Here’s Johnny! – Do we value the gifts or the Giver? Found a satirical webcomic blog this week and the author uses satire to make his point. More often than not, he is spot on! Enjoy!
As always, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!
Just last week I went to McDonald’s for the first time in a long time. As I was looking the menu over I couldn’t help but notice the title the marketing committee for McD’s gave some of their food…Value Menu! Value? Really? By who’s standard? I mean, seriously, who thinks that a 1/16 lb burger (of mystery meat) and an order of not so great fries priced at $3 total is a value? Maybe a value if you need nutrition (the verdict is still out on whether there is any nutrition in that meal) and only have a few bucks to spare. But more than the food itself, this made me think about the things I value in life…God, family, church, friends, running, ministry, and the list goes on.
Near the top of my list of values is family. While having a family of my own (wife and child) has always been a thought in my mind, it was not until college that I seriously began contemplating the reality of it. It was during those years that I realized God wants more for a family than just to be a unit that lives life together. He wants a family to be a picture of His love for the world (Eph. 5:22-6:4). In order for our family to successfully pursue that purpose, we need to have some values to guide us. That is what I want to share today…the Kirby family values. Please do not read these as musts for every family or as my standard for great families. Rather, these are the values Bethany and I crafted for our family as we thought about the future of our family in light of God’s design.
Kirby Family Values
> Our personal relationship with the Lord is the most vital relationship in our lives; therefore, we will make Him our priority and passionately pursue Him daily. (Jn. 14:6; Eph. 2:1, 4, 8-9; Col. 1:15-23)
> Marriage is a reflection of God’s sacrificial and committed love for the church; therefore, we will be committed to this relationship for life and through joy and hardship. (1 Cor. 7:10-11, Eph. 5:22-33, Heb. 13:4)
> We believe God has purposely put us together as a family; therefore, we will intentionally spend time together and value that time. (Rom. 9:14-23, Eph. 1:3-14, Col. 3:18-21)
> God’s Word is the sole authority and foundation for our lives; therefore, we will follow and obey it in our beliefs, thoughts, speech, and conduct. (Jn. 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3, 21)
> We communicate with God through prayer; therefore, we are committed to spending time in prayer each day. (Eph. 6:18, Phil. 4:6, Heb. 4:14-16)
> The local church family is the vehicle through which God is working in our world; therefore, we are committed to ministering to, serving, and fellowshipping with this family. (Matt. 16:18-19, 1 Cor. 12, Heb. 10:24-25)
> God has commanded us to spread the gospel; therefore, we will intentionally pursue relationships with unsaved people with the purpose of sharing the Gospel. (Matt. 28:19-20, Acts 1:8, 1 Cor. 2:1-5)
> God is sovereignly working out His plan; therefore, we will trust Him completely in every situation. (Dan. 4:34-35, Rom. 8:28-30, Eph. 1:3-14)
> We believe that we are nothing apart from the Lord and can do nothing apart from Him; therefore, we will humble ourselves daily by following Christ’s example. (Is. 66:2, Phil. 2:1-11, 1 Pet. 5:5-6)
> God has entrusted to us everything we possess; therefore, we will give first and freely, and then wisely steward the remaining resources. (2 Sam. 24:18-25; Rom. 8:32, 2 Cor. 9:6-15)
> Love is the greatest commandment; therefore, we will love God and love people. (Matt. 22:37-40, 1 Cor. 13:1-8, 1 Jn. 4:19-21)
Again, these are not necessarily a standard for every family, but what we as parents hope to instill into our children as they live their lives for the glory of Jesus Christ. So while our values may not be exactly found on the “Value Menu” we pray that God will be pleased with them.
I would love to hear from you, my readers, at anytime. If you have some family values you’d like to share, please do so in the comments.
“Just think of it! Your child could be used as a singular instrument to declare God’s glory in Christ and in the Church “throughout all generations” (Eph 3:21). What more could you possibly do than that?” This should be an encouragement to all parents to follow the instructions set forth in Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!
