Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- February 24, 2011
“Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways.’ Haggai 1:5
Priority living is based on what God deems is necessary and important. He deserves our very best. Followers of Christ are honored to not give the Lord leftovers, but the first fruits. First fruit giving and living means Jesus receives the best of everything about us. We give Him the best of our time and money. Priority living is defining priorities as God defines them and then planning our actions, goals and living around these priorities.
Without intentionally living out God’s priorities, we default to reactionary living. Whatever comes our way then becomes our default for living. This may take less thinking and praying, but it is no way to honor the Lord. Priority living asks the question, “Am I defining priorities as God defines priorities and am I living these out for His glory?” Once His priorities are defined the goal is to execute His priorities for His glory.
Priority living is prayerful living. It is aligning with God’s heart the best you know how and then trusting Him with your time and money. Priority living is giving God first and foremost what He deserves and expects from His children. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
Kingdom living is priority living. The priorities of God’s Kingdom are clearly stated. The greatest commands are to love Him and to love people (Matthew 22:38-39). Loving God is priority. You spend time with whom you love. It is seeking God’s face daily to love and to be loved. It is sending up quick prayers throughout the day as a reminder to ourselves that He is in control and we are not. Indeed, loving God is obeying God. He says, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15). Obedience is God’s love language.
Loving God also requires listening to God. You listen to whom you love and respect. God has a lot to say. He is all knowing and all wise. Thus, it is of course very, very worthwhile to listen to your heavenly Father. What is He saying to you through a specific Scripture passage? A soiled Bible facilitates a clean heart, so harvest His priorities from His word. Priorities for you may vary from the priorities for someone else. Your age and stage of life demand a different focus. Be adaptable and nimble to reprioritize as needed.
Priority living not only involves loving God, it involves loving people. Our motive is to love them to Jesus. Like Andrew with Peter (John 1:40-42), if we can get them to Jesus He can handle their needs and wants. Therefore, love takes time. It is an investment. People do not change overnight. We are called to make disciples and disciple making is best implemented in an environment of loving patience. People are a priority. What a privilege and compelling calling it is to love God and to love people. This is priority living!
What are the Lord’s top priorities for my life?
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