by Amanda McKelroy | January 3, 2018
This time of year people are deciding what New Year’s resolutions to add to their lives. Instagram and Pinterest are filled with memes and ads for organizing life hacks, tips for time management, and bucket list items that you just can’t complete 2018 without accomplishing. They’re all well and good, but they are missing a key element: your life priorities. Your life priorities dictate how much time you spend on what… family, hobbies, work, vacation, personal care, ministry, etc.
As Christians, we must be sure that as we jump into 2018, we don’t get our priorities out of whack. We must be good stewards of what God has given us, and to do that we must keep the main thing the main thing – but just what is the main thing? The Bible tells us that as Christians our first priority in life is putting God first in our lives.
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” ~I Corinthians 10:31
“Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” ~Psalm 100:2-3
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” ~I Corinthians 6: 19-20
What does it look like to put God first in life? That’s not something you hear said every day. To put God first in your life is to be willing to follow I Corinthians 10:31 – to do all to the glory of God. Putting God first in your life is asking yourself in every thing you do: does this glorify my Savior? Would God be pleased by the decisions I am making today?
Growing up, I’ve heard my father say dozens of times that your life priorities dictate where you put your effort, energy, