Points Covered: Three areas where we can give God priority in our lives so that we can be prosperous and blessed. Practical ways you can prioritize your spiritual life.
Misplaced priority Joke: Surprised to see an empty seat at the world cup football final stadium, a diehard fan asked the woman sitting nearby whose seat it was. “It was my husband’s,” the woman explained, “But he died.” “I’m very sorry,” said the man. “Yet I’m really surprised that you still love him and you even did not give another relative a chance to take the seat reserved for him.” The woman said. “They all insisted on going to my husband’s funeral.”
Misplaced priority Joke: A man brought a brand new BMW and parked it in on the main road in front of his office to show it off to his colleagues. As he was getting out of the car, a lorry comes speeding too close to the car and takes off the door before zooming off. The man gets very angry, takes out his mobile and calls the police. The police arrives and immediately calls the ambulance. The man starts screaming, “My car, my BMW. It is ruined. No matter how they repair, it will never be the same again.” The police said, “Hey man, you are so focused on your possessions that you don’t notice anything else in life.” The man shouts to the police, “How can you say such a thing at a time like this?” The police replies, “Didn’t you realize that your right arm was torn off when the truck hit you?” This man looks down in horror and says, “Oh! My God, my Rolex watch.”
Introduction: Most of us are in the place we are in because of misplaced priorities. You went to a driving school but cannot drive. You started the piano classes but you can hardly play any note. You started a course and could not complete. They never give their 100% and they lose. I tell you today, if you can prioritize your life, you can be far more successful and blessed than you are today.
Last week we saw that our priority must be based on our spiritual values than worldly values. Today I want to start the message with giving you the top three priorities in one’s life.
Prioritize your spiritual growth.
2 Peter 3:18 Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Illustration: That great missionary to India, William Carey, became deeply concerned about the attitude of his son Felix. The young man, a professing Christian, had promised to become a missionary. But he broke his vow when he was appointed ambassador to Burma. Carey requested prayer for him: “Pray for Felix. He has degenerated into an ambassador of the British government when he should be serving the King of kings.” Have you been giving more importance to anything other than God? How is your spiritual growth?
How long have you been a Christian? Does your spiritual maturity correspond to your chronological age in Christ? How passionate are you to move from where you are spiritually to the next level of spiritual maturity this year?
Illustration: Once a wealthy business man and a mechanic meet in a hospital room where they discover they have a terminal illness and only a year left to live. Together they come up with a list of things they want to do before they die. And since they only have a year left they decided to put everything else on hold and do their wish list before they die.
I’m sure many of us could come up with many things to do before we die. Some may want to build a house, take a world tour, buy a car, have a better job etc. Now the question is what is going to matter at the end of my life?
Spiritual growth is the ultimate priority in life because our spiritual growth or the lack of it controls every other area of our lives. When we are growing in Christ likeness or reaching for the prize, every other area of our lives is growing as well. Spiritual growth is foremost and central to all personal growth and is of ultimate priority and yet it is without a doubt the most neglected priority.
When we are fully persuaded that Christ’s values are ours, it will affect our priority. It will affect our schedule, budget and responsibility. Then we will give our time and attention to spiritual things forsaking all else – that is biblical priority!
Three Priorities for your spiritual growth.
1. Prioritize Jesus at home.
a. Prayer Time. 1 Thessalonians 5:15 Pray continually. Both personal and family. Spend a minimum of 30-45 minutes a day with God.
b. Bible Reading.
Joshua 1:8 Keep this book of the law always on your lips; mediate on it day and night.
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
Read a portion and explain to your kids the values from it.
c. Practice Bible values at home. James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
2. Prioritize personal involvement at City Harvest.
Hebrews 10:24-25 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
a. Come on time for Worship.
Ephesians 5:19-20 19Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Make sure you come on time for Sunday worship. If the English service starts at 9:30, try to be here by 9:20 am. Prepare yourself for worship and participate in the worship.
b. Concentrate on the Word.
2 Timothy 4:1-2 1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
When the word is being preached, give 100% attention because it is God speaking through his servant His word for you. Take notes or bring a diary. Discuss the word in the home with family. Forward the sermon in your own words or the points to someone.
c. Prioritize Tithing.
1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up. Stewardship of Life – Honouring God.
2 Corinthians 9:7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
You make a decision to give tithes to God, not less than 10% of your gross income. Don’t wait until you have money. Even when we die we don’t have enough money to put us in the grave, tithe at all times. Bring an offering that represents you to God.
d. Prioritize Serving. Stewardship of Gift.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
Romans 12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
Serve God in the areas of your talent. If you wish to serve in any area you can contact me and we can sit with you help you develop your talents.
e. Prioritize Area Meetings.
1Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Participate in small meetings. That is how you can grow and stay connected and be encouraged in your Christian life. Don’t try to live your Christian life in loneliness, be connected. Acts 2:46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.
Illustration: A lighthouse along a bleak coast was tended by a keeper who was given enough oil for one month and told to keep the light burning every night. One day a woman asked for oil so that her children could stay warm. Then a farmer came. His son needed oil for a lamp so he could read. Still another needed some for an engine. The keeper saw each as a worthy request and measured out just enough oil to satisfy all. Near the end of the month, the tank in the lighthouse ran dry. That night the beacon was dark and three ships crashed on the rocks. More than 100 lives were lost.
When a government official investigated, the man explained what he had done and why. “You were given one task alone,” insisted the official. “It was to keep the light burning. Everything else was secondary. There is no defense.”
Make a decision to prioritize your spiritual life from today. Give God the number one priority in your life. Let’s Pray and commit ourselves to prioritize God first in our lives.