Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 3, 2016
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them. Matthew 22:37-40, MSG
The word “priority” has a French origin and its original intent was singular by definition: priority not priorities. So, wisdom begins with the idea of one priority from which all other goals flow. A too long “To Do List” can grow into individual tasks that enslave our energy with activity that borders on idolatry—instead of a focus on a few things that matter the most. Productivity is important, but not to the extent of pushing out the most important priority: love. If I force my agenda, with no concern for others—I have the wrong priority. Love is number one.
Jesus didn’t stutter or stammer when He answered the legal expert’s question, “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Love. Love. Love. Love is the priority. Love God and love people. The Bible teaches: God is love, and the test of whether we love Him is if we love people—and we can love, only because the Lord first loved us. All other commands of God, admonishments from the prophets and principles of practical application are all purified by the motive of love. Absent love: teaching is just noise, generosity and sacrifice are self indulgent.
“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them” (John 14:21).
How can we make love our priority and make other activities submit to its motivation? One way is to define a life purpose statement grounded in God and use it as a filter for decision-making. Filters remove impurities and leave what’s pure: coffee filters separate grounds from the dark, rich drink—oil filters remove sludge, so the engine is cooled—and air filters create healthier air to breath. In the same way decision-making filters remove pesky impediments to God’s will.
For example, my purpose is: “To love God and people by being a faithful husband, available father, loyal friend and loving leader”. If an opportunity arises to travel, I ask myself if I should take my wife or a child with me, so I can love them through the experience of loving others on a business or ministry trip. Or a stranger may call and want to meet, but my best use of time may be a 10 minute call instead of a 90 minute meeting. Define the Lord’s purpose for you in this season of service and use it as a filter for your decisions. Most of all—make love your priority.
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life” (Psalm 143:8).
PrayerHeavenly Father, surrounded with Your love—show me by faith the way I should go.
ApplicationWhat is my life purpose statement? How can it become a filter for decision making?
Related ReadingDeuteronomy 11:22; Leviticus 19:18; John 16:27; 1 John 2:5
Post/Tweet todayDecision-making filters like prayer, remove pesky impediments to God’s will. #wisdomhunters #priorityoflove
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