Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love Me more.”
In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, “In cares and pleasures,
Christian, love Me more than these.”
Jesus calls us! By Thy mercies,
Savior, may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thy obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all!
From “Jesus Calls Us,” by Cecil Frances Alexander, 1818–1895.
How true that the Lord calls us over the tumult of life’s wild, restless sea! Some time ago, I mentioned to you that I was sitting in a little coffee shop overlooking the ocean here, and I was watching the boats far out to sea, and that I was dreaming of the Crystal Sea.
Suddenly, I became conscious that a man at the next table was saying something very interesting and loud enough for us to hear. His companion had asked him the question, “Why did you dismiss Henry from your office force?” And the man replied, “Well, he had no sense of values! He didn’t value life, health, or money. This began to affect my business: whenever I wanted him, he was taking a coffee break. It seemed to me he valued a cup of coffee more than his job. And I warned him a number of times.”
I thought about that a good deal as I was meditating on it: “A cup of coffee rather than a good position.” And the little sail boats kept skimming over the water just as a light wind had risen. I thought how many people just go skimming over the surface things of life and never have any sense of values, like the man that he was speaking of, just living off the nonessentials and the inconsequential things of life, crowding out the things that are worthwhile, and robbing them of the things that are, in the long run, really worthwhile.
No man or woman will ever be great in life or soul if they haven’t any real sense of values. I read a little article that told of a woman who ruined a dollar pair of gloves as she tried to salvage a dime from an oily driveway, and of a man that lit a dollar bill to find a quarter lost in the gutter.
You say, that’s just foolish talk! Well, there is such a thing—there is such a lack of a sense of values in the world that it wouldn’t be too surprising if even such extreme things as that could happen. I wonder sometimes what’s the matter with our confused old world. On a stupendous scale, we have put the emphasis on material things instead of spiritual things! I think that’s what’s the matter. This fallacy has brought our generation to the brink of ruin. No man is a real Christian who puts the emphasis on material things.
Christ’s emphasis was always on the spiritual. What’s the great, outstanding purpose of life; what are we here for? Well, we’ve been entrusted with some sacred responsibilities, and our responsibilities are from God Himself.
But God is not first to this generation. Is He first to you? Too often He’s shoved aside by some of us, and some little silly bit of uselessness is given first place.
God doesn’t fit in a second place! I’ve said that so often. I repeat it again: God cannot fit in a second place/ He fits nowhere but first, and there are certain things He has entrusted us with that fit only in a first place also. You can’t put them secondarily and be right with God.
Trivial temporal things so often are put first, and God and His Word crowded into a secondary place. If that’s the case, all of life is just thrown out of balance, and the result is only disharmony, disruption and confusion. Serious things are happening to our nation, whose luxuries and soft life, you know it as well as I, it’s caused them to forget God, and many of our leaders are leaving God out of the equation entirely.
First things aren’t first, and how we need God, and how we need His help today, for the skies are already darkening with coming judgment! I believe only prayer can save us now, only repenting and calling on God and putting Him back in His rightful place.
I wonder, are the great realities of life in the proper perspective in your life? Have you a sense of values? Or do you let little trivialities and material things come before the reading of God’s Word and prayer? Do you excuse yourself by saying, “I’m busy; I don’t have time”? Maybe you’d better question your own heart about your sense of values.
The Bible contains the very Word of God. There is life in that Word, that precious Bible, that’s food for your soul. It’s absolutely essential to the growth of your soul. If you don’t have time for it, then your soul’s going to starve, and you’re certainly going to be a dwarf spiritually.
Prayer is communion with God. Without prayer you walk unempowered, in your own strength and wisdom. And the tyranny of sin will soon overwhelm you, and Satan will have the victory. God’s Word says, “Without me, ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5) On the other hand, it says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)
That strength comes only through prayer and the reading of God’s Word. You can hardly depend for the strength needed on a weak little hurried verse, or a little tiny prayer just before you hop into bed half asleep and sort of dazed! You couldn’t call that “seeking first.” (Matthew 6:33)
I had an acquaintance who spent all of her years scraping, digging, slaving to build and decorate a little cottage where she could be comfortable for a few years, and just a few months after it was finished, she was stricken. At her bedside she said to me, “Time is closing in on me. There isn’t any left for me, and I spent the little I had on things that have not a bit of value to the place where I’m going.” She had a sense of values too late! Is it going to come too late to you? Death has a way of giving the proper perspective to dimming, dying eyes.
I wish sometimes we could see all the events of life framed in the ultimate results they lead to. What a change there would be in our lives! We wouldn’t take and make such silly excuses for putting our Bible reading and prayer in the secondary place, and we’d not give ourselves to trivialities when eternal things are calling.
The one that lives for time instead of eternity has no sense of values. It happens every day that someone will say, not by their word perhaps, but by their actions, “I just don’t care about getting the mansions in heaven, and I’m not so interested in these eternal things. Give me rather a mansion here and a crown here, with a little fame and glory here, and perhaps a few baubles here, and the favor of man and the pleasures of sin for a season, and I’ll be a little satisfied here.”
The King of kings and the Lord of lords, who has offered them a robe of righteousness, a crown of glory, an eternal home among the many mansions there, is put aside just for these “other things” that really have no value.
Will you bow your heads in just a word of prayer? Our Father in heaven, we pray that Thou wilt help us to have a keen sense of values, and the realization that we are put here to prepare for eternity and not for time, that our citizenship is in heaven. God help us to understand.
God is still on the throne, and prayer changes things.