A nonfiction book that I highly recommend is Hard Faith. You can buy it off Amazon.com or purchase it directly from us. I love Hard Faith because I know the author Dan Berg and I’ve seen firsthand how he successfully overcame incredible pain and adversity with his wife. The only reason Dan is walking well today aside from the ever-present grace of God, is that he stuck to his values. He wore the robe of faith when the world suggested other attire.
Matthew 16:26—What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?
Using the value pipe (honors God, serves people well, stands the test of time and is worth dying for) what values do you value? After careful reflection and the admission that this list is in no way exhaustive, here are values I love to champion.
#1 God above all because He made me to love Him and my love brings Him glory! Jonathan Edwards said, “God is the highest good of the reasonable creature, and the enjoyment of Him is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here.” In Mark 12:30 Jesus teaches us that the most important commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
#2 Faith in God. Without faith it is impossible to please God! (Hebrews11:6)
#3 The Bible as God’s inspired Word and truth as revealed through the Holy Spirit. Haddon Robinson said, “In every generation the Bible will challenge the values of the age and its definition of success.”
#4 Prayer as a vital discipline for communicating with God. Without prayer, I am self-dependent and headed for disaster. Through prayer, I experience divine blessings. Perhaps this is why Paul taught us to devote ourselves to prayer—Colossians 4:2.
#5 People! I show this through active fellowship characterized by a sincere love for others. C.S Lewis wrote, “Christians are like coals of fire. Together they glow; apart they grow cold.” Ephesians 4:16 nicely illustrates this.
#6 The Gospel! Our responsibility is not to build our kingdom but rather to proclaim the Kingdom of God. The gospel should permeate our entire being—Col. 3:16,17.
#7 Discipleship in the spirit of 2 Timothy 2:2! Discipleship must include our children.
#8 Holiness as demonstrated by obedience to Jesus who said, “Be holy as I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). Without holiness, we make a mockery of Christ’s death on the cross.
#9 Fruit of the Spirit characterized in Galatians 5:22,23 and Ephesians 4:1-3. If I don’t experience the fruit of the Spirit, I exude a cold, lifeless legalism that is as attractive as burnt toast.
#10 Stewardship! Second Corinthians 9:6-15 nicely shows how stewardship ties directly into love for God, faith, the gospel, prayer and people!
Former U.S. President Dwight David Eisenhower said, “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.” What we are concerned with should be what God is concerned with, for He, as the Creator, manufactured in our being a purpose that is eternal and when lived, glorious! Something to think about . . . in reveration!
“If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values—that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.
©2008 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)