Our first value expects us to live a genuine life, a life that demonstrates the reality of who we are in Christ. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” This new creation represents the truest form of authenticity: being re-made in the likeness of God. Paul also instructs us in Ephesians 4 to “put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
In order to live authentically, we must draw from the power of the Word of God. ”For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:12).
Our second value highlights that focus given to us through the grace of God. Paul tells us that “the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works (Titus 2:11-14). The grace of God, which brought us the free gift of salvation, teaches us to live for God while we wait for His appearance. Our new life is filled with new purposes and anticipation.
Our third values models the life of Jesus. In Philippians 2, we find that we should “have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:5-7). Essentially, we are told to “do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4). Our value of generosity is demonstrated in any and every aspect of our lives—our time, our talents, and our treasures.
Our final core value represents what’s needed to live out our mission. This core value comes from the command that Jesus leaves with His disciples. Jesus tells them “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). The extension of this expectation calls us to live tenaciously. We realize that we are on this earth for a purpose and with that purpose, our perspective changes. Paul further demonstrates this tenacity by expressing the following:
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
Between the command of Jesus and the example of Paul, we find our commitment to this tenacious lifestyle. We cannot forget that any tenacity we demonstrate flows from what God has already begun in us (Philippians 1:6). Our tenacity flows from what God is doing in us and not from what we can do for God.