"Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness..." Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
In the final hours of 2011, a holiday letter communicated the death of a dear friend. Four months after the cancer diagnosis, Cherie went to be with the Lord. She was 55 years old. The news caused me to reevaluate my priorities.
Priorities help keep us focused on what is important, and everyone has them. Merriam-Webster defines "priority" as something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives.
Jesus said the greatest commandment is "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind"; and the second is "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22: 36-40). Priorities of first-century Christians included devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer (Acts 2:42).
What is involved in making and keeping Biblical priorities?
* Pray: Ask God for His wisdom and direction to identify three areas for improvement (Philippians 4:6; Psalm 37:5). How do these priorities align with God's Word? Do they flow from a desire to please the Lord? Commit your priorities to Him.
* Practice: How will you live out these priorities before the Lord and others? What example will you set? Depend on God's strength rather than human strength and good intentions (James 1: 22-25; Philippians 4:13).
* Progress-check: Take time to evaluate your progress. When circumstances or distractions blow you off course, repent, refocus, and recommit your way to God, staying accountable to Him (Psalm 139: 23-24).
* Praise: Thank the Lord God for your successes (Philippians 1:6; 2 Cor. 2:14).
As we begin the New Year, pray for one another and our descendants to make and keep godly priorities.
After prayerful consideration, what are your top three priorities for 2012? Let us know in the Comments section...we'd love to pray for you! May God bless you in the New Year and fill you with His joy!