Summary: Making sure our priorities are in the right place
What should be our top priorities?
De 10:12 ¶ And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
13 To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
We may not ever think about it but all of us have priorities in life, things that are of most importance to us.
There are things that come first in our lives, first over any thing else we do or care about.
In St. Matthew the 19th chapter Jesus had an encounter with a young rich man.
He most probable had rich parents and had always lived a lifestyle of luxury and ease.
But there was something lacking in his life. He had everything money could buy, but he knew something was deficient.
He came directly to Jesus and asked him a question.
“Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”
Or, what honorable thing, what respectable thing can I do to have eternal life?
Jesus answered “if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”
The young man who was already moral, who kept all the commandments to the letter, said, “Which?”
“Is there one I am not aware of? What commandments are you talking about?”
Jesus said “Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
The rich young man, probably puzzled by Jesus’ answer replied, “All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?”
“I’ve kept those commandments! I already do those things religiously! But, what do I lack? Tell me, I know I am lacking something here!”
The answer Jesus gave wasn’t what he wanted to hear!
“If thou wilt be perfect or complete, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
Oh no Master! Don’t tell me that! Don’t require me to get rid of my possessions! Don’t tell me to give away my money!
Why can’t I just go along as I am? Why can’t I just keep the commandments and be a good man?
But Jesus knew his heart! He knew his heart and affections was in his possessions.
His possessions were his top priority! Giving to the poor was way down on his list.
Fully following the Lord Jesus was not on his priority list.
He was willing to keep some commandment, to perform some ritual, to participate in some ceremony, but to follow Jesus?
He didn’t have time to follow Jesus! He had his riches to look after. His houses, his barns, his cattle, his stocks and bonds.
He wanted to continue doing what he was doing, even though keeping the law was wonderful, he was not willing to forsake all to follow Jesus and have eternal life.
His possessions meant more to him than eternal life! Temporary possessions meant more than eternal treasures.
What will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Now Jesus doesn’t require everyone to give away all their possessions to follow Him.
He just wants first place in our lives. He wants us to make Him Lord of our lives and make serving and following him our top priority.
The things we have in this life will fade away and will be no more.
We put so much emphasis on material things. We love what money can buy. We covet the finer things of life.
Our possessions can become our little gods. Whether it is our homes, our cars, our bank account, our TV sets, our fishing boats, or other things that become priority, they can rob God of being first in our hearts and lives.
He said “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”
Lu 16:13 No servant 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.
Mammon. Mammon is a Syriac word, a name given to an idol worshipped as the god of riches. It has the same meaning as Plutus among the Greeks.