Following Christ

In college we were fond of singing “I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS.”  There was no doubt regarding the direction we were taking in life.  At the time, I didn’t even consider this to be a risky decision.  It’s was simply amazing to know how much God loved us.  The call to leave the world’s values behind and take up our cross and follow Christ resonated with all that was in me.  It sure beat a life destructive habits that is common to all of people because of our sin problem.  At that point in my life I was becoming more aware of just how deceptive and destructive sin was.

There  have been times, when following Christ appeared to be risky.  “There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again—it leads straight to hell.” Proverbs 14:12, Message Now I understand the real risk is to fail to risk your life with Christ.  Every word I’ve spoken to you is a Spirit-word, and so it is life-making. But some of you are resisting, refusing to have any part in this.” (Jesus knew from the start that some weren’t going to risk themselves with him.  He knew also who would betray him.) John 6:61, Message

I’m sure the rich young ruler (a nice guy) and traitors like Judas (a bad guy) now wished they had risked their lives with Christ.  Their values of misplaced devotion and domination deceived them eternally.

Today, thankfully, I’m still following Christ.  No regrets.  No second thoughts.  This morning though I took some time to review my life values.  As I reflected on those values, I’m reminded the only reason that I’m still on this path is because I live in grace.  God’s amazing grace that has kept me; though I live those values imperfectly.  Despite my imperfections I have been given the trust of my wife, children, church and community.  Daily I try to avoid the complacency of self-deception.  When I listen to God’s Word on my knees in prayer, His Spirit searches my heart and delivers me from the love of this world’s values.  I see the values of the Kingdom of Heaven and I want them.  I see them in the life of Jesus and more than anything I want Him reflected in my life.

Those values of daring, delight, depth, drive, devotion, direction and discipline are born out of God’s love and love for God!

To make sure your foundation is trust in God, I’m laying it all out right now just for you.  I’m giving you thirty sterling principles—tested guidelines to live by.  Believe me—these are truths that work, and will keep you accountable to those who sent you. Proverbs 22:18, Message

What are your life values?  Your success in your life’s direction depends upon those values.

Do you take time to review your growth in those values?  I’m not sinless, but I do sin less.

Love, Joy and Peace in Christ.

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