Summary: A look at how Jesus set His priorities in line with His purpose and how we can do the same.
7, September 2003
Dakota Community Church
Priorities and Purpose
Week 4: Imitate Christ Series
2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
This is the first week back at school for the young people, it is the first opportunity to get back to schedules and routines, fall and winter sports activities begin and the new church functions get under way.
It can be a hectic time. If we do not set the priorities in our lives the people and circumstances around us will set them for us. When that happens anxiety and depression can become a problem.
This is an issue that we can see handled in the life of Jesus.
1. Jesus knew his purpose.
What was Jesus’ purpose?
9Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son
1Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. 2But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
3Then Jesus told them this parable: 4"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ’Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
8"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ’Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
11Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, ’Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
a.) The sheep was lost by natural circumstance.
b.) The coin was lost accidentally.
c.) The son was lost willfully.
In each case finding what was lost was the top priority. That was the excuse Jesus gave for His non-religious behavior.
10While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ’sinners’?"
12On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: ’I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Before we can set priorities we need to know our purpose.
Your purpose will change over the course of your life.
Youth purpose may be education, self-discovery, family functions etc.
My purpose: husband, father, pastor, and evangelist.
For a time your purpose may be to be an at home mom or home group leader.
Clovis Chappell, a minister from a century back, used to tell the story of two paddleboats. They left Memphis about the same time, traveling down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. As they traveled side-by-side, sailors from one vessel made a few remarks about the snail’s pace of the other.
Words were exchanged. Challenges were made. And the race began. Competition became vicious as the two boats roared through the Deep South.
One boat began falling behind. Not enough fuel. There had been plenty of coal for the trip, but not enough for a race. As the boat dropped back, an enterprising young sailor took some of the ship’s cargo and tossed it into the ovens. When the sailors saw that the supplies burned as well as the coal, they fueled their boat with the material they had been assigned to transport. They ended up winning the race, but burned their cargo.