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Summary: Is our priorities that dictate to us how well we live our lives; but it is the Lord who determines what our priorities are because he in us is the one who is really in control. Read on to see how he does this!

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This sermon was delivered to St Oswald’s in Maybole,

Ayrshire, Scotland on the 5th October 2014

(a Scottish Episcopal Church in the Dioceses of Glasgow and Dumfries).

Summary: Is our priorities that dictate to us how well we live our lives; but it is the Lord who determines what our priorities are because he in us is the one who is really in control. Read on to see how he does this!

Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 Psalm 19 Psalm 80: 7-14 Philippians 3:4b-14 Matthew 21:33-46

“Please join me in my prayer.” Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of our hearts, be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our strength, and our redeemer. Amen. (Ps. 19:14)

Introduction:

Have you noticed that as we age … our priorities in our lives change? And as we walk further with the Lord … our priorities change again; … and it is these priorities that dictate to us how well we live our lives. They dictate what and why we do certain things; they determine where and when we should take action, that is if we take action, and they also decides to whom we speak … and to whom we do not. I like the saying, or maybe I don't, "show me your friends, and I will show you your future".

But different people do have different priorities in their lives. For some work is their priority … for others, their priorities lie around their families … and of course there are those whose priorities lie in themselves; those who think not for others … but only in what they can get from others. For other people money is their number one priority; and they will do anything for money; and we all know the expression, "that one, he will sell his own granny".

Yet other people have made God their number one priority, because when he is in charge, everything else kind of falls into place. So my conclusion for today's sermon is that we need to make the Lord our number one priority in life.

But how did I come to this obvious conclusion so quickly, well if you look at someone's life closely, you can actually see where their priorities lie, and I would like to think that you see God as my main priority in life … but … I will not be offended if you do not … because I know I fail at so many things.

But all this is just the introduction to the priorities the apostle Paul had in his life at various times: … both before and after his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus; … it is from these priorities … we see: what Paul had … what Paul lost … and what Paul gained since this encounter.

Philippians 3:4b-14

If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.


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