Aligning Actions with Values

Today’s readings are 2 Kings 22-23, Psalm 73, and 2 Corinthians 5.

The local financial planning firm I represent used to have part of our mission statement which said, “aligning actions with values.” We all have certain values, whether they be in our mind or we’ve written them out. As Christ followers, I would assume and hope some, if not all, of those values line up with our Christian faith. The questions for us today is, are we actually living those out? Would others who you know well or others who meet you for the first time know you are a Christ follower? 2 Corinthians 5 discusses how we should live life differently as a follower of Jesus. It challenged me to ask myself, am I?

2 Corinthians 5 talks about how our body is a tent, a temporary dwelling for our eternal soul. As result of knowing our citizenship is really in Heaven, there are some things we should be doing to live life differently which others would recognize and possibly cause them to turn to Christ as well.

  • Live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)
  • Allow the love of Christ to control us (2 Corinthians 5:14)
  • Live for Him and not for ourselves (2 Corinthians 5:15)
  • Do not regard others by their flesh which is weak (2 Corinthians 5:16)
  • Be an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Jesus’ last words, which must be important since they were his last, in Matthew 28:18-21 instructed us to go and make disciples of others. This sounds a lot like 2 Corinthians 5:20 which tells us to be ambassadors for Christ.

This again challenges me to ask myself if I’m being an ambassador for Christ based on my actions through living by faith, showing Christ’s love in my actions, living for Him and not myself, and regarding others by their soul and not their outward physical appearance and actions (seeing them how God sees them).

The great news is that although I’m sinful and have a lot of work to do in these areas, God tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:21…

“For our sake He made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”

For more reflection on these areas, check out 2 Kings 22-23 where we see King Josiah of Judah aligning his actions with his values and leading his people to follow God, as well as Psalm 73.

My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of

my heart and my portion


Psalm 73:26

Jesus, Our Father, and the Holy Spirit In-between


Today’s Reading: John 14

Today we begin our time with Jesus the comforter in John Chapter 14. Jesus is reassuring his disciples that he will go before them and prepare a place for them in heaven.  I love that he describes his Father’s house as having “many rooms.” It’s a wonderful reminder that there is a special place for each one of us that fits us perfectly.  Just as a child might decorate their bedroom with a favorite color or drawings, Jesus is preparing a place for each of his followers that reflects our unique relationship with Him. I can really identify with Jesus’ apostles in this chapter.  They are realizing that he is leaving, and they are afraid.  They don’t know how to go on without Him. Have you felt that way in your life? Have you lost someone you love and depended upon? Even though Jesus hasn’t died yet, his apostles are grieving. Thomas says,

Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” John 14:5

 Such a short sentence but so powerful. Lord, we want to follow you but we do not know where you are going.  We can’t possibly find our way when we don’t know the destination. As a new Christian, this statement represents my life before Christ.  I really didn’t know the way.  I was just experiencing life as it happened, not understanding that there is a plan for me. Part of drawing close to Jesus Christ for me, is making connections between His life and mine. Here are his disciples so dependent upon him desperate to understand the future but not able to hold on to what they believe is their only connection to God the Father. Jesus responds to their fear and apprehension in verse six:

 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

 This verse is foundational for us. How can we know the way to God? Only through Jesus. Jesus is that way because he is both God and man. By uniting our lives with His we are united with God. This seems so simple but really, it’s life changing. Jesus is our direct connection with God.  We don’t need to mourn the loss of Him on the cross. I find this so encouraging. Of course the apostles are still doubtful.  They still feel lost, maybe even a bit abandoned.  Philip pleads with Jesus:

“Lord, show us the Father and it is enough for us.” John 14:8

 Oh, don’t you just feel for Philip here? How many of us have gotten down on our knees and begged our Heavenly father to just show Himself so that we may believe that everything is going to be ok! Jesus responds but reminding Philip that knowing Him means knowing our Father. Then, he makes a promise:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever,even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:15-17

 Enter: THE HOLY SPIRIT!! If you are like me, you might struggle to really conceptualize The Holy Spirit.  I often think to myself, what is it exactly?  Is it a person, a spiritual being, is it just a representation of Jesus’ love for us? My NIV study Bible says this about The Holy Spirit: “The Holy Spirit is the very presence of God within us and all believers, helping us live as God wants and building Christ’s church on earth. By faith we can appropriate the Spirit’s power each day.” I did lots of reading and research about The Holy Spirit this week. I think he or she or it is underestimated.  For me, it’s easy to forget about the strong power of The Holy Spirit in my day to day life. Jesus told us in John 14 that The Holy Spirit is another advocate to help us and be with us forever. Isn’t that what we all want in this life? An advocate to comfort, counsel and encourage us? I’m going to challenge myself and our readers to focus our attention this week on The Holy Spirit in our lives.  It is truly one of the greatest gifts given to us by Jesus. Are we watching for and listening to the voice of the Spirit in our lives?  Are we quiet enough to hear?

“You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.  And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming.” John 14:28-30

 Have a great week with Jesus and the gift of The Holy Spirit