Be sure to check out the first two posts on beating busyness here and here before you read this post because today I am picking up where I left off by talking about God's values and how knowing what God values shapes what you value.
Values are our inner beliefs shaped through life experiences.
They are underlying assumptions that consciously and unconsciously determine our actions, attitudes, and decisions. And the reality is values change over a lifetime. As we journey with Jesus, some things we used to value are no longer important or essential. Other things we never expected to value highly become very important as our devotion to Jesus grows. These changes occur as we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in our spiritual transformation. If our goal is to transformed more into the image and likeness of Christ, then our first step is to determine His values.
If you think about it, the list is potentially inexhaustible. I mean God’s Word tells us a lot - I mean A LOT - about what God values. God values so much more than we can possibly fathom.
From cover to cover, the Bible reveals the heart of the Father and I recognize we couldn’t possibly attempt to list each and every value found in His Word. It would be overwhelming to the point it would paralyze most people. So here’s my first run at what is most important in God’s eyes:
Make disciples who make disciples.
Highlight it. Circle it. Underline it. Star it. The supremacy of The Great Commission to make disciples of all nations should be our primary concern (Matt. 28:16-20).
If we agree that the highest priority for the New Testament Christian is to make disciples who make disciples, then what are the priorities that fulfill this overarching value? I’ve listed 6 key priorities of a disciple below. This list is not meant to be exhaustive. Rather it’s based on obvious behaviors and characteristics of Jesus and His disciples.
- Care for others (poor, lost, lonely, least) - James 1:27
- Acknowledge Jesus’ presence in your story - Hebrews 10:24-25
- Listen to God’s Spirit - Ecclesiastes 5:1-2
- Learn from God’s Word - James 1:22
- Eat with others - Hebrews 13:2
- Dwell well (love your neighbors enough to spend time with them) - Jeremiah 29:5-7
Now does this mean that I believe that God doesn’t value other things? Any thoughtful Christian would argue that God values justice and righteousness? Am I ignoring these? No. Not at all. For me living on mission is a big deal. And for me this falls under the priority of disciple making. Disciples live on mission. Our mission, as disciples, is to make more and better disciples.
I’m good with this acronym - CALLED - it’s memorable, but more importantly it captures the essential priorities of a disciple. I like what’s here. Six values over and above the rest is a good starting place. Could it be seven or eight? Sure. But the more values listed the more complicated the process becomes. While there may be some values that are missing, it can't be said that these aren’t biblical or somehow miss the mark.
The point of this exercise isn’t to somehow get God’s priorities “right.” The point is to think deeply about what matters most to God based on what Scripture makes plain for us to see. Only after we’ve done this will we see how well our priorities align God’s priorities.
Make a list of a disciple's priorities according to what you see in Scripture. If you’ve never done this, I’d encourage you to take some time to reflect on the priorities of a disciple. You might come up with your own list or modify I’ve provided. What would you add or change to the list?