Core Values Explained - Briefly
Core values are measurable criteria that we have in place to help us determine how we are doing in walk and relationship with God and each other. They are not the basic or foundational teachings that we hold to, but building bricks upon which, we choose to conduct ourselves. Below are a brief outline of these values that we seek to practise in our daily lives.
1) Loving God and Loving Each Other - Jesus said this was the most important commandment - to love God and each other with everything we are and have (1). Not that anyone of us would claim to have reached such a lofty goal, but we endeavour to make room for the Holy Spirit to flow and help us to become more loving in this vital area.
The more we love God, others and ourselves, helps us to reflect more of the nature and character of our God (2), who loved us when we were at our worst (3). In addition, love is the hallmark that enables us to follow the teachings of scripture, not out of duty or religious observance of rules or regulations, but from hearts that want to please Him.
2) God’s Presence - Time and again in the scriptures, when people were facing challenging situations, God assured them that He was with them (4), therefore they had no need to be fearful or worried.
God is everywhere (5), there isn’t a place on this earth where He cannot be found. He has promised never to leave or forsake us (6), irrespective of how we may have behaved or conducted ourselves! Being conscious of His Presence should affect every area of our lives, whether it be in our home, workplace, school, church, or our private, public or family life, and also what we do whether it be in our relationships, recreation and relaxation, or working, including our conversations with others - everything should be done as if we are doing it for Him! (7) In short being aware of His Presence should be a way of life and will affect our attitudes, behaviour and conduct!
3) Bringing Heaven to Earth - God’s plan has always been for earth to mirror what heaven is like. Jesus taught this principle, when He taught His disciples to pray (8). This can only be achieved as we learn to imitate Jesus in our daily lives and by seeking to minister His character traits whenever we come across situations where these are lacking. Whether it be sickness, disease, pain, brokenness, or emptiness - none of these are found in heaven!
Time and again Jesus shows His expectations of us (9). Sometimes these may not always be easy. but with His help come within our grasp (10). However, He would not make demands of us without giving us the grace and the ability to see them through. So wherever we go, we are able to bring the very life and presence of Jesus into lives and situations that have been totally messed up. What a wonderful responsibility this is for us to follow!
4) Revealing the Heart of the Father - Jesus made it so clear that the reason He came was to reveal the Father (11), to a world that had a completely wrong concept of what God is like. Today, the situation has not changed a lot. People still do not understand how good the Father is, and how He wants to have a meaningful relationship with everyone, if only they would allow Him.
Jesus came to earth in response to the plans of His Father, who wanted to remove the barrier that separated God from mankind (12). Today, God still lovingly reaches out to everyone who does not know Him, in order that a loving and meaningful relationship might be established!
Everyone Jesus fed, touched, ministered to or healed, was in response to what His Father expectations (13). Even those who went against the laws of Moses experienced the Father’s grace and mercy through Jesus (14) therby revealing His Father’s heart!
5) Honour One Another - To honour (15) means that we love and treat each other with respect, even though they may not have earned it, or have chosen to live in a way that we may not approve of. Honouring one another means that we look for the goodness of God in their lives in order that we may encourage or build them up, rather than criticising or finding fault. Such an approcah mirrors the attitude of Jesus who gave His life for us when we were at our worst (16), He didn’t wait for us to improve or get our act together first before we could be accepted by Him.
The Bible makes it very clear that we are to honour our parents, this can have and effect on our life span (17). Our parents may not have done everything that we may approve of or expected, yet they were the ones who gave us life - by which we are able to know and fellowship with God - something we should all give thanks for. Now if we can be thankful to God for our parents who God has given the responsibilty in nurturing and bringingus up, then we should be able to honour those around us. By so doing God is able to work through us in reaching out and making His presence known to a wider community - irrespective of the challenges and difficulties we may all have to face throughout life (18).
6) The Power of the Gospel - Whenever a general won a great victory, the person who publicly announced the news was known to be a herald of the gospel. Though ‘Gospel’ generally means ‘good news’, in fact it is far better than the best news you could ever receive or experience. Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection shows us that satan, sin, death and hell have been defeated. Paul explains further that Jesus made His victory a public demonstration (19) of what He had accomplished. Paul defines this even further by saying that we are as a fragrance that triumphantly spreads the victory of Christ wherever we go (20). We therefore choose to celebrate Christ’s supreme victory and not to focus upon the work of the enemy.
The message of the Gospel is one which includes forgiveness of sin, healing of the body, mind and emotions, enabling us to live victorious lives in Christ, knowing that one day we will be reunited with all truly born again believers who have gone on before.
7) Transferable Ability - Jesus expected us to do the things He had been doing and even greater things (21). He commanded us to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers and set free those under evil spirits (22). His Holy Spirit has also been given to us to help us live the Christian life victoriously, which includes imitating Christ by doing the very things He did when on earth. Jesus also gave us the authority to teach others to do the things He had been saying and doing (23). This is why we love praying and laying hands upon others in order that they might begin to see how good the Father really is!
8) Expect the Miraculous - Why would Jesus command us to heal the sick etc. if the sick would not be healed? The supernatural is not an end in itself, but points to something that is far greater. As believers we should expect to see God’s intervening power at work in lives, whether they choose to follow Him or not! Miracles are an indication that God is alive, and wants to be involved in the hearts and lives of His children. The Bible points to those who experienced the supernatural intervention of God and as a result lives were impacted (24). After all, God has not changed (25), and still wants to impact people’s lives. Something we have proved time and again over the years!
9) A Message of Hope - Numerous people came or were brought to Jesus with a variety of ailments, conditions or situations and they all left Him in a better way than they had come. Even a wealthy businessman, though saddened, left knowing the next step he should take (26). People soon began to realise that even a chance meeting with Jesus would have a positive effect upon them (27). After Jesus had ministered, taught and healed the people, He sent His disciples to minister as He did because Jesus saw that people were stressed and harassed, not having anyone to lead them (28).
Conclusion - It is our desire that these core values would become more real as we allow them to become part of our daily lives. After all it is only right for these to impact us first, before we can expect these truths to impact others. I pray that together we will continue to enjoy the journey already begun in allowing these to flow out of us in our everyday lives