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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Seven Core Values of a Jesus Follower

Seven Core Values of a Jesus FollowerHere are the seven core values that emanate from my Jesus center. This is my Jesus-grid. If you cut me, this is what I bleed.

Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Life: What's My Spiritual Center?

Seven Core Values of a Jesus Follower

By Evan Nehring

Why is it such a big deal for a declared Jesus-follower to boldly define Jesus as the center of his life? It appears to be from the Department of Redundancy Department. But it’s more than that. If Jesus is unequivocally central in my life, nothing else can be placed at the center.

Oh no! My Green Bay Packers! My iPhone apps! My home fix-it list! My writing! Constantly coming back to TZX—to live is Christ—helps me keep those things from slipping to the center.

Seven Core Values of a Jesus Follower

But there’s a greater point to be made. A Jesus-center implies that Jesus is at the center of SOMETHING! Life is full and rich! There’s room for Green Bay Packers, iPhone apps, home fix-it lists and writing, but it’s not random. Jesus saturates every area of our lives.

Here are the seven core values that emanate from my Jesus center. This is my Jesus-grid. If you cut me, this is what I bleed. Scarcely a day goes by where these seven values don’t go through my head.
Worship: A lifetime of passionately pursuing God in worship and leading people into his presence.

Devotions: A lifetime of meaningful connecting with God through the great varieties of prayer and the Word.

Family & Friends: A lifetime of pouring my life and love into Colleen, Megan & Tim, Wade, Jason, extended family and friends.

Outreach: A lifetime of passionately reaching out to people: smoldering wicks, bruised reeds, the broken, the weak, the lost, the bound, the sick, the storm-tossed.

Character: A lifetime of being changed daily to have the heart and hands of my humble king.

Personal Management: A lifetime of harnessing every personal resource for God's glory: time, money & career, health, possessions.

Kingdom Story: A lifetime of finding my place in the eternal story of God's pursuit of mankind.

So it ends up looking like this:

Seven Core Values of a Jesus Follower

Conversion of Purpose

Having a Jesus center is great. It’s vital. But what does it mean? How does a Jesus-center get out of bed in the morning? What does it have for breakfast? How does every day filter through my Jesus-grid?

My conversion was not a drugs-to-Jesus story. Growing up in the home of God-loving, pastor-type parents, I always knew the what of salvation. Turns out that what I ultimately needed was the why.

I remember snotting up the front of an auditorium in Brandon, Manitoba at a youth convention and meeting God with a promise to try to live for him. I began reading my Bible and praying every day in my basement room on Minto Avenue in Kenora, Ontario, trying to get strong on the inside.

I wrote words on the back of my Grade 13 (no kidding) report card: words that at least come close to what I believe God spoke to my heart:
“Evan, my purpose for you is to be a model of purity and excellence to those around you. Many will see your light and be guided into my harbor of love. Do not forget what I have told you and let your light shine for me that many will be saved, to the glory of God.”
Living for God has become all about having a reason to live, a purpose.


How do you plan your life around Jesus? Please, take full liberty to have your own “system”. Remember, it’s all about making it personal! I want to hear how the Jesus in you gets out of your bed every morning!

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  1. I have never understood why time, the easiest resource to give, is always one of the hardest. Why is it such a struggle to get into daily devotional and prayer time. Why do I feel days and weeks slip right past me?
    How do I plan my life around Jesus? Well, I'm still trying to nail that one down. My heart yearns to the point of extreme anguish, trying to spend more time with God, trying to remember that Christ is living inside of me. Sometimes I wonder if He does get out of bed with me in the morning.

    Living life for Him, and remembering to live it with Him is difficult to wrap my head around. I struggle with focusing on how I fail to spend the time that I want to spend with Him, and get distracted from actually doing it.
    I'm moving to Reno to help plant a church. I know this is what I'm supposed to be doing, but it is so easy to lose sight of that. Turning into reminding myself that this is what God wants for me, instead of letting myself be reassured by Him.

    Planning my life around Jesus. I haven't figured out how to yet. How to draw that out, and practice it, no matter how much I wish I was already there.

    1. inthesteadofhate, I've stewed on your comment this evening and I may devote my next post to you. Still stewing.

      Let me say this, though. I think your first line is very significant. Time. I'm a freak about time and personal management. If I don't control my time, I lose it. Not to be overly dramatic, but that's almost like suicide.

      I think sometimes we think our spiritual answers should be spiritual, but they are actually very practical. I'm not planning to post on time management for quite a while, but, well...praying for you...

