Encouragement from the Word

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth"
III John 1:4

Sunday, April 29, 2012

What Matters Most?

The message of the Bible describes a way of life that is contrary to today's typical lifestyle. In fact, it is the antithesis of the way most people today live. As you read the Word of God and study the life of Jesus, several ideas stand out. These ideas include: humility, service, selflessness, generosity, inclusiveness, obedience, submissiveness, and unconditional love. In addition, we are called to pass on the torch of faith to the next generation and to share the gospel so that others may come into the kingdom of God.

If we are to truly live out these principles in our every day lives we must make some difficult choices and be willing to "swim upstream", so to speak, against the tide of popular culture. Our priorities and our focus will be much different than the world's. In fact, we may seem a little "odd" to them. If we are doing the Christian life right, however, people will end up being drawn to us for our love, humility, kindness, and peace in the face of adversity.

In order to live a life that is pleasing to God and effective in furthering his kingdom, we may have to reevaluate our priorities and ask ourselves...what matters most?

My physical appearance, clothing and image or... my heart and spiritual condition

Collecting and purchasing more and more stuff or... being content, thanking God for what I have and sharing it with others

Using my abilities in order to receive admiration and recognition or...serving quietly and humbly for an audience of one

Spending endless hours and energy on building and maintaining a career while my children are young or...positioning myself as the "heart of the home" investing in my family as I pass on the torch of faith. ( having a job of some kind does not necessarily exclude a woman from being the heart of her home)

Spending all of my free time on worldly entertainment, relaxation and hobbies or..."laying up treasures in heaven"; giving of my time and energy to serve someone in need or less fortunate than I and teaching my children to do the same.

Emphasizing only monetary success, educational achievement and prestige as I direct my older children toward their future or...raising children who will seek God's direction for their education and career, whatever it may be, and will love and honor God with their lives.

Maybe it's time we adjusted our lifestyle to reflect more Christ-honoring values and priorities. We all need to do a life check every once in a while to make sure we have not become the proverbial "frog in boiling water" and allowed the world to subtly influence our values and priorities without us even realizing it. It's something to think about.


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