What are your priorities? Many that are reading this I am sure just said, “My family,” and I would guess you meant your spouse, children, grandchildren or perhaps even your parents, and that would be a good and honorable answer, for “if any provide not for his own, and specially those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.” (1st Tim. 5:8) Perhaps you said your job or chosen career, and again, this would be a valued choice, for whether you are a physician, a construction worker, or a stay at home mom, you are employed in a task that can bring honor to God within yourself while performing it to the best of your ability, and by serving others with the opportunities to lift up the name of Jesus.
You may have even replied “Myself,” and again in the correct context this would be right, for our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, (1st Cor. 6:19) and as much as we are physically able to, we should take care of them. (1st Tim. 4:8) I will hazard a guess here that no one answered ‘myself’ in answer to the question and meant it in a self-serving way, for if so then you would have condemned yourself already, for we are clearly told in many places in the Scriptures to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him.
When Jesus was speaking to a crowd of people one day, He said that they should not be overly concerned with what they were going to eat or wear, for their Father in heaven knew of these needs and would meet them. (Matt. 25-34) Love is the key, and if we love Him, we will do. If we have a need, we must first seek the Kingdom of God, if we have a desire, we must with all prayer and supplication let the Lord know of it. (Phil. 4:6) On the short walk from Jerusalem to the garden on that fateful night, our Lord said more than once, “If you obey me,” There are stipulations.
Are you able to move all of your highest priorities, the people and things that you love the most dearly to second place? Think in these terms for a moment, if you will, your immediate family is more important to you than your extended family, your church family is more important to you than your Christian family that is half-way around the world, those that are saved hold a closer, more personal place in our hearts than the lost do. Human beings relegate their emotions by proximity, those who are closest are dearest to us. Forgive me if you are going through a time of suffering at this moment but are you aware that around 200,000 people die each day, how many did you mourn and weep for, how many entered the kingdom, and how many did not.
Our main priority, whether we like to admit it or not, is most generally ourselves. I do not mean this in a narcissistic way, but in what could best be termed a self-preservation way, for your flesh will not allow you to run into a burning structure to save another’s life, unless it is properly attired, you cannot just dive to the bottom of the ocean, have a seat and enjoy the view. Notwithstanding the physical limitations the flesh demands of us, the mind will not usually allow the body to enter a place that will terminate its existence. Many who have failed suicide attempts report that at the last moments before they were revived there was an overwhelming and compelling desire to live.
In Matthew 16 Jesus said that whoever would lose their lives for His sake would find it, and of course He was not speaking about ending our earthly lives, although no man has greater love than this, that he lay down his life for his friends, (John 15:13) but instead He was telling us what our priorities should be. Mans one purpose in this short life, our one and only priority, should be to glorify God, all else is secondary. If you are doing a nine-to-five, do it to glorify God, if you are raising children, if you are assisting the elderly, if you are writing letters for a website, do it all for the glory of God, there is no other reason for our existence.
We have already answered the question of how we can do this in our daily routines, but these would be examples only, and none of the lost will ever hear of the love of Jesus by our examples only, we must open our mouths. Some of you just thought, “That’s scary, I don’t know if I can do that,” and you would be right, you can’t, only the Holy Spirit know the words that each individual you meet needs to hear, and unless you are a public speaker to either small or large groups, that is who he will send you to, individuals, people who were created in His image. We are to prepare for this by studying daily His Word.
If you are still in the work force and those that you are around daily do not know that you are a child of God, why not? I can give you the answer right here, because even though they may think of you as a ‘nice person,’ an ‘okay guy,’ they have not heard one word that sets you apart from them. When one has approached you with some good news that has occurred in their lives, you did not respond with “Well, praise God,” or “Hey, That’s a blessing.” When sadness has entered their realm, you did not say “I’ll pray for you,” or “It can be difficult to know what God has in store for each of us.”
Some will respond, others will begin to see you as ‘that religious person,’ for the latter you can inform them that you do not have a religion, you have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. For the former, for those who respond in a positive way and want to know more, well, that’s why you have been studying your Bible every day, why you have been seeking the will of God and praying for His guidance every day, right? That’s why a long time ago you made your first and only priority your service and submission to our Lord, He became your number one goal, so you could help your brothers and sisters in Christ, lead the lost to Him, raise up God-fearing, Christ-centered children, serve Him well and honorably in your employment area and in each and every avenue of your life. That’s why He is now and always will be the first priority in your life, right?
You have one purpose in this life, to glorify God, begin to fulfill it, today, right now.