I live life for the express purpose of bringing glory to the Father’s name and His kingdom. As a disciple of Jesus, I humbly and obediently submit to the truth revealed by the Spirit that I am no longer my own, I have been bought with a price. Therefore, I recognize that at every point in my life Jesus’ way intersects with every particular aspect of my life: thoughts, actions, words. As a devoted follower of Jesus, every area of life must be dedicated to the mission of God to reach the world with the Spirit-empowered gospel, thus it naturally follows that the life I live is wholly a “gospeled” life; full of God’s heart for the world, characterized by forgiveness, motivated by self-sacrifice, proved through self-denial, intentional through missional living, and strengthened by hope. Having then been renewed by the Holy Spirit my life is to reflect the power of God through the gospel of Jesus in every area of my life.
Everyone of us possesses a worldview. Your worldview is the way you perceive life. Your worldview is made up of certain beliefs, principles and truths, we call these presuppositions, through which you filter all information you encounter in your life, and through which all your decisions are made.
Your worldview is your philosophy of life; it is the way life works; it is what is "true for you!" All ethical and moral choices and consequent behaviors are a direct result of your belief system.
Your worldview is the product of all the information, education, conversation, ideas and experiences you accept and absorb to form your values, morals, and beliefs.
After asking several questions of those who were polled to qualify truly "born again" believers, George Barna found that only 25% of all born again Christians base their moral and ethical choices on the truths found in the Word of God. Three out of four Christians have their worldview or life philosophy shaped by something other than the Word of God!
This may or may not surprise you. Not all believers are students of the Word of God. Not all believers are committed disciples. The sad consequence of all this is simply that fully 75% of all true believers do not think like Jesus! This says volumes concerning the Church's influence and effectiveness or lack thereof.
With a mere 40 minute sermon on Sunday morning to teach biblical values or a biblical worldview, the Church is at a great disadvantage in a world influenced by radio, TV, print media, education, internet and the like! Remember, our worldview is the accumulation and consequent effect of all of these resources on our thinking.
The fact is that with few exceptions, the secularized world and its competing worldviews dominate our daily informational and experiential input, moving Christians to make important decisions in life based upon secular beliefs and worldview philosophies.
"I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live.." Galatians 2:20 presents a purely biblical way of looking at everything in life. It is my responsibility to filter every thought, behavior and decision through His word,i.e., Christ lives in and through me!
This morning we will consider the subject of priorities, values and balance with reference to the ten major components of ilive.
Americans are some of the busiest people on the planet. I dare say that many of us are too busy and really do not know how to rest. This fact has a significant impact on the quality of our lives and the expenditure of our time.
I have identified ten major components of life and each one of these carries certain responsibilities. None of these areas can be neglected without resulting in serious to severe personal consequences. Not all areas are equally important, but all are important. Someone said "duties do not conflict" and if this is true, I must find a way to balance my life in such a way that all areas are addressed in an adequate fashion.
Since we the people are so different one from another, it is seemingly impossible to craft a precise formula that everything could be considered and a ratio could be derived to consider everything in just the exact proportion.
Our consideration for God, others and then self seems to be a sensible and biblical way to approach the subject, however, there are many questions that need to be answered.
This morning I am going to attempt to bring to the forefront several things that must be considered in establishing biblical priorities and a balanced approach at achieving each.
The question of priorities and balance in life is one of our greatest challenges. Answering the questions, "What is important? And How important are they?" correctly leads to our greatest successes and helps avoid some of our greatest failures.
Man was created in the image and likeness of God. What that means has been debated by theologians for centuries. Suffice it to say, men are unique among all of God's creations.
Man is a physical, a material creation, but he is also a spiritual entity, a "being," created according to Scripture to have a purpose, a relationship with his Creator. The answer to the question, "Why?" is up for discussion and beyond the grasp of our finite minds.
There is a vast difference between the "spiritual" and "material." Each of these two realms is governed by distinctly different and separate collections of principles, yet, intimately connected to one another in the human being or "man" being.
Rocks, dirt, roads, chairs and bodies are physical. Love, logic, intellect, mind and faith are not, they are meta(beyond)-physical. Although we live in a physical world, our successes and failures in life, however they may be defined, are determined by values, decisions, logic, principles and the like, all of which are not physical, and are unique to man in God's creation.
The spiritual principles or core values that one holds guide his feelings, behaviors and decisions in life. Decisions based upon the spiritual principles of life (love, fear, hate, compassion, etc.) serve as the core values that effect every other major component of life. Decisions determine destiny.
" And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Genesis 2:7
At the outset of our iLive series we surveyed our people concerning the relative value or priority we collectively placed upon all ten iLive components. All components are important. We cannot afford to neglect anyone of them.
In the end "Family" and "Spirituality" were at the top of our list. I believe that although both are extremely important, "Spiritual" is the more important of the two, for true spirituality and its highest core value, love, have everything to do with how we relate to our families.
Today we will look at the "Community" component. It was ranked 8th out of the 10 by the church family. In some sense relatively unimportant, however, as I have said, all are very important and cannot be ignored or avoided. We do not have the luxury of ignoring, neglecting, or being indifferent in any way toward our community. In community the Great commission and the Great Commandment are "joined at the hip." Go into all the world and love God and your neighbor.
We are to take the Gospel in word, live the Gospel in deed, and bring both in an intentional way to the community in which we live. Jesus illustrates all of this perfectly in the Parable of the Four Travelers.
A thriving, loving and engaged local church is the very best thing that could happen to any community.