So as we begin a new year I thought it would be good for you to ponder what is the number 1 priority in your life? Take a moment and read the text of Luke 18:18-23
18 Good Teacher, what do I need to do to inherit the life of the age to come?
19 Why did you just call Me good? No one is good but God—only God.
20 You know what the Hebrew Scriptures command: “Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not bear false witness; honor your father and mother.”[a
21 I’ve already been doing these things—since I came of age.
22 One thing you still lack—one thing; sell all your possessions and distribute the proceeds to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. Then you can come and follow Me.
23 The man heard these words and sadness came over his face, for his wealth was considerable.
Everyone has priorities in their life. The one who you just read about certainly had priorities. His wealth was his priority. The interesting thing about priorities is that they are different for each person. Establishing God as the number 1 priority in your life is the number 1 priority of your life. In so doing you will be equipped to better establish the other priorities of your life.
The reason that the rich young ruler had such a problem with what Christ told him was because he had great wealth. In verse 23 it says- The man heard these words and sadness came over his face, for his wealth was considerable. Wealth was his priority number 1 priority and not God.
You might say to me today: “Wealth is not a priority for me, because I don’t have any wealth”. Now that may well be true, however, there is something in your life that is a priority. You may not recognize it but something you have given a preeminent place in your life has priority and thus God is not the number 1 priority in your life.
Much like habits, we get into doing something or going somewhere and it then has a preeminent place in your life. In the text, the character was portrayed by Christ to have a priority of wealth. The priority could have been title, time, a relationship or any other thing that held a priority place in his life but in his case it was wealth. When God is not the number 1 priority in life, something else will be. So here is a question for you today. Now be honest with yourself, what is the priority of your life?
Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian economist who lived from 1848-1923. Each of you know the Pareto Principle, although you don’t know it by that name. You know it as the 80/20 Rule. Pareto concluded that 80 percent of your progress comes from 20 percent of your effort. Conversely, 80 percent of your task yield only 20 percent of the results. An example would be this: If you had a list of 10 things to do, two will accomplish more than all the other eight combined. Pareto calculated that it was necessary to focus on those things which will bring the greatest return.
A.W. Tozar once said and it will help you understand: God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible, What a pity that we plan only the things we can do by ourselves.
What are we talking about then? We are talking about doing the impossible, whatever that might be. Doing what God wants to do through you as an individual. This is really very simple. Determine in your heart to make God the number 1 priority in your life. Pay close attention to this next part.
If God is the number 1 priority of your life then your life will maximize its efforts to see God glorified through your life. If God is the number 1 priority of your life, your life will live the heart of God. If you determine in your heart to make God the number 1 priority in your life and then if God is the number 1 priority of your life, your life will maximize its efforts to see God glorified through your life. If God is the number 1 priority of your life, your life will live the heart of God.
Now let’s take this to the next level. If God is the number 1 priority of your life then your life will maximize its efforts to see God glorified through you as a part of what you do in obedience to Him. If God is the priority of your life, your life will live the heart of God and in obedience will live the heart of God. Remember what we learned early when we saw that Pareto calculated it was necessary to focus on those things which will bring the greatest return.
As you launch into 2020 here are 3 Q&A's for you to ponder.
1) What is required of me in 2020? Seek God to know and to do that which God directs in your life.
2) What gives the greatest return in 2020? Eternal life for others as you share with everyone the gospel of Christ unto salvation.
3) What brings the biggest reward in 2020? The joy and the privilege for you of one day standing before God and hearing Him say: “Well done, good and faithful servant”.
The writer in Proverbs 16:1-3 had gained a keen insight into men. “(You) make elaborate plans, but God has the last word. (You) are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good. Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.”
Let me close with this poem-
“Father where shall I work today? And my love flowed warm and free. He pointed out a tiny space and said,
“Tend that place for Me”
I answered Him quickly: “Oh not that, no one would ever see, no matter how well my work done, not that little place for me,
The word He spoke then wasn’t stern, He answered me tenderly,
Nazareth was a little place and so was Galilee. author unknown
So as you go into 2020 in your church remember it’s not just you any longer, but you’re in it for someone else.
A thought to ponder,