Summary: There are so many things to do. . . it seems like our lives get busier every year! How do you cut through the clutter and decide what you should put first? Eccelsiastes gives us some answers. *HANDOUT INCLUDED*

Today, I’m preaching to you about priorities. Here’s a guy who’s got his priorties mixed up:

Fans of the American Wild West will find in a Deadwood, South Dakota museum this inscription left by a beleaguered prospector:

"I lost my gun. I lost my horse. I am out of food. The Indians are after me. But I’ve got all the gold I can carry!"

As I taught last time, priorities are crucial. Priorities determine:

1. Your success vs. failure.

2. Your fulfillment vs. emptiness.

3. Your home in heaven vs. hell.

4. Your effectiveness vs. frustration.

It is rather comical when the primary things are made secondary. Victor Borge told about a couple going on vacation, standing in line waiting to check their bags at the airline counter.

The husband said to the wife, "I wish we had brought the piano."

The wife said, "Why? We’ve got sixteen bags already!"

The husband said, "Yes, I know-- but the tickets are on the piano!"

Let me give you some examples about how priorities can really impact your life:

1. If you spend an average of 2 hours a day watching television, and you live to be 70, then you will have spent 5.8 years watching television.

2. In our nation, a 40-hour work week is typical. But if you decide to spend 10 hours more each week at the job, you will have spent 4.15 EXTRA years at work!

What COULD you have put those years into?

A survey was taken recently of many people who were 70 years and older. They were asked, “If you had your life to do over, what would you do differently?” Three responses dominated:

1. I would risk more.

2. I would do more things that lived on after I’m gone.

Priorities allow you to focus NOW on the things that really matter in life.

Last time we talked about what the #1 priority of a person should be if they are to really be fulfilled. The answer is GOD. He’s got to be #1!

But what about #2? #3? What should be 4th?

Let’s turn to the Bible this morning, for some practical instruction on prioritizing our lives.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:”

There is enough time to accomplish everything that needs to be done. But it won’t happen unless we go get it.

I saw a sign the other day that said: “God has put everyone on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I’m so far behind, I’m going to live forever.” But that’s not true – if we fail to accomplish what God planned for our lives, we die anyway!

How many of you want to do something with your life that LASTS? Well, here’s a great place to start:

Ecclesiastes 3:14 “I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever.”

If you want your life to be lived for something that LASTS, you’ve got to live it for the things that God wants you to live for! In other words, you’ve got two options:

I live for God’s priorities: MY LEGACY IS FOREVER.

I live for my priorities: MY LEGACY ENDS WHEN I DIE.

Take time for GOD

Ec 3:11 ¶ He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts,

I dealt more with this last Sunday – if you want to be fulfilled, you’ve got to turn first to the one who “put eternity in your heart”. When he made you, he made you to be fulfilled by himself, and nothing else.

There’s nothing else in this world that deserves the priority God deserves in your life! Nothing. Period.

Take time for RELATIONSHIPS.

Ecclesiastes Ec 4:9 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.

10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.

11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 9:9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your life which He has given you under the sun.

A group of friends went deer hunting and paired off in two’s for the day. That night one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under an eight point buck.

"Where’s Harry?"

"Harry had a stroke of some kind. He’s a couple of miles back up the trail.”

"You left Harry laying there, and carried the deer back?"

"A tough call," nodded the hunter, "but I figured no one is going to steal Harry."

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