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Summary: A few short thoughts from Matt. 6 that will help us make important changes with God’s help in the coming year.

Life Priorities for the Coming Year

Matthew 6:25-34 25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Intro: The beginning of the year is a great time to make some adjustments in your life. You might call it an annual checkup or tune up. Some of us might need a complete overhaul. If so, I know Someone who is really good at that sort of thing! He does internal overhauls, extreme makeover heart edition, Divine Design, This Old House Made New, and many more!

-The temptation we often have around New Years is to try to manufacture these changes ourselves. We try to muster the inspiration and intestinal fortitude to change areas of our life with which we are unhappy. And as most of us know, sometimes it only takes a few days or weeks until we don’t even remember what we were trying to accomplish in the first place.

-There was a man who moved into a retirement community to spend the rest of his life there. It wasn’t long until he had made a number of friends. There was one lady he was especially attracted to, and she was attracted to him as well. They spent a lot of time together doing whatever people do in retirement communities. Finally one evening he proposed, asking her to marry him.

-The next morning he woke up and remembered his proposal, but he couldn’t remember her answer. So he approached his lady friend and said, "I’m really embarrassed. I proposed to you last night but I can’t remember if you said ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’” “Oh, thank goodness!” she replied. “I remembered saying ‘Yes’ but I couldn’t remember who asked me.” [adapted from Craig Smee, sermoncentral.com]

-We too can forget important things quite easily as we move through life. So today, I want to keep things really simple and leave you with a few short thoughts from Matt. 6 that will help us make important changes with God’s help in the year 2011.

1. Seek God’s Rule in every area of your life

-God’s kingdom speaks of His leadership & authority. He is not simply our adviser; He is our King before whom we bow in reverence; whose wisdom we do not challenge; whose ways we must not deviate from – all because we recognize His rule over all things and choose to be under His rule- a part of His Kingdom! When we refuse to do things God’s way, we are moving in the opposite direction of the King!

-When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, He told them to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Seeking the kingdom of God first means that we are seeking to do His will, yielding every area of our lives to what He wants, rather than what we want.

-So, let’s examine ourselves. Is God ruling in your life? Is He the Boss?

• Does He have the final say in your family? Do you seek Him together as a family? Do you pray together, worship together? Do you talk about the Lord together? What is one thing you can do to seek God’s will in your family?

• Does He have the final say in your finances? Are you honoring Him as Your Provider in the best way you know how? When He says, “Bring the first 1/10th of what I provide for you to My house, trusting Me to provide for every need,” do you show trust or doubt? Are you being honest in all your financial dealings? Even in your taxes? This is God’s will for His people. Are you always trying to get something for nothing, regardless of who comes out on the short end? Are you more motivated by financial gain than financial integrity? What is one thing you can do to seek God’s will in your finances?

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