Summary: We need to have a one-track mind!
Text: Matthew 6:19-34
Subject: Christian Priorities
Theme: Entire dedication of the heart to God.
Prop: The Christian is to have single minded devotion to God.
It has been said that our priorities as a Christian should be J O Y (Jesus, Others, You). In reality how do we see our priorities. Do we see the JOY principal in our lives, in our finances, in our time, and in the everyday decisions that we make. Do we worry about and serve the Holy trinity of me, myself and I.
People often ask me now, "Zinger, is golf still as important to you as it was before you had cancer?"
Yes and no. Yes, of course, golf is important to me. I love the game; it is how I make a living. But no, golf is no longer at the top of my priority list. In fact, it runs a slow fourth. My priorities now are God, my family, my friends, and golf. Golf is no longer my god. Golf is hitting a little white ball. God is my God, and God is a whole lot bigger than golf. But don’t get me wrong. I played some great golf at the end of 1994 and the beginning of 1995, and I plan on playing a lot more. You won’t hear me out on the course, saying, "Woe is me. I missed that four-footer, but at least I’m alive." Oh, no. I’m playing to win. But then, in many ways, I have already won.
Jesus is going to deal with the issue of priorities for citizens of His kingdom.
The Christians’ priority can be summed up by simply saying, Jesus demands single-minded devotion to Him.
Is there a difference between narrow-minded and being single-minded?
E. Stanley Jones states it graphically, "If you don’t make up your mind, then your unmade mind will unmake you. Here is the place where there must be no dallying. For any dallying will be the Trojan horse that will get on the inside and open the gates to the enemy. God can do anything for the man who has made up his mind; he can do little or nothing for the double-minded."
-- The Way to Power and Poise, p.258
Transition: Today we will look at what it means to be single-minded in our devotion to God.
I. Being single-minded means interest in one treasure. Verses 19-21
1. The lives of many people of our day seem to be occupied with on other purpose than amassing an abundance of earthly treasures.
2. As Christians’ are we guilty of holding these type of people up as role models. Are we encouraging our children to be the same way. Do we spend more time and effort trying to prepare our children to seek earthly treasures or heavenly.
3. If we were given a reading assignment and workbook to do by our boss at work, would we make the time to do it. When we have Sunday School work to do, do we make time to do it?
4. Earthly pursuits will not last. Can you think of anything that you will do that will last eternally? Having our interest geared toward heaven is good for the soul!
Dear Ann Landers:
The letter from the woman married to the tightwad -- she couldn’t get an extra quarter out of him -- reminded me of my wonderful aunt who was beautifully warmhearted and had a great sense of humor.
Aunt "Emma" was married to a tightwad who was also a little strange. He made a good salary, but they lived frugally because he insisted on putting 20 percent of his paycheck under the mattress. (The man didn’t trust banks.) The money, he said, was going to come in handy in their old age.
When "Uncle Ollie" was 60, he was stricken with cancer. Toward the end, he made Aunt Em promise, in the presence of his brothers, that she would put the money he had stashed away in his coffin so he could buy his way into heaven if he had to.
They all knew he was a little odd, but this was clearly a crazy request. Aunt Em did promise, however, and assured Uncle Ollie’s brothers that she was a woman of her word and would do as he asked.
The following morning she took the money (about $26,000) to the bank and deposited it. She then wrote a check and put it in the casket four days later.
This is a true story and our family has laughed about it ever since.
5. It is the height of folly to live a life without heaven being the goal.
6. In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, ask the rich man how much his earthy pursuits benefited him in eternity.