bits from bob....
A study of human values is always interesting, but a month in Latin America makes more striking the contrast of values in today's world. In our materialistic world with 21st century values, the Bible sounds a strange chord. "Be content with what you have" (Heb. 13:5). These words follow the admonition, "Let Your conduct be without covetousness." Paul echoes a similar thought in Colossians 3 when he lists greed as part of the earthly nature.
Bible verses reflecting similar thoughts can be multiplied. A man's life does not consist in the things he possesses. Do not lay up treasures on earth. Where your treasure is, there is your heart. Seek kingdom things first. I have learned to exist in want, and in abundance.
Consider an illustration of this contrast in values. I know a Latin America preacher who may have to leave his work in the church for lack of support. I know such does not sound strange, for missions work are constantly challenged by the need for funding. What makes this unique in my mind is that this brother needs only $300 per month. For $10 per day, this brother with a strong ministry history in planting and growing churches, evangelizing, strengthening new Christians in the faith, and developing mature Christians in his own culture can move ahead.
When churches raise thousands or even millions of dollars for buildings and various self-centered projects, I wonder about our values. When our priorities as Christians reflect wants more than needs, I wonder about our values.
It seems certain that our society has generally bought into the idea that wealth means contentment, and that shopping and buying more things is the way to happiness. The real challenge is not, "What does our world think? What are the values of our world?" The real question is, "What are our values?"
I, for one, am going to take a little of God's blessings in my life and help this brother stay active in his work for a few more months. If you would like to help too, or would like more information, I encourage you to contact me at the email address below or:
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