Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Yesterday I was part of a discussion on priorities, how to order our lives and do so the way God wants us to. There were five priorities.

The first was putting God first.  That seems like a given if you are a religious person but it's not always easy.  Things get in the way, life gets in the way.  We feel pulled in so many directions sometimes.  Putting God first though helps in all those situations, doesn't it? Putting God first adds balance for us that helps in all aspects of our lives.

The next was time.  I took this to mean taking time for him.  Time to chat with him, to learn more about him and from him, to just be in his presence.  That could mean worship on Sundays or whatever day you choose, or prayer time throughout the day, meditation, I am learning to love that one.  It could mean a quiet walk in nature noticing His beautiful creation.  It could mean serving others at a food pantry or a shelter.  Time with God is pretty personal.  We all do it in our own way, we just need to be sure we are doing it.

Money, that's one people don't like to talk about, isn't it?  It's important!  Giving, it should proportionate.  I love the verse in Deuteronomy 16 that says, "Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you."  According to the blessings God has given you.  In other words... Share.  We teach our kids to share at a very young age but when we think of money, sometimes we forget that.  The other part we often forget is in 2 Corinthians chapter 9, "For God loves a cheerful giver."  We are supposed to be cheerful in our giving.  Don't write your check out to the church as if it is a bill but as if it is a part of your worship experience!  Don't frown as you as give that dollar to the man or woman on the street, see Jesus in their face instead and be happy to share what you have with them, with him.

The next priority was Family Responsibility.  This one was interesting.  In the study we were doing, it was talking about honoring our parents, loving our spouses, caring for and teaching our children.  It talks about extending our family concerns and asks us to recall Boaz and Ruth.  That was extended family so in that example we are care for our extended family but I wonder how far that goes.  I'd not really thought about that before.  Not I wouldn't help extended family if needed but I had not thought of it in this context.  How do we help our families?  How far do we go for them? Again, I think we are supposed to do it cheerfully and be happy that we are able to help in whatever way we can, financially, by babysitting, by listening, by praying, by loving.

The last priority listed was Openness to the Needs of Others.  We are to be open to those around us so that we can see their needs.  That's hard sometimes I think.  We are often so caught up in our own lives that we forget to see what is going on around us.  I think we all do that from time to time.  Think of the Good Samaritan.  The priest and the Levite were too busy in their own lives to be open to the needs of the injured man but the Samaritan was open to his needs and cared for him.  Or what about how Peter and John were going to the temple for prayer and a lame man asked for alms.  Peter  and John stopped and took time to look the man in the eyes and healed him.  They took the time to be open the needs of this man.  We should be open to the needs of others whether it's to our neighbor whose husband is deployed and needs help with their yard work, or our elderly neighbor who is lonely and needs someone to talk to now and again.  Maybe it's the person at the next table at the diner sitting by themselves who needs a friendly smile.  We just need to be open, to be aware of those around us.

Personally, I kind of feel like if we have God first in our lives, then all these other priorities will just kind of fall into place but it's always good to be aware, to be cognizant of where our priorities are.  Like it says in Matthew 6 verse 21, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

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