WHERE DOES JESUS RANK IN YOUR LIST OF PRIORITIES?
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: MATTHEW 6:33
’But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of Godand His Righteousness and All These Things Shall Be Added unto You.’
I’d like to ask you a question this morning and I would like for you to think upon it for a moment before you begin to answer it in your mind. Since you’re not going to answer it out loud; no one around you will be aware of your answer. No one will know your answer but you. Oh, yeah, there is one more that will know your answer. Jesus will also know your answer. He knows the question I’m going to ask you before I even speak it. He knows your answer and He also knows whether or not your answer is a TRUTHFUL ANSWER. You see, Jesus knows everything about us. He knows us better then we know ourselves. Sometimes we hide things from other people. We don’t want them to know "OUR BUSINESS." Sometimes we pretend to be one thing in the eye of the public but when we feel their eye is no longer upon us we resort back to what we really are. Then again, sometimes we hide ourself from ourself. Let me explain. Sometimes we don’t like to admit even to ourself who or what we have become. We just keep denying it over and over. However, denying what we know is true only makes it worse.
There is ONE we can hide absolutely NOTHING from. As I said, He knows us better than anyone. Jesus knows every time we sit down and every time we get up within a day. I dare say we don’t even keep track of something so unimportant. The LORD knows the number of hairs that are upon our head. (For some of us we are making it quite easy for Him. The numbers are low.) Jesus even knows "Our Thoughts" from a long way off. So regardless of how we will answer this question, Jesus knows IF we are answering it correctly or not.
Here is my question. In your list of priorities, the things that are the most important to you, where does God and Jesus rank? What is important to you and your life? What do you count as first, number ONE? How do you show it?
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Just because you may say with words, a particular thing may be number one in your life, words are not proof. There is an old saying,"The Proof is in the Pudding." The most important thing to you is determined by how much time you spend with it, tending to it, and also how you live your life.
People who know you fairly well and spend some time with you will know what is the most important thing in your life without you having to tell them. Just by spending time with you and listen to your conversations and observing your conduct, they can figure you out pretty good. Now if people can figure us out, how much more can God figure us out by just keeping a close watch on our daily living.
What is it that we would consider: "TOP PRIORITY." It ranks at the very top of the list? Many times we refer to Jesus as "Our Lord" and in our testimonies we may say something like this,"I love the LORD!" The term "LORD" refers to the one who we give way to and he has been given the permission and the authority to "rule" and to "govern" over our lives. If He is really "LORD" then He has absolute control over us. We do exactly as He says without hesitation. Nothing or no one comes before Him.
Is Jesus’ lordship something that you think about before you make your daily decisions? Before you go to a certain place, do you think about what sort of effect it will have on your relationship with Christ? Do you stop to seek how He feels about you going there, or doing that certain thing? On what do you set your heart and your mind? Are you carnally minded or are you spiritually minded?
I have found out in my own life and also by observing other people, words come real cheap. It is easy to say,"Jesus is First in My Life," especially when we are in church with people who should say the same about Jesus and their lives. Jesus looks much farther than our words, He looks at the way we live, our actions. A man’s actions will reveal who or what his god is.
Another way to determine what is first in our life is to examine the amount of time we spend associated with it. For example, if "Football" is the most important thing in our life, then we are going to spend every spare moment playing football, watching others play football,, or we are going to be talking about football. If football is really important to you, then the man or woman who works beside of you throughout the week will know it by just listening to you throughout the week. If your children are your priority then you are going to spend time with your children and you will be found showing even strangers their photos from your wallet or your purse. You’ll share with others the cute things they do that make you glow with pride. Your heart and your mind is set upon the thing that is the most important to you.
Is God your priority? Do you find time for God? How long has it been since you sat down and had a long heart to heart conversation with Him? How long has it been since you came to Him without asking Him for anything, you just wanted to know more about Him? How long has it been since you picked up His holy word and began to read it, slow and with thought, allowing it to sink deep into your heart and your mind. Like David, have you "hid His word in your heart, that you might not sin against God?" How long since you just broke out in a chorus of praise, expressing worship and adoration unto Him? How long since you stood up in church and gave a testimony of just how much He means to you and how much you love Him and how thankful you are for the things He has done for you?
What about the things you spend your money on? Going back to the football I mentioned earlier. If football is the most important thing to you, you will be buying footballs, football tickets to watch your favorite teams play, you’ll buy football jerseys with a certain players name and number on it. And you won’t regret it. Because you love it so much you don’t mind spending your money on it. It brings you joy and satisfaction. The same then is true also with God. When He is your priority then you give to see His work progress and so that others may know Him like you do. You give in offerings and you are faithful with your tithing and giving. After all, He has been so good to you, it is the least you could do for Him.
Are you willing to trust God? Are you willing to take a step of faith and take Him at His word? Are you willing to push other things aside so that He will be first in your life? Or, does Jesus always have to take a back seat to other things and other people. Sorry God, something else came up and I had to ....? Do we obey Him or are we hung up doing our won things, regardless of what God wants?
Church, dear Christian, we must make a decision. We cannot ride the spiritual fence, we can no longer ride back and forth between two decisions. Man cannot serve God and mammon.
Sure life is busy. But if you neglect your soul, then you have neglected the most important part of your life. Within a few days I will have a birthday. Number 53! WOW! You know what? Time flys! It’s gone before you know it. Here it is the last of April and it just seems like a week or so that it was Christmas. Beloved we were not made to stay here. It is time that we get our priorities in their proper place.
You will never be sorry when the Lord is 1st! Never. Jesus said,"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." When you put Jesus first He will always take care of you and you will be receiving much more than you will be giving.
Psalm 37:4 "Delight thyself in the LORD, and He shall give thee the desires of your heart."
I often think of the words Paul wrote to Timothy, his son in the faith. "Lay hold on eternal life." Isn’t that what really matters? I have never seen a U HAUL following a hearse. I’ve conducted a lot of funerals but never have I witnessed a RENTAL TRUCK unloaded anything in one’s grave. We can work for years and accumulate one thing after another thing. But when we die, it all stays for other people to divide among themselves and for friends and loved ones to argue over.
When I was a small boy, I can remember my mother having this certain picture hanging in our living room. Underneath the picture were these words:
ONLY ONE LIFE, SO SOON IT WILL PASS
ONLY WHAT IS DONE FOR CHRIST WILL LAST
I fear that the church of today has failed so many times to prove to the lost and dying world around us, that Jesus is OUR PRIORITY. We preach about it. We sing about it. We put up signs about it. But do we show by our actions?
The rich young ruler walked away from Jesus with a sad heart. His wealth meant more to him than anything else. He passed up life’s most precious thing, Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, King of Kings and Lord of Lord. What is the most important thing in your life? Why not make it Jesus right now. Invite Him in and give Him that reserved place. You;ll never regret it!