Summary: To have an impact for Jesus, we must have our priorities straight; both as individual Christians and as a church.
A policeman in Los Angeles responded to a call of a burglary in process. It was around midnight when he got there. He saw a young man standing near the front door of the business and when he yelled for him to get down on the ground, the young man raised a gun and pointed at the policeman. The policeman fired, killing the man.
It later turned out that the robbery suspect had just left, and the young man who pointed the gun was a 15 year-old boy who was pointing a BB gun. Now I think all of us would agree that it was a bad situation, and all of us would grieve over the loss of that boy, but it should also be obvious to us that the policeman did not do anything wrong. Yet, the boy’s parents sued the Los Angeles Police Department and won a very large sum of money.
By the way, these were the same parents who didn’t bother to keep their kids home after midnight or teach them anything about common sense. Common sense doesn’t seem to be that common anymore, does it? Our society is so concerned with not trampling on anyone’s rights that we often trample over the victim and throw their rights out the window.
I think it is plain to see that this nation has her priorities all messed up. But that problem is not just with society in general. It is wide spread in the church, too! The church of today needs to take a very careful look at her priorities. What do you think the church is here for? We need to start asking ourselves some very hard questions, all to see where our real priorities in life are. We need to decide whether our priorities are based upon the world or based upon Heaven. It is either one or the other. It cannot be a little of one today and a little of the other tomorrow.
1 JOHN 2:15 tells us to not love the world or anything in it. And it cautions us about that because everything in our lives is spiritually based, whether we acknowledge it or not. And for us to have Godly lives, we must have Godly priorities.
The “world” has invaded our lives and has kept us from having Godly focus. It has also invaded our churches and kept them from having Godly focus, too. There are churches today that concentrate more on their day care centers than on how they preach and teach the Word of God. There are churches out there today that have their many programs as their priority and not their reaching out to the unsaved.
There are churches today that have turned their church into a compound. And those compounds offer everything from Starbucks coffee to movie theaters. And the priority in these churches is giving its members a nice and safe place to do things … but the priority is not on reaching new people for Jesus.
So, if today’s churches need a change of focus, where does it start? It starts the same place a revival starts: With one person getting on their knees and going before the Lord to ask for it. It takes one person convincing another of the need for it. And, it takes one church that is willing to be the example for the others in their area.
Almost every one of us have had a very strong church background, but have wandered off and ended up staying out of church for a long time. This is a common fact in America among Christians. Why do you think this occurs? It happens because the priority of the church changed away from Jesus.
A man called a pastor one day and asked about church membership. The man said he didn’t really want to attend all the time and surely didn’t want to get involved, but thought it was important to have a religious affiliation of some kind.
The pastor said he didn’t think the man would fit in with his church, but gave him the address of a church he thought the man might like. So, come Sunday, the man followed the address and went to the church the pastor had suggested. When he got there, he saw a building that was empty and falling down. He could tell that it had not been used for anything but a home for rodents for a long time.
The next day, he called the pastor back and asked if he had given him the wrong address. The pastor said that he had indeed given the right address. Then he told the man that when a church loses its focus, that’s all it becomes in God’s eyes – a place that needs repair and that houses no Godly thing.