Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

04/15/2020

Charles Cash

1938-2018

 

Important Life Values

 

  We must all learn to distinguish between the essential and the nonessential in life. There are immediate values and ultimate values. One of the greatest challenges facing the Christian is that of prioritizing his or her life. A principle point of wisdom is found in knowing how to value things just as they deserve.

 

  Paul tells us: “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day... So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”(2 Corinthians 4:16, 18) In other words, the “temporary” are immediate values; the “eternal” are ultimate values. “Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter (of great immediate value). He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as a greater value (ultimate value) than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.” (Hebrews 11:24-26)

 

  An ancient king, as the story goes, called the wise men of his court together and asked them to compose a sentence which would apply equally to all things and all places. Some time later they came back with their answer: “This too shall pass away.” The apostle John wrote, “The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” (I John 2:17) There are two great classifications of things: Things that concern us and things that don’t concern us. Would to God that all of us would be concerned with that which outlasts our life here, the eternal, of ultimate value. No one can really live for God until all things are in order, where they belong.

 

“All that pleases is for a moment.

All that which troubles is but for a moment.

That only is important which is eternal.”

 

Paul had one great, overriding, ultimate goal! "One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14) It is better to say, “one thing I do,” than to say, “These forty things I dabble in.” The things we dabble in may be good and right, but they are temporary and only of immediate value. They can never take the place of the eternal, which is of ultimate value. The second best must never become the enemy of the best. Things of immediate value are only, at best, temporary. They can never satisfy the longings of the soul. We would do well to pray the prayer of William Cowper: “O God, defend me from the task of dropping buckets into empty wells, and growing old in drawing nothing up.” Renan, a noted French philosopher who had walked a treacherous road of doubt, near the end of his life said: “We are living on the perfume of an empty vase.” Without God and His ultimate values, we live on the “perfume of an empty vase.” Our trouble is twofold. First, we usually measure things by material rather than spiritual values. Second, we tend to measure thingsby time rather than eternity.


  Material things are important. God gave us “richly all things to enjoy.” But spiritual things are more important. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2) Why?  Because spiritual verities have “promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” (I Timothy 4:8)

 

  You’ve heard the old saying: “It won’t matter one hundred years from now.” No, it won’t matter one whit with the material, the temporary; but, yes, it will matter inestimably with the eternal, the spiritual. Take the long view in setting priorities. What will be important one hundred years or a thousand years from now must, of necessity, be the most important things in our life today. Focus on ultimate values! Don’t lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. How foolish to spend our lives on things “that perish with using” and not give priority to the spiritual welfare of the soul in eternity!

 

—Charles Cash

     1938– 2018