April 20, 2020 - Priority
When I woke up this morning I was reminded or reflected on those things that are of most importance right now in our lives. If we take time to sort them out, we might be able to live a more joyful, peaceful and longer life. There was a time in my life that I prioritized those things that were of most importance to me. I would say to the staff that I worked with that the three most important things in my life, at that time, were (1) God, (2) job and (3) family. Yes, at that time I felt that my job gave me a sense of security and an opportunity to provide for my family in ways that I had envisioned. As I look back over my life, I realize that many of the privileges of life would not have been possible if God had not blessed me with a career as He did. Of course, as time passes and we mature we shift and reset our priorities. Circumstances will in many cases dictate what our priorities are.
As we live day to day during this covid-19, let's rethink our priorities. I would hope that at this time in our lives God would be number one on our priority list. I need to ask the question of each of us, what have you done differently during this time of uncertainty that you were not doing before? Are we reading scripture more? Are we praying more? Are we in prayer service? Are we participating in Bible Study? Are we gossiping more or less? Are we concentrating more on getting our souls right with God? Are we eating more? Are we more loving and caring? Are we staying home and remaining safe? Are we practicing social distancing? These are just a few questions that cause us to rethink our priorities in life during this pandemic.
As we live from day to day, we must realize that we are living in a time of life and death. Every day we hear of the hundreds of persons dying in our neighborhoods and communities. Every day we hear the rhetoric from our leaders, who places the economy over lives. When a prominent doctor makes a callous statement like, "Send our children back to school, for we won't lose but 2-3% to death" makes me cringe in my shoes and brings sorrow to my heart. When a television doctor, Dr. Phil says, "coronavirus deaths can be compared to the flu, automobile deaths, cigarettes and swimming pools, our priorities are definitely in the wrong order. He is suggesting that the economy is more important that lives being saved. These two gentlemen have proven that they are a detriment to society.
The point I wish to make in this message is that God must come first in our lives. God does not want us to place anything before him. I have heard many of our stories recently regarding how we are using our time. Ask yourselves this question, "How much of my time am I devoting to God?" Ask yourselves this question, "With all this time right now that I have, am I spending more time cleaning, cooking, sewing, gardening, exercising, painting, making repairs, etc. than I am with God?
A Biblical story comes to mind about two sisters, Mary and Martha, who were devoted friends of Jesus. When Jesus visited them, the both of them wanted to serve Him in their own special way. The scripture reads like this, "A certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard his word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me."
And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." Luke 10: 38-42
Take a moment to think about the services these two sisters were willing to share. Priorities are an issue in this story. Yes, both are providing a wonderful service, but listening to Christ teachings is more important than food preparation and working in the kitchen.
My question to all of us today is, "Are we showing that we truly love God by listening to his teachings or are we so busy with mundane and routine things that we have made Him secondary? Are we spending time in God's word? Are we spending more time meditating on His goodness?"
Here is the question of the day, "Are we putting God first in our lives or putting our personal relationships first or are we allowing other aspects of our lives to come before the worship and praising of God?"
Not a sermon, just a thought!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor