As I grew up, I often took for granted many blessings from God like family, health and food. But among the things I didn’t always haven, these were some of the things I valued and wanted:

Getting my own way – what I wanted vs what my parents wanted many times
Fun & Games – for example Sport, Hobbies, Chess
Making Money so I could spend it on pleasures and feel like a winner
Being smarter at school – academic achievement
Computer games & computer programming
Personal Pride of achievement and being wise in my own eyes.
Personal pleasure
Occult fantasy games like Dungeons and Dragons
Then – having a girlfriend.

These were some of my values as a child and adolescent while I was a churchgoing kid, but before I was converted to Christ. At the same time, I had a great head knowledge of so many Bible stories and verses – but the truth did not penetrate much at a heart level. We can know a lot in our heads and very little at a heartfelt level.

Even though I had heard of Jesus and joined in the singing because these were the words in the hymn books, I had very little appreciation until much later for the true value of Christ.

So what is truly valuable to us today?

There is a difference between things that have no value, things that have a limited but real temporal value, and things that have an eternal value.

Even though Satan would like to, he hasn’t been able to convince most people to worship him directly. So instead, he has to settle for getting people to worship and serve the other created things, and the works of their own hands, rather than the True Source of all Goodness and value – which is the Living God Himself – who came to us in the person of Jesus Christ. What do your thoughts turn to when you have a free moment? That will give you an insight into the supreme values you actually have.

If we would like to know what is the difference between where we are and where we could be, a lot of it gets down to idolatry and worldliness. What do I mean by these words? Basically, what I mean is this: we value something more than Jesus. We think that thing – that achievement, that relationship, that possession is more valuable for us than the personal, experiential knowledge of Jesus at this time. And it shows by what we give our attention to, what we say and then what we do.

Worldliness is not about dealing with the things of the world, but rather about being spiritually motivated by the basic principles of the world in our dealings in life. What are these principles?

Lust
Greed
Pride

If you analyse the reasons why adult people do what they do, it usually comes down to these three things. Freud said that people do things for only two reasons – the sexual urge, and a desire to be great. That comes close to the truth in many cases, but the Bible gives us a fuller picture.

Desire for physical satisfaction – especially sexual desire, but also the desire for food and other substances which can become an out of control harmful controlling desire. – this is what the lust of the flesh is.

Secondly, desire for money and financial power is a principal motivation in the world today. Many are consumed by the desire to have more money and things, and will make great sacrifices – physically, emotionally and spiritually – to have more of what the world can give in exchange for money and riches.

The third thing is pride. People are motivated to do things to get a feeling of importance or a satisfying a desire to be great. People are motivated by the thought of being highly esteemed and personally valued as superior because of what they have achieved. People want to be able to boast, and to feel good about themselves because of what they have or what they have achieved. This could be in the field of academia, in sport, in relationships, in business or in any other area. As a schoolteacher and formerly as a student, I can say that a lot of what motivates and drives a school is PRIDE. It is even stated as a core value of some schools I have worked in.

Jesus came to give us a completely different set of values.

The spiritual motivations of God’s Kingdom are not lust, greed and pride – but rather LOVE, and the glory of God. These two things are the only right ultimate motives for any of our thoughts, words and deeds. Love is all about seeking to please God and benefit all in His world. The concern for the glory and honor of God is about God’s reputation in the world, the knowledge of His presence and goodness, the thankfulness people show God,  and the value we all put on His thoughts, His will and His ways.

It is OK to love yourself. It is good to want a good outcome for yourself. For example, we should want to be saved. We should want to be healthy. We should want to have our needs met. We should want eternal rewards. We can want and obtain these things as we love ourselves. But the most sure fire way of getting these needs met is through putting Jesus and His Kingdom first.

We should love ourselves, but the Bible also says to love our neighbor AS ourselves (Luke 10:27). This means we should be so full of God’s love that we care as much about the people around us as we do about ourselves. This is one reason we should all be involved in soul-winning or supporting the winning of souls to Christ through the gospel. Your soul and your future is important to God – but the same is just as true of every person alive on earth today. Do we care?

The only way to have this kind of love flowing is to love and trust God the Father fully, an yield to God’s Spirit as He speaks to us through the Scriptures and through other people.

And the only way we will love and trust God fully is if we can come to Him through Jesus. To do this, we need to learn to appreciate and place a proper value on Jesus Himself.

Jesus described the Kingdom as a treasure buried in a field, as a pearl of Great Price which a man sells all he has to obtain. That is a picture of the supreme value we should see in Him and His Kingdom.

Jesus showed God’s love so fully when He gave up everything and consented to taking the disgusting filth of our sins and our curses upon Himself so that we could have God’s blessings instead of the condemnation we deserve.

The more you and I see value of Jesus the more we will be willing to give up in order to focus on Him and communicate with Him so we can do His will and be like Him.

How much do you value Jesus? Do you put Him FIRST?

Here are 5 areas in which Jesus must be first if indeed He is truly first in our lives.

FINANCES
INTERESTS
RELATIONSHIPS
SCHEDULE
TROUBLE

How are you going to make Him first if you cannot really connect in your heart with the true value He has? If He is not real to you? We need to pray and be prayed for that Jesus becomes much more real to us. Otherwise, we won’t give up the comforts and pleasures of life sometimes in order to know Him experientially.  If Jesus is not sufficiently revealed to our hearts, we will also be unwilling to suffer the pain that comes at times when we place Him first.

Also, if you see others are not putting Him first, the best thing you can do is pray much for them. And then, you may well need to be the person through whom Jesus reveals himself. This normally happens through kind actions, but also through telling the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit.

I think that today it is next to impossible to put Jesus first unless we regularly seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

We are instructed to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and to speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.

Use whatever free time you have to seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit and then to do the things written in the Bible that would match what a disciple or apprentice of Jesus might be doing in the world. Those things include things like telling others about Jesus’ death and resurrection, casting out demons, healing the sick and meeting urgent needs.

At the foundation of our Christian walk is our values. Our core value needs to be Jesus Christ Himself – all that He is, all that is an expression of His will and all He represents. The Scriptures should be deeply valued by all of us because they reveal Jesus. Prayer is our connection with Jesus. Knowing Christ and making Him known should be our life mission.

In this article I haven’t gone into depth about all the tremendous value that comes through Jesus – but one day I hope to. Things like love, acceptance, forgiveness, cleansing, purpose, home, dignity, nobility. Temporal blessings like provision, health, a better society, knowledge, prosperity and a good natural family life. We should thank God and appreciate Him for all these things as well.

Real value, then, is found in Jesus Christ. He is the source of value to us. We will be blessed and happy if we value Him as He deserves to be valued – valuing Him above all the things He created and is sustaining by His power.