    2. Time is super precious. We only have so much "time" to do everything that is on our plate. I believe that God is well aware of our busy schedules. Do I feel that each one of us should indeed devote time to spend with God? Absolutely! However, I also believe that it may not always be quantity, but more so quality of time. God hears every word we say. He doesn't respond to longer prayers differently than short prayers. Often, we may only have "time" to say something quick. But God is there, and He is listening.

      I think we all need encouragement to spend more time with devotions and prayer. I would say that every christian would admit that he or she would choose to spend more time with God. However, don't lose hope or down yourself when "time" is tough to find. God loves all of us the same, as his sons and daughters.

  2. hey E'
    i'm concerned that in your 7 core values of your "Jesus center", you don't mention Jesus. also, "a lifetime of", seems to refer to "you", which is the preface to all the 7 values. i'm thinking you mean something different than what an emergent teacher would say. please let me know, so i can rest assured the "gospel only" is your message.

    1. Hey Big W, thanks for dropping by! I LOVE that friends can push back in our discussion here.

      So, 5 of my 7 core values use either "God" or "my king" and the other two are relational in a way I think honors him. I'm definitely a trinity guy, so Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all part of my core values.

      And when I begin each core value with "a lifetime of", yes, I'm talking about how I will personalize all of this. Please understand, this isn't a summary of all I believe about God. It's not the seven points of my theology. It's just how I choose to walk it out.

      Gospel only? Yes, it's the grace of God in Jesus that saves us, but then what? My seven core values are the "then what."

    2. E-man,
      thanks for getting back. it was really good to see you this week. it was also great to meet your friends, Jaco and Jessica. keep on keepin' on...

  3. Evan, I remember those days in Kenora! And let me say that you were an example to more than just your close circle of friends. Some of us regular schmucks also saw your life and it impacted me in ways I still cannot fully explain 27 years later.

    What the Lord has showed me is that everything you are talking about can be boiled down to one verse of Scripture, from Acts 2:42. "They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." (NASB)

    First, they continually devoted themselves. And not just to randomg things, they had specifics they were doing. First, the word of God. Second, Fellowship, first with the Lord, then with others of like faith, third to the breaking of bread, which speaks of worship, and prayer needs no explanation.

    I really enjoyed what you had to say. It makes me remember what God wants all of his sons and daughters to be - a light to the world and hope for the nations. God bless, brother!

    1. This is so kind of you to say, Gerry. I have great memories of high school, and I enjoyed hanging out with many groups and all kinds of people. I hope that since I was so into sports I wasn't the arrogant "I'm all that" jock guy. I have lots of great memories of the BBSS cafeteria and having fries and gravy with my friends.

      Love Acts 2:42!

  4. Well, I am not a morning person; so this has probably been my greatest struggle. I am learning ways that work for me; to make sure that God is the center of my life. I have recently been enjoying a new App on my phone called "My Bible". This app allows some really fun ways to dig into God's word. Currently, I am reading the chronological bible in a year plan.

    I have also picked back up my journaling. I have found this helps me to have a reference of where I am headed, what God is speaking to me, and where I have come from.

    Recently, God has spoken to me about two key points; spending enough time with my family and husband, and taking time to rest. I love the book "the Five Love Languages" and I have been reminded through this book to work hard at speaking my husband's love language. I also,have been working to make a better effort of setting time aside to rest each week. Now days, we are so busy doing and constantly going; that we forget to rest.

    Ultimately, I find that if I stop throughout my day to talk with God; my day goes smoother.

    1. Heather, you really shine a light on the tension we feel between the different areas of our lives: God, family, rest.... I guess that's why I like the cross graphic for the seven core values, because it shows clearly that our time in the word and in prayer is just a part of a full life!

  5. Evan, haha funny you mentioned Youth Convention in Brandon!
    Right now Evan, All I have to say on this one is
    By the Grace of God go I.
    Pretty short, yet very much my Core Values.. I am sure I have more. Outreach and Recovery.
    God Faith Hope.
    By the Grace of God go I...

    1. Tara, Outreach and Recovery are a huge part of how God is using you in his kingdom story. Blessed are the ones in need who find you.

    2. Thank you Evan, very much. Seems Outreach and Recovery, Teens - are where I am lead to. I dont do the counseling at all, all the back work which is awesome. And our FB page, that is my doing for the most part. It is so wonderful when God leads someone to us. Let go and Let God is my way of thinking or I try as not to forget that.
      Many in need, and sometimes we get so caught up in life, and trying to "fit" in the "right" circle at church that seeing the ones hurting and unsure is far to often. Sorry, I am not big on the "right look". Jesus mingled with those in need, the non-status (for lack of a better term right now) the sick,homeless, hungry, poor, he saw past a paycheck, clothing, job and saw people for whom they are. Once we let go of image and see a person is so wonderful.