Have you ever been going out lunch or dinner with a group of people and that question comes up, “Were’re we going to eat?” Then it happens, no one was expecting it, yet all know it is coming. It starts with one or two being brave as they make a few choices, those choices may not be their favorite but broad enough to start the thinking, but of course not too forceful as they value the consensus of the group. Another will chime in saying they don’t care as long as it’s cheap because they value getting good deals. Still another will pipe up and say as long as they can get a salad because they value a more healthy meal. One more will throw in they don’t care but they want to stay together because they value relationships. On and on the bantering goes until someone finds an agreeable choice that satisfies most people’s values, or out of exhaustion the group gives in to one of the choices because the value of time forces their hand.
The great reality is we make choices based on what we value. Those things we deem as important, those central beliefs shape our decisions and actions. Jesus said in Luke 6:
Luke 6:43-45 43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
The actions (fruit) of a person’s life are the outward expression of what one values. So what we value has a great influence on our life. As you think about what you value, can you see how that has shaped you? I know that my value of chocolate has certainly shaped me…I think I am a little more round because of this value!?!
Ok, now here is something else interesting about what we value. Jesus also said…
Matthew 6:21 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
That what we choose to value shapes our heart, the core of our being, the seat of our decision making. What we decide is important, or what we invest a lot of resources in, or what we continue to choose influences us. A friend of mine who put a lot of time, money, and energy into playing the guitar; he was truly gifted. As he built on this gift from God, he was changed. He sought more opportunities to develop this skill and used it to lead worship and write songs, and now he is in Nashville seeking to continue to expand on this value.
Therefore, it is important what we choose to treasure/value. So what are some good values? Here is one:
Psalm 119:11 11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.
One important value we should all choose is to treasure God’s Word. To value it enough to read it, believe it, and live it.
As well, we are to treasure or value the abilities, gifts, passions, and talents God has given to us. That’s why the Apostle Paul encourages Timothy…
1 Timothy 4:14 – 16 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
We are going to look at this verse more closely on Sunday, but we are to not neglect, nor be careless with, nor ignore what God has blessed us with. We are to value what God has blessed us with by discovering what He has given us, developing them so they shape our lives, and be determined to continue to live them out.
Values are important and vital on this journey of living God’s unique call on our lives. As we approach this week where we will be discussing and considering values; this Sunday and in our small groups and through our devotional, be thinking of what God would have you value.
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday. By the way, if you are able it would be a great help if you could use the Cypress High School staff lot offsite parking, especially if you come for the 10:30am service. We have had reports of guests wanting to attend our growing church, but can’t find a parking space. So let’s make the best spaces available for them and you and your friends choose to value them enough to park at Cypress High. You could help someone find the Lord or grow in their faith by simply changing the place you park.
Journeying God’s Unique Call with you,