Stay Strong in the Word

The greatest gift that God has given is Jesus, his son, who died for our sins.  Through the forgiveness of sins all believers have eternal life in heaven.  If eternal life was the only reason to know Jesus, the Bible and the Christian faith, we would be well blessed.  Our lives, let’s say all 100 years of it, is small in comparison to eternity.  Our lives are filled with a mixture of troubles and joy – some minor and some intense.  Yet 100 years of troubles and joys in this life are small in comparison with the ultimate joys of heaven which will last for eternity.  The importance of forgiveness through Jesus and our eternity with the LORD is a huge blessing.  If the Word was important only because of eternity it would be an immense blessing.

The Word has daily and personal importance to every Christian.  A regular relationship with Jesus, the Christian faith and the Bible encourages and strengthens our core values such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22,23) and we want to add other core values such as trust in God, courage, and strength.

Regular Use of the Word keeps Values Clear.

A person who places little or no value on Biblical revelation will have values that reflect the world’s values and Satan’s core.  If you eat nothing but potato chips, in consequence, your body is becoming a big potato chip.  Similarly, if you feed the sinful nature and go to the sinful nature for your core values, it will grow stronger and bigger in your life.

The Word of God and all which it teaches feeds and informs our values.  The more of God’s food you enjoy and “eat,” the more God grows godly values in you.

The first “step” in our growth is faith in Jesus as Savior.  Prior to faith the heart of the unbeliever is 1) dead in sin (Ephesians 1:1);  2) hates God (Romans 8:7); and  3) perceives God’s Word in the Bible as being completely foolish (1 Corinthians 2:14).  With a heart and mind that is angry with God and rebellious against God’s Will, the core values of that person will be from the world and from Satan.

Jesus came to die for sin and changed points one through three above.   1a)  By forgiveness he paid for the death that all sins deserved and made all who believe and receive his Gospel gift alive and free.  2a)  By Jesus’ death and resurrection he took away the hatred, the hostility of the unbelieving heart and replaced that heart with a gospel heart which loves and reveres the Lord and His Will.  3a) Because of faith the Bible is no longer a foolish book, but the Word of God and His Will, not laws and chains, but His good Will for life.

When values are based upon the sinful nature our values will reveal as actions, thoughts and emotions based upon that sinful nature (points 1-3).  When the foundation of a person’s values is changed by Christ’s love, then our actions, thoughts, and emotions will be founded upon Christ Jesus and the Word of God.

Since we are never fully free of the attacks of Satan and our sinful nature until we die, God’s Word is important to keep our values strong.  Otherwise the sinful nature will work to expel the truth of God and replace it with the guidance of the sinful nature and Satan.

The Word Activates Godly Values

Every one of us has values that guide us in who we are, in the decisions we make, in what is important and unimportant to us, and in how we handle what occurs in our lives.  Some of our values are primary and influence almost all that we are and all that we do.  Other values are more buried and seldom bubble to the surface.

While animals just react to life (their instincts) with minimal thought and consideration, we are human.  We are supposed to give thought and consideration to our actions and reactions.  Those values that are at the top of our thinking are those values which will most influence our actions, reactions and emotion.  The deeper values may “bubble up” occasionally or when demanded, but they are not at the forefront of thinking.

Continual contact with God’s Word, with His gospel and his law, will influence which values are on the surface and will interact with and guide our actions, thoughts and emotions.  If we seldom use God’s gospel and law, then the sinful nature’s core values will be near the surface and influence action, thought, and emotion.

If a person confesses that he is a Christian and that Jesus is his Savior, but never uses his Bible for devotion or consideration and never attends church, his Christian values will be more deeply confined and may “bubble” to the surface only seldom.  Sadly, it is most likely that the values of Satan and the world will be more on the surface.

When the Bible and church attendance are high priorities, then God’s values will be most in our thought, actions, and emotions.  While no Christian is perfect, our sinful nature can be strong and cancer like.  Use the word of God to daily strengthen faith and godly core values so that the cancer is not primary in our lives.

Values during Stress Need the Word

Stress will strip away any facades that our nature has raised to look good to others.  Under stress those values which are primary in our hearts will rise to the surface to deal with the stress.  Values which have been part of a “fake front” or are secondary will sink down.  When our core values are godly influences by the Word, they will arise to deal with stress.  If our core values are more from the world and our godly values are a façade (to appear godly to others), then the values of the world will rise and control our reactions.  We need the Word of God so that our core values, our most cherished values, are godly.  When stress does arise, then godly values will guide and influence how we deal with the stress.

Desire Values Influenced by the Word not the World.

The Word of God is important because through His Gospel and law the LORD changes and influences our heart – Redeemed by Jesus and no longer under complete control of sin, but now influenced and guided by the Holy Spirit.  As we grow in Word, and Gospel, and the will of God, our core values will be more influenced by the Spirit and will be used to handle the stress that is in our lives.

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