Summary: A message that speaks to the issue of our priorities and how to get them right.
Problems with Priorities
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Introduction: This morning the Lord has led me to this message concerning the issues that we all have with establishing priorities in our lives. Why is this so important you ask? It is important because generally speaking we do what we value the most. Pastor Tony Evans makes an interesting observation when he says, "The problem isn't time, you watch TV, your problem isn't energy, you play softball/baseball, your problem isn't money, you have 2 cars and a smart phone, your problem is priorities." Our Lord puts His finger on the pulse of humanity when he says that, Matthew 6:24 "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Our Lord knew that divided loyalties lead to disorder in terms of what we value and hence what we deem to be a priority in our lives.
Our priorities can only be right if we answer three very important questions. First, there is the question:
I. Is Jesus Present?
The implication is pretty simple and straightforward. If Jesus is not present in your life then you will never have your priorities in the right order, never! Why, you ask? It's easy.
a. If Jesus is not present you will never understand spiritual things.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Unless Jesus is present in you it will be impossible for you to comprehend that eternal things are infinitely more important that temporal things. Your value system will be all out of whack!
b. If Jesus is not present you will never love the right things.
Notice what Jesus says again in verse 2 "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other..."
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
c. If Jesus is not present in you, you will never have peace about your priorities.
A. W. Tozer made a statement that "Trying to have happiness (peace) without a sense of God's presence, is like trying to have a bright day without the sun!"
It just isn't going to happen! How do you know is Jesus is present in you? First, there is the question of confession. Have you confessed your sins? 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Have you professed Him as your Lord and Savior? Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Does the Holy Spirit reside within you? Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Has there been a change in your life since you believed? 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Do you know that there has been a tranformation in your affections? 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
If these things are true in your life then Jesus is present in you! But this does not guarantee that your priorities are where and what they ought to be which brings me to the:
Second question; if Jesus is present:
II. Is Jesus Prominent?
This word means noticeable, pronounced, obvious or conspicuous. But you ask what has this got to do with your priorities? I can think of three things. First:
a. If Jesus is prominent in you it will be evident
Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.