a life forever joyful and free from pain. In God’s village, everyone knows how much God paid for you! You can come to God’s village, too!