Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:21-24(NLT)
Life that is lived without bedrock convictions is not life, but simply survival. A cork can float on the roughest sea, its direction and destination will not come from within, but without.
Values are part of bedrock convictions. Values are the inner core of who we are. A bedrock conviction is a value that has been molded and shaped by the belief we hold about that value. In short, it is what we are, coupled with what we believe about what we are.
If I hold a value about my health, a bedrock conviction would be a combination of the value of health, and the knowledge that eating balanced meals (not including okra) will facilitate good health. If I do not eat right, my conviction is not bedrock, or absolute, it is only relative. Actually, when our value and knowledge are violated by our actions that do not match up, it is this square peg in that round hole that causes the guilt we feel.
I never have guilt when I eat squash or salad. They inexplicably match-up with values held about promoting good health. But when I eat a 1/2 pound box of chocolate cherries, whoa…what a conflict of values and actions!
Most people do not like bedrock convictions. It is a whole lot easier (in the short run) to operate on your feelings (like the cork on the ocean). When you have bedrock convictions, they will force you to make tough decisions. Like the church usher who was standing near the last row of pews, talking to the man who, during the sermon, was seated with his drink in hand, and his portable T.V. tuned to the Brave's game, He said: Ralph, ol’ buddy, sooner or later you are gonna have to make some tough choices.
What is a Christian value? It is a response to this life based on the character of Jesus Christ. It is a standard taken from the position of the absolute authority of the Word of God. It is what makes us Jesus people.
I have been asked before: Why all the fuss, ranting and raving about Christian values? Why can't you Christians just do your own thing, and leave everybody else alone. My values are not your values. I will tell you why the fuss. The world cannot survive on anything less than the values of Christ. That is the way God designed it. Hitler thought his values were best, and it cost 12 million people their lives. Under Stalin it was 30 million. Oppressive Red China's total is still climbing.
In America, Mother's Day loses some of its luster when we remember the holocaust of the unborn millions. This is not Christian values at work. This is humanism, which says: I do my thing, you do yours; if we agree, OK; if not, stay out of my way. Communism could not survive humanism, and neither can America survive, much less return to greatness.
The greatness of our country is not in its' resources or economy. Those are the by-products of the blessing of God, which comes from serving and following Jesus Christ - Christian values!
The apostle Paul shared Christian values with a church that needed a new compass – a Christian direction. Over the next few days we will discuss the bedrock convictions that reflect the values Christians should hold.
You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road…have a blessed day!
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