Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Choosing the Important

Chuckle - A Child's Prayer: "Dear God, we read that Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday School they said you did it. So I bet he stoled your idea." Donna
Quote: "To every man is given the power of choice."Unknown author
"What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul" (Matthew 16:26 NIV)? "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize (wins). Run in such a way to get (win) the prize" (I Corinthians 9:24 NIV).
The most important message I can relay to you from God's Word is to learn to choose what is really important in life. If we choose God's values, then we can have a victorious life. What's most important to you? Do you know? Let's make God's values our priority and align our lives with them. Let's think together about the importance of values.
First, Godly values reduce stress in your life. A Gallup survey of baby boomers (Born 46-64) asked what causes the most stress in their lives. It wasn't time, nor lack of money, nor conflict within their families, even though these were all problems. The number one cause of stress was conflicting values. In other words, there was a huge gap between what people said their values were and the values actually reflected by the way they lived.
For example, (1) most said family is very important to them, but the average father spent only five minutes a day talking with each of his children. Work, recreation and other pursuits took first place in importance. (2) Many said "health" is very important, but, in the survey, many were overweight and didn't exercise. (3) Materialism is bad and yet they spend all they make on "stuff." (4) Many said God was number one, but when asked, "is God number one in your time and your finances?" Most said "no."
Stress comes when you say, "I know what's important," but don't live that way." Such conflict in values, brings anxiety, guilt, and frustration. James tells us that such a person, "is a double- minded person, unstable in all he does" (1:18 NIV). We're pulled by competing values (God's and the world's). If we know the right values and bring our lives into line with them, then we can enjoy life without an unhealthy level of stress and guilt.
Second, your success is influenced by values. Values determine the choices you make and everything you do. Proverbs 4:23 NIV reminds us, "Above all else, guard your heart (affections), for it is the wellspring of life." Living by God's values will help you make the right choices, and with your success will come a sense of peace, joy, and fulfillment.
Third, and most important, your values affect your eternal salvation. You may be financially well off, but, you may be spiritually bankrupt. Pleasure and possessions can become our gods and, if so, we miss the true God and his saving grace. That's why Jesus warned "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his own soul; or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" For what are you giving your life? Are you living to win the "Crown of Righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me (you) on that day" (2 Timothy 4:8 NIV)?
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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