“Once we rid our minds of anxious thoughts, meditate on virtues elevated above earthly thinking with a focus on what’s important in heaven.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 18, 2022
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:8, MSG
Our team of five at the National Christian Foundation of Georgia invested time in this past year to pray for and pray about our next team member. Lord, who is your servant to join us in loving others for your sake? One of our primary concerns was an alignment of values. Agreement in the essential behaviors of: humility, love, accountability… honesty and diligence to ensure we are quick to be responsible and find solutions in a spirit of hard work and creativity. All the while we trusted the Holy Spirit to direct our path. Better to have a team member less gifted, but totally teachable—who is willing to submit to the team over personal preferences. Gratefully, through prayerful patience God sent us His servant, whose values align with our culture of loving well!
Paul brings the summation of a stable life in Christ as it relates to disciplined thinking. Once we rid our minds of anxious thoughts and meditate on virtues elevated above earthly thinking, with a focus of what’s important in heaven, a values alignment occurs in our heart with what’s important to God’s heart. One simple prayer is to relate each thought to the epitome of each idea. Jesus. Jesus, you are truth, so I look at your life for truth. Jesus, you are noble, worthy of honor, your reputation to be trusted in all matters. Jesus, you are authentic in expressing your vulnerabilities, while compelling in your love and graciousness with sinners. You think the best of others, you make beautiful ugly brokenness, as I worship you, especially out of the depths of my suffering.
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity” (Psalm 133:1).
Clarity around values alignment at home and work is a worthwhile exercise that gives energy and harmony to families and teams in your job, church and community. Consider writing down what’s important in the culture your serve. Healthy behaviors are so vital to an environment, that if one of the core values ever changes you would lose interest and fail to be as engaged as you would be in a wholesome situation. Values alignment is like two people pushing a car that is stuck, spinning tires in the mud. Because the two friends are both seeking to move the car forward, there is energy and movement around a common goal. Alignment has shared purpose.
Most of all, align around the Lord’s purpose for your life. How, you ask? Fortunately, your loving heavenly Father is clear about His best for you…love and obey. Love with your mind, learn the truth of God in His Word, the Bible. Allow truth to flush out lies, so you live free. Love with your heart by being vulnerable with your sins, sufferings and joys in life. Confess your sin to God and to those whom you love, even those unlike you. See suffering as a way to become more like Jesus…learning humility from situations and people out of your control. Obedience to God expresses your love for God, so joyfully obey—especially when you are unsure why. Trust Him. Align your values with God, who defines what’s important—this is your ultimate purpose!
“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground” (Psalm 143:10).
Heavenly Father, teach me to do your will through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
Consider a team/family covenant to clearly define values alignment. Click here to see an example and download as our gift to you.
Beth Barnard & Shane and Shane: Peace
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