What You Value The Most
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
While without Jesus we can do nothing on our own as mentioned in John 15:5 (Vine/branches)
With Jesus, nothing is impossible. The demands and stresses of life can easily overwhelm any of us, but they are no match for the Risen Son Of God.
This afternoon, I want to talk about our values. Because as I was thinking about this message, I realized that we live our lives according to what we value. And one of the big stressors in life occurs when we aren’t living according to our values.
So, how can we do that? I kind of want to lay down the foundation as we look at values and how we can stay true to those values. We need to live lives in which our values and our actions are in one accord, lined up.
I don’t think we realize how much our values play into the decisions we make. In many respects, our values control everything that we do. Every time we make a decision… we're filtering that decision subconsciously or unconsciously through our values. If our values are right, it will lead to growth and maturity. If our values are wrong, we’ll eventually crash and burn.
Our values also effects our salvation. Jesus said it’s possible to be outwardly successful - financially, socially and every other way - and yet, be spiritually bankrupt. In Matthew 16, Jesus said…
25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Do you hear what Jesus is saying? What is it really going to get us, if strive to gain all the material goods, all the social glamour, all the prestige, if it means we don’t know Jesus? It’s not going to be a good ending. You are what you value. And for the rest of our time, I want to try to start to lay a foundation for our values, so that our values and our faith and our actions are all in agreement.
Our first decision is a decision about where we’re going to get our values from!
The source of our values will determine the quality of our values. For instance, would you consider the National Enquirer a good source for values? How about TV talk shows? The source determines how valuable our priorities are.
In reality, we get our values from a lot of places. We pick them up from our parents, friends, from books and magazines, from music, movies, television programs, from social media . . . and more.
Think about this for a minute. Everyone here works or goes to school. So…if you think about it, that’s anywhere from 8,10 or even 12 hours of your day. After the work load is done we go home to rest…correct? This is where all the other things of this world comes in…social media, tv, entertainment and so on. You all know what I mean, its life right!
Also, a small tidbit of information. If you attended church to worship God for one hour per week for 50 weeks per year, you would spend 4 months of your life worshiping God. Four months out of a year . . . so you tell me, where we are getting our values from? Keep in mind, worshipping God daily! Not just on Sundays or whenever you just feel like it.
1 John 2:15-16
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
Don’t tell me the Bible is outdated! This applied 2000 years ago and seems to be more relevant today! In a strange way, the world's values haven’t changed. We tend to want/distracted of what the world is throwing out at us.
And let me add . . . as a parent, it’s really difficult to tell your kids they can’t have what everyone else has. It’s a competitive world and we don’t want our kids to fall behind, or not have what all of the other kids have, but what values are we holding onto when we give in to the values of the world? That’s a daily tension for every parent. And I recognize that! I’ve been there, and I’m still there!
So, the media/world, bombards us with thoughts telling us we need more possessions, we need a better car, we need to eat certain food, drink certain drinks, wear certain clothes - - and so on. Why? Because if we do, we will be better liked. We’ll have the cool friends hanging out with us. We’ll be more popular… we’ll have it made! But will we? Is that really all there is?
In Romans 12, Paul wrote…
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Paul’s point is that when we conform to the world’s ways, we end up not being transformed by God, but we’re transformed by the world, buying into the worlds ways and we lose the ability to test and discern God’s will. Our filter isn’t God’s word, our filter, or values - is what the world demands.
So, when we use other sources for our values, we will miss out on following God and miss out on learning God's purpose for our lives.
The psalmist tells us in Psalm 1…
Blessed is the man. Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
Add to that so many passages from Psalm 119
9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.
10 With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
You see, the Bible is good for us. The Bible instructs us and helps us to know God better. And if we know God better, then that helps us in our desire to follow Him in all that we do. Without knowing the Bible, we struggle to know some of what is right and wrong.
This leads into the next way to help us have healthy values. And this one is a difficult one, because it causes us a lot of stress. The stress occurs when our values and our actions are not in agreement. It’s easy to have happen in our lives. When we recognize this, we find ourselves really stressed, because this brings internal conflict. Let me give you a few examples. Keep in mind, this applies to me as well. The message hits me first, before I deliver it to you.
If I were to ask you, ‘what’s the most important thing to you?’ There’s a good chance you would say family. My family is the most important thing in my life. Yet, we stress over the amount of time spent with our family. We work long days, are tired, use the TV and social media to pacify the kids, we buy them stuff to make up for time away. It’s been said the average father spends less than 20 minutes per day with his children. Yet, we say family is most important.
Here’s a thought while I was working on this message. We’ve all been to funerals, spoke with family members that had lost someone they loved. (spouse, child, parent and so on) the most common thing that I hear is the regret of not spending more time with them. Now listen…we’re all here listening to this message. Let’s not make that mistake. Our love ones don’t have to be taken away from us, just so that we can miss them and hoped that we have spent more time them. Life’s too short, tomorrow is not a promise!
Anyway… We might add, ‘my health is really important to me.’ Do you exercise? No. Do you eat right? No. Do you sleep right? No. But my health is important.
Lastly, it comes in our spiritual lives. We say, ‘God’s number one in my life.’ But we give Him our leftover time. We don’t put Him first. Are we praying? Are we reading the Bible? If something better comes up, we do it, with no thought about who God is. So is God really first. I know I’m stepping on toes. But if we are to be really healthy and find God’s purpose in our lives, we need to understand what it is we value.
When our values and actions are where they should - - we experience stress.
17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus.
And so I insist — that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore.
But that’s no life for you and me. Everything — and I do mean everything — connected with that old way of life has to go. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life — a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside.
Does that make sense? Does that describe us? Paul’s saying that shift in our values, starts with a focus on God. It’s not easy to change, YES I know this as well. That’s is why the opening verse is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. We talk about it, but never get there. Sometimes, we don’t have the energy and drive to get there. We want it, but we’re already so tired and feeling so overburdened.
And you're right. That's why we all need God. That's why we all need Jesus Christ. God gives you the power to do what He’s calling you to do. We can't do this on our own. We've tried to change - - and it never lasts. Trust me, I’ve been there. We need God's power.
We get God’s power to help us. He’s our power source.
To do that, we have to do more than just decide or write them down on a piece of paper. We’ve got to make this a daily endeavor. It’s doing the hard work in Christ. It’s trusting that Jesus is going to be there for us and with us. He’s not going to bail out on us when we mess up. He promises to be with us.
It’s taking the small steps of trusting God in areas of our life we possibly never have. It’s becoming more vulnerable with God.
1 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Everything that we’ll ever need is this life, is in the word of God. We just have to open it, read it, learn from it, trust it, LIVE IN IT! Remember…you are, “What You Value The Most”. And im really hoping and praying, that starting today…through this message, “what we value the most”, will be Jesus. If Jesus comes first/the most of value in our lives, He will take care of the rest.
Let Us Pray:
Pastor Richard Santos
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