Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
How do you assess value?
If you walked into a pawn shop or store you would notice a certain value placed on the merchandise. Often times the price of something doesn’t necessarily indicate the objects value, how much someone is willing to pay for that item can indicate value. If something is rare it typically goes up in value, while often times more common items are of less value.
If something is shiny, like gold or diamonds, people want more shiny things so the value goes up. If the whole world was in famine or drought, gold might not be so valuable, food would be the priority so the value would change based off the need rather than the want.
The world’s attempt to dictate what has value and what doesn’t includes people. If Russian President Vladimir Putin decides the country of Ukraine is a threat, the destruction of Ukrainian citizens is acceptable and murdering women and children is the price for victory. If women’s rights groups believe they are sovereign over their lives, they believe it is acceptable to kill unborn children that aren’t wanted. North Korean dictator Kim Jong believes the state comes first over people, it’s not uncommon to hear of people being tortured and murdered for even the smallest violations. China’s President Xi thinks that organized religion is a threat to state sovereignty so communist China is reinstating many of its harsh laws meant to punish people of faith.
Can you hear a theme that resonates among the world….I want to be sovereign! I want complete control over the decisions that affect my life and if possible I want to be sovereign over other’s lives as well.
Mankind desires power and authority, the nature of sin is rebellion and if left unchecked lives will be destroyed by those who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals.
Isaiah 17:12-13 “Woe to the multitude of many people
Who make a noise like the roar of the seas,
And to the rushing of nations
That make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters;
But God will rebuke them and they will flee far away,
And be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind,
Like a rolling thing before the whirlwind..”
Mankind shouts toward the heavens and declares their sovereignty while God looks upon the feeble attempts for control and just blows them away.
Many people at the end of their lives wish they had more time. The value of riches is greatly diminished when the prospect of not being able to use those riches becomes a reality. They would give all they had for more time because they finally realize where true value lies.
If you knew you had a week left to live, what would your perspective be? Would you want to reconcile with a family member you’ve been at odds with for many years or take a final trip or spend time with the ones you love?
Why does it take a major event to wake us up to the reality of what is important? Why does it take the finality of life to force us to see with greater perspective?
Isaiah 17:7-8 “In that day a man will look to his Maker,
And his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel.
He will not look to the altars,
The work of his hands;
He will not respect what his fingers have made,
Nor the wooden images nor the incense altars..”
Whatever you sow to, that you will reap. Whatever you have invested your time and energy into is an indication of what you value.
If we live with a worldly perspective we will forget what is important in life. The world strives to exalt itself, if you choose to come alongside those who desire self-exaltation, you too might get some measure of worldly accolades. Hollywood gives itself Oscar awards for their work in hypocrisy, reminders to the few who have excelled in their ranks that they have reached the pinnacle of their success. Officers get ribbons and badges for excelling in the art of war. Athletes might get trophies or ribbons that recognize their successes, and years later when the trophies and ribbons collect dust in attics and boxes, the value of life starts to come into view.
I believe the closer we come to God, the more perspective we gain in life. The more perspective we gain, the more understanding we have for what it valuable and right and holy.
The prospect of death moves people closer to God, for some this leads towards a perspective of impending judgement, for others the reward of faithfulness is the hopeful expectation.
Learning to Live
The late Mahatma Gandhi once said “Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever.” Gandhi was a practicing Hindu, an idolatrous religion that practices self control with an eye toward enlightenment. Gandhi’s perspective was a focus on reaching the limits of mankind with the desire to achieve peace apart from God. Many people who lived in his day agreed with his perspective and yet wars have still continued, evil is still pervasive, and the delusion of man-made peace still reverberates across the world.
Psalm 119:1-6 “Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD!
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
Oh that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.”
If what you value is what is important to God, then you will have peace in the midst of a world that has gone astray.
Godly value rests in keeping His Word. God’s Word proclaims God’s sovereignty, not man’s exaltation. God’s Word determines the value of life and that value is determined by its Creator not by the creation. God’s Word establishes justice for it is by God’s law that righteousness is made evident among those who follow Him.
Jesus proved our value by giving of His life that we might be saved.
Do you know how valuable you are?
When Jesus spread out his arms in willful submission to death, He revealed your value.
Galatians 3:13-14 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”
If you still have breath in your lungs you have an opportunity to place your energy into what is valuable.
It’s never too late to follow Jesus, to trust Him with your life, and to live for Him—by doing so, you are investing into a Kingdom that has no end, your aligning your life with what God says is enduring.
The recent Easter celebration was a remembrance to see the world from God’s perspective, the call goes out to all who finally know that to “Live is Christ and to die is gain.”