Thursday, 21 April 2016

HOW VALUES IMPACT LIFESTYLE

What we truly cherish determine how we live our lives 


Recently, a man obsessed with superbikes had an accident. In his dying moments, as he was gasping for breath, he uttered, “Is my superbike alright?” It was surprising that he did not leave any parting words for his loved ones.

What do we truly cherish in life? What is the one thing that grieves our heart most if it is lost or taken away? How do we invest our time, talents and resources? To be honest, what do we think about most of the time?

A man is literally the product of his thinking. Based upon this important truth, author James Allen wrote his acclaimed self-help book, “As A Man Thinketh”.

Indeed, we become what we think about most of the time. This view concurs with what the Bible says in Proverbs 23:7: “As a man thinks in his heart, so does he become”.

How we live our lives depend on what we value most. Do we merely live for the ‘here and now’? Or do we live out our earthly lives in light of eternity?

If we choose to renew our mind with God’s word, our values and worldview will primarily be shaped by the truth—what truly matters when our earthly life is over.

If we continually sip at the springs of Living Water, God’s Word, we will embrace the mind of Christ, filled with humility and humble service (Philippians 2: 5-8). Furthermore, we will be imbued with heavenly wisdom, characterised by purity, peace, gentleness and good fruits (James 3:17).

Since we are in Christ, heavenly goals should be foremost in our mind.
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3).

As our bodies are degenerating day by day, our citizenship on earth is not going to be permanent.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself”(Philippians 3:20-21).

We are merely pilgrims on a journey passing through the earth.
“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

Things invisible outlast things visible.
“For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18b).

James warns us not to be presumptuous about our earthly pursuits for life on earth is transient and uncertain.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
(James 4:13-15).

We are all “leasehold” though we may have freehold property.
Those who are wise must finally die,
    just like the foolish and senseless,
    leaving all their wealth behind.
The grave is their eternal home,
    where they will stay forever.
They may name their estates after themselves,
    but their fame will not last.
    They will die, just like animals.
(Psalm 49:10-12)

The glory of our achievements is like grass that fades away.
Peter reminds us that, one day, heaven and earth will be destroyed and they will be replaced by a new heaven and new earth (2 Peter 3:10-13). King Nebuchadnezzar, who prided himself concerning his achievements, how he had built the great Babylonian empire, was immediately was judged by God. He later turned into an animal that fed on grass (Daniel 4: 28-32).


                                                                             
In the final analysis, how we live out our lives is determined by our values and perspective of time.
  • If we believe life is merely about the ‘here and now’, then we will just look forward to what the world has to offer and what our earthly toil can achieve for us.
  • But if we think that time transcends our earthly existence, then our goals and aspirations in life will be determined by eternal values.
Caveat: It is not implied that hard work is negative, that productive human endeavor is to be discouraged or that we should not enjoy the fruits of our labour with grateful hearts.

“Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 5:18-19).


RELATED POSTS

ONE STEP FROM ETERNITY
Realising that life can be so transient and uncertain should force us to reassess how we live out our lives on earth.
                                     
SETTING OUR HOUSE IN ORDER
How many of us prepare ourselves to meet our Maker—even when death isn’t looming on the horizon?

DO YOU EVER SEARCH YOUR HEART?
(IS HE SATISFIED WITH ME?)

Do you ever search your heart,
As you watch the day depart.
Is there something way down deep
you try to hide?
If this day should be the end,
And eternity began,
When the book is open wide,
Would the Lord be satisfied?

Is He satisfied? is He satisfied?
Is He satisfied with me?
Have I done my best, have I stood the test?
Is He satisfied with me?
When my Lord shall come again,
When He walks and talks with man,
What if every friend He had
were just like me?
Would He feel welcome here?
Or would He go away in tears?
Am I all that I should be?
Is He satisfied with me?

Feeble is the lamp of fame,
By which man inscribes his name,
On the walls of time for other
men to see.
Though he boast of wealth and power,
None can help him in that hour,
When the angels hear His plea,
Is He satisfied with me?

Is He satisfied? Is He satisfied?

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