The Work of God on Behalf of Man
Weekly Devotional 1-4-21 Right Values
What is it that the world (unregenerate man) values most? What is it that you value most, what is it that I value most, and what is it that God values most? Are your, my, or the world’s values the same values of God?
Personally, I would like to think that my values are the same as God’s, but are they? Certainly, the words that God gave the prophet Jeremiah ring true, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Jeremiah mused as he considered God’s promised blessing and judgments why those of Judah (the southern kingdom of Israel) would choose the path of disobedience. He was asking those Israelites to strongly consider where their desire lay and cautioned them not to trust their hearts. The law of God was to be their guide not their hearts of flesh, their unregenerate natures.
As you or I consider answers to the questions posed above, perhaps we should begin with our desires. What is it that you, what is it that I desire most? The desires of those who are of the world (unregenerate man) vary, but have one common denominator, desires of the flesh. Jesus told Nicodemus that “a man must be born again, made spiritually alive in order to see (understand) the things of heaven” (John 3:3). Paul the Apostle wrote, “the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God” (1st Corinthians 2:14a). Natural (unregenerate) man can desire only those things that he knows and will evaluate those things according to his (or her) desires.
What about you and me? We who claim to be Christians, followers of Jesus Christ; what is it that you (that I) desire most? Does God’s glory have preeminence in your life or mine? Is it God’s glory or something of self that you or I seek? If it is God’s glory, should it not then be reflected in our conduct of life? What I do with my time, my money, my dress, my language, my worship of Him and or my endeavors in life? When I pass a person on the street do I wonder if he is in right relationship with the Lord? There is nothing, after all, more valuable than a human soul. If I should not consider this about a person, my values are misplaced.
In eternity past, God placed a premium on man, and declared that He would slay His own Son to redeem those who would come to Him in faith. Revelation 13:8b confirms that Jesus, identified as the Lamb, was slain from the foundation world, before creation. Jesus told Nicodemus (and indirectly us) that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The apostle Peter wrote that Jesus (the Lamb of God) was foreordained before the foundation of the world to shed His blood for the redemption of lost man because it was not possible that man could be redeemed by such things as silver or gold (1st Peter 1:18). The writer of Hebrews was led to write that it was not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sin (Hebrews 10:4) and that God took no pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices (Hebrews 10:6), but it was His will that Jesus would shed His blood (Hebrews 10:7-14) for that purpose.
Paul writes that we Christians are to, “1seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4). We are citizens of heaven and that is where our affections (our values) should lay.
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Lian Muan Kim
Koinonia Baptist Seminary – Yangon, Myanmar