Eternal Values

Eternal Values

(The values against which we are to measure all conduct & activity)

 Love – A revelation of God’s love for us is foundational to all else.  Love is the fulfillment of the law.  We are told to “go and learn what this means, I desire compassion and not sacrifice”.  God is love.  We cannot give what we have not received.  We learn love as we experience the Lord’s patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness toward us despite our propensity to fall short of His glory.  We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for each other.  What our fellow man needs now is our sacrificial love and the deeds it prompts; oftentimes going the extra mile.

 Intimacy – Ongoing, vibrant relationship with the living Lord, Jesus Christ, is foundational.  He enjoys us. His bids us to come to Him by grace.  As we behold Him we are changed into His likeness and nature.  It is the privilege of His children to commune with Him, to hear His voice, and let His life be seen in us.

 Faith – This is the work of God that we believe in Jesus, the Son of GodFaith believes that His sovereignty rules over all.  We can therefore trust as we encounter life’s challenges, even when we don’t understand.  Faith sees God the Father working and joins Him in what He’s doing rather than initiating its own works.  We are thereby able to enter His rest while the Lord receives the glory.  Faith is the victory that overcomes the world as we hold fast.

 Fear of the Lord – A wholesome and reverential fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; that is, the ability to make right choices.  It is evidenced by obedience to God and His word, without rationalizing to the contrary.  Those who cultivate a close relationship with the Lord are careful to avoid all that might grieve, quench or resist the Holy Spirit.  Why, because they do not want to break fellowship with their God.  The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He will make them know His covenant.

 The Work of the Cross - The Lord’s work on the cross is a finished work with nothing to be added to it.  Yet, the cross must be readily embraced by all who would be fruit-bearing followers of Christ.  The cross is the power of God to those of us who are being saved; a salvation where death works in us (mastery over our mind, will and emotions) in order that His life might work in others through us.  The cross is always encountered as we endeavor to follow Christ and His will for our lives.   

 Humility & Brokenness – As we take the Lord’s yoke upon us and remain we learn Christ.   He is a skillful Teacher who can produce lowliness of mind in yielded vessels.  A humble and broken disciple recognizes his own inability to produce anything of eternal significance for the Lord and His kingdom.  Yet, he also recognizes he has been made adequate as a servant whom the Lord can use for His purpose.

 Hope – The unwavering expectation of good.  Our soul’s hope is anchored in the goodness of the person of the Lord Jesus.  Hope is only possible because we understand that nothing escapes the watchful eye of our loving Father.   Hope finds expression in endurance under trials, recognizing that “the process is the solution”.  That is, once we’ve endured the tests, we’ll be complete and able to reign in all of life’s circumstances.

Faithfulness – Many a man will proclaim his loyalty, but the Lord is looking for those who are faithful, reliable and trustworthy.  Our society thrives on quick results and excitement.  Many quit following the Master when He leads us where our understanding fails us. Yet, we are to faithfully fulfill our word and readily embrace areas of stewardship, no matter how mundane, insignificant, or unappreciated we may deem them to be. The Lord can entrust His proven followers with increasing responsibility and authority.

Mercy & Grace – Thank God He does not give us what we deserve, but has shown us compassion.  He understands our weaknesses.  He showers us with unmerited favor, the free gift of God.  Such grace is continuously given to the humble, but is withheld from the proud.  And so He calls us, through the person of His Son, to be vessels of His mercy and grace which He can pour out to others.  His mercy expressed to and through us always accomplishes more than judgment.                                                                                               

Truth - Truth is found in the person of Jesus.  The Lord desires truth in our inward being.  The enemy of our souls dwells in the darkness of error, false concepts and lies.  Yet Jesus promises that if we will abide in His word we will know the truth and the truth will make us free.  Not only are our words and actions to reflect His name, but even more, we are to possess the very nature corresponding to the name.  This is true integrity where others can then behold His glory in us, full of grace and truth.               

Fellowship – A central theme of the gospel is that we are to have fellowship with one another, and our fellowship is with the Father and the Son.  The diverse members of Christ’s body each have an integral contribution.  Through our shared life of love and service to one another and to the world we are actually participating in Christ, for… from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  There is no room for lone rangers or spectators in God’s family.  Even the church’s shared leadership is to reflect the diversity that is His body.  Fellowship is broken when we choose darkness over light.

 Holiness – God calls us to serve and worship Him in the beauty of holiness.  We are made holy, separated from the common, and consecrated to God by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit and the truth of His word.  As we willingly endure the discipline of the Lord we come to share His holiness.  Holiness is primarily a disposition of the heart that is then revealed in those who live the rest of the time no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 

 Spirit Direction – As many as are led by the Spirit these are the sons of God.  Mature sons are able to enter into their Father’s inheritance, who is the Lord Himself.  Like Paul, they have been crucified with Christ and they no longer live, but Christ lives in them.  There is no specific program for building God’s house or extending His kingdom.  He is the builder (to prepare, make ready) of all things.  The blueprint for what He wishes to do is revealed in His will for our lives; both individually and collectively as the church.  In order to be led by the Spirit we must have a heart like David.  God considered David a man after His own heart.  One who would fulfill all His desires.  Discerning the will of God requires spiritual sensitivity to what He is doing and unceasing prayer. 

 Joy – The kingdom of God is not rules and regulations, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Joy, a fruit of the Spirit, is a hallmark of us having entered the kingdom. It is not dependent upon circumstances.  Rather it arises from knowing that we are experiencing a greater participation in Christ who is the basis and foundation of our joy.  Our joy is made full as we abide in Jesus, keeping His commandments and abiding in His love.

 Endurance - It is for discipline that we endure. Our Father orchestrates custom-tailored, designer circumstances for each of His children. Keeping the word of His endurance results in doors being opened to all that is ours in Christ.