Sense of Values

November 19, 2015

By Virginia Brandt Berg

Audio length: 6:21
Download Audio (5.8MB)

Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love Me more.”

In our joys and in our sorrows
Days of toil and hours of ease
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love Me more than these.”

Jesus calls us! By Thy mercies,
Savior, may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thy obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all!
—Cecil Frances Alexander

How true that the Lord calls us over the tumult of life’s wild, restless sea. Some time ago, I mentioned to you that I was sitting in a little coffee shop overlooking the ocean here and I was watching the boats far out to sea.

Suddenly, I became conscious that a man at the next table was saying something very interesting and loud enough for us to hear. His companion had asked him the question, “Why did you dismiss Henry from your office force?” And the man replied,

“Well, he had no sense of values! He didn’t value life, health, or money. This began to affect my business. Whenever I wanted him, he was taking a coffee break. It seemed to me he valued a cup of coffee more than his job. I warned him a number of times.”

I thought about that a good deal as I was meditating on it—a cup of coffee rather than a good position. And the little sailboats kept skimming over the water just as a light wind had risen.

I thought how many people just go skimming over the surface things of life and never have any sense of values, like the man that he was speaking of—just living off the nonessentials, the inconsequential things of life crowding out the things that are worthwhile, and robbing them of the things that are in the long run really worthwhile.

Christ’s emphasis was always on the spiritual. What’s the great outstanding purpose of life? What are we here for? Well, we’ve been entrusted with some sacred responsibilities from God Himself. But God is not first to this generation. Is He first to you? Too often He’s shoved aside by some of us, and some little silly bit of uselessness is given first place.

God doesn’t fit in second place! He fits nowhere but first, and there are certain things He has entrusted us with that fit only in first place too; you can’t put them secondarily and be right with God.

Trivial temporal things so often are put first, and God and His Word crowded into a secondary place. And if that’s the case, all of life is just thrown out of balance, and the result is only disharmony and disruption and confusion.

I wonder, are the great realities of life in the proper perspective in your life? Have you a sense of values? Or do you let little trivialities and material things come before the reading of God’s Word and prayer, and excuse yourself by saying, “I’m busy; I don’t have time”? Maybe you’d better question your own heart about your sense of values.

The Bible contains the very Word of God! There is life in that Word, that precious Bible, that’s food for your soul. It’s absolutely essential to the growth of your soul. If you don’t have time for it, then your soul’s going to starve and you’re certainly going to be a dwarf spiritually. And prayer is communion with God. Without prayer you walk unempowered, in your own strength and wisdom.

God’s Word says, “Without Me, ye can do nothing.” On the other hand, it says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” That strength comes only through prayer and the reading of God’s Word. You can hardly depend for that strength needed on a weak little hurried verse, or a little tiny prayer just before you hop into bed half asleep and sort of dazed. You couldn’t call that “seeking first!”

I had an acquaintance who spent all of her years scraping, digging, slaving to build and decorate a little cottage where she could be comfortable for a few years. Just a few months after it was finished she was stricken, and at her bedside she said to me, “Time is closing in on me—there isn’t any left for me, and I spent the little I had on things that have not a bit of value in the place where I’m going.” She had a sense of values too late!

I wish sometimes we could see all the events of life framed in the ultimate results they lead to. What a change there would be in our lives! We wouldn’t make such silly excuses for putting our Bible reading and prayer in the secondary place, and we’d not give ourselves to trivialities when eternal things are calling.

The one that lives for time instead of eternity has no sense of values. It happens every day that someone will say, not by their word perhaps, but by their actions, “I just don’t care about getting the mansions in heaven and I’m not so interested about eternal things. Give me rather a mansion and a crown here, with a little fame and glory and the favor of man and the pleasures of sin for a season, and I’ll be a little satisfied here.”

And the King of kings, the Lord of lords, who has offered them a robe of righteousness, a crown of glory, an eternal home among the many mansions there, is put aside just for these “other things” that really have no value.

Will you bow your heads in a word of prayer?

Our Father in heaven, we pray that Thou wilt help us to have a keen sense of values, and the realization that we are put here to prepare for eternity and not for time!—That our citizenship is in heaven. God help us to understand.

From a transcript of a Meditation Moments broadcast, adapted. Published on Anchor November 2015. Read by Carol Andrews.

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