6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Paul teaches us in this passage about making wise choices based on God’s priorities. He writes, "Do you know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which lea

What Are Your Priorities? (Rom. 6:16)

Illustration:Haddon Robinson points out that one old recipe for rabbit started out with this injunction: "First catch the rabbit." Says Robinson: "The writer knew how to put first things first. That’s what we do when we establish priorities -- we put the things that should be in first place in their proper order.

Source Unknown.

Whoever came up with this one must have had some Divine guidance!

Although things are not perfect

Because of trial or pain

Continue in thanksgiving

Do not begin to blame

Even when the times are hard

Fierce winds are bound to blow

God is forever able

Hold on to what you know

Imagine life without His love

J oy would cease to be

Keep thanking Him for all the things

Love imparts to thee

Move out of "Camp Complaining"

No weapon that is known

On earth can yield the power

Praise can do alone

Quit looking at the future

Redeem the time at hand

Start every day with worship

To "thank" is a command

Until we see Him coming

Victorious in the sky

We’ll run the race with gratitude

X alting God most high

Y es, there’ll be good times and yes some will be bad, but...

Z ion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!

1. Have you ever thought what God will say to you about the priorities reflected by your life?

It is an illusion to think that we are following Christ’s priorities unless we are evidencing the fruits of righteousness.

Paul teaches us in this passage about making wise choices based on God’s priorities. He writes, "Do you know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness." (vs 16)

What God will say about our priorities will be clearly reflected by the quantity and quality of our righteous lifestyle.

Illustration: I think of Thomas Archibald who came to Nigeria in 1921 to start a Bible college to train young men to do church planting and Pastor those young churches. He stayed for 53 years and turned an entire region from cannibalism to Christ. Today the key leaders of the Evangelical Churches of West Africa have come from Archibald’s school. ECWA, the daughter church of SIM, has 6000 churches with over four million people in their churches every Sunday. Thomas Archibald chose to follow the priorities of Christ instead of being content to serve his own interests in the comforts of Scotland.

God can tell what your priority values are by the fruits of your life. You may profess good priorities but are the reflective of what the apostle Paul and Christ would exhibit if they were in your position.

Paul wrote, "Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me and model your way of living on it and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well being) will be with you." (Phil. 4:9)

Do you want to enjoy the fruits of righteousness? Choose to let God’s priorities affect all of your allegiances, values, goals and relationships.

2. Paul teaches us to avoid any discontinuity between the priorities that we profess and how we live. If we are not careful it is easy to allow a huge gap to grow between what we say and the reality of our lifestyles.

It requires a teachable heart to allow God to correct us in areas where our ideals do not match our actions. The Lord will not judge us by what we profess about our priorities or intentions. Instead, the Lord will judge us by what we do. When people ask us, "What are your priorities?"

We tend to tell them what we think they might like to hear. Or we talk in terms of what SHOULD be most important to us.

Look at Paul the apostle as one whose lifestyle reflected the priorities that he taught. He focused on giving God glory through evangelism, disciple-making, teaching, preaching and church planting. How are you doing in these areas of God’s priorities?

Ask the Lord for the courage to make the changes that will help close the gap between God’s ideal priorities and your present lifestyle reality.

3. Paul teaches that most people will have to swim against the contextual and fleshly currents. The vast majority of people will tend to go with the flow of modern trends.

Most people want to live a "Normal" existence. Few people want to be different or appear to oppose what the majority considers to be good. Most of us want to fit in and feel a sense of acceptance.

However, Paul writes, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Rom. 12:2) No doubt Paul reminded people of how Ezekiel taught that most people will just listen to Godly priorities and express agreement with their lips, but not let it change their lifestyles.

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