The other day I was installing the window A/C units for the rooms in our upstairs bedrooms. Living in Virginia, A/C becomes quite a nice luxury come middle of June, if not earlier. So I had placed one of the units in the window and positioned it and all that was left to do was screw in the accordion side panels. As I began to screw the last panel to the window frame, I realized the wood prop I had placed under the unit slid out of place. The problem? I did not want to unscrew all the screws and remove the unit just to adjust the prop. However, I also did not have the proper tool (hammer) to get the prop back into position. So what did I do? The same thing every self-respecting, somewhat slothful, husband/handy man does–I used the multi-purpose tool I already had in hand…aka my screwdriver. So I flipped the screwdriver around and began to hammer on the prop until I got it back into place. But the problem was, with every hit of the prop the sharp end of the screwdriver was driving into my hand. Did I get the prop back into place? Sure! But, needless to say, I caused more pain than intended simply by using a tool for a purpose that it was not intended.
Do you ever feel like that in your life? As though you are not doing what you were purposed to do? Or as if what you intended to do is not what you find yourself doing? I think it ironic, that so many of our hurts and pains come from not doing (or better yet being) that for which we were purposed. So what is it that we are purposed to do? What is it that we are intended to be?
The apostle Paul would have well understood our heart in the question of purpose. And he gives us some clear direction in Acts 26:16-18. He recounts his conversion to Christ before King Agrippa, and as he gets to verse 16 he quotes Christ: “…for I have appeared to you for this purpose…” . During Paul’s “Roadway Realization” of Jesus Christ, he is given the very purpose for which God has chosen him. In other words, here Paul is given the purpose for which he was made and saved.
Christ goes on to tell Paul he was chosen for 2 main reasons: 1) to be saved and 2) to be sent. Acts 26:16 says Paul was given a revelation of Jesus Christ “to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me…”. So Christ purposed Paul to be saved. God appeared to Paul because He wanted to save him. Is this not the same reason why God reveals Himself to us (Gal. 1:3-4; Eph. 1:4-5)? Does not God desire all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:3-4)? Paul is an example of God’s ultimate purpose for our lives–that purpose being for us to be in a right relationship with Him (Genesis 1-3 – lost relationship; Luke 19:10 – seek and save).
But Christ did not end there. He did not tell Paul, “Since your are now back in a right relationship with me, you can sit around on your duff all day and enjoy life.” No! Christ tells Paul, “I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and WITNESS…” (Acts 26:16).
Jesus wanted Paul to be a witness and testimony to the Gentiles (vs. 17). Paul was saved by Christ to be sent by Christ. He was to go to the Gentiles in the hope that they might, “Turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me [Christ]” (vs. 18). Paul was not saved merely for his own good, although it was for his eternal good. Paul was saved to be sent for the good of others. Christ saved Paul to send him to others.
Is not that the purpose for which Christ saves each one of His disciples (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8)? Christ told His disciples plainly that their purpose on earth was to spread His good news–the good news that Jesus Christ is the only Savior of the world, that it is only by confession and belief in Him that one is saved (Rom. 10:9). Paul understood that when he wrote, “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel…” (Phil. 1:12). The apostle recognized that Christ’s purpose in his life was to be saved and sent.
What about you and I? Do you daily recognize that your purpose is to be saved and to be sent? Are you seeking a purpose that you are not intended to fulfill? Don’t turn the screwdriver around and inflict pain on yourself trying to do things your way; rather, recognize that God wants to, can, or has saved you so that you may turn around and be sent by Him to proclaim the same message to others!
Are these not the types of questions we would like the answers to most? When we talk about unresolved questions, purpose-oriented questions are at the top of the list. But of those, the most important has to be the question dealing with man’s purpose. Why are we here? What are we to do? What is our purpose?
The bad news is that we look everywhere for the answer: people, places, possessions, food, entertainment, recreation, etc, etc, etc, and the list goes on. But no matter what we try or how long and hard we try it, there always seems to remain that unanswered question…is this it? Is this all that I was created to do and be?
The good news is that there is an answer and place that fully satisfies the question.The truth is, we were created for a purpose and with a reason in mind and that is what I hope this blog will always point back to…What it is all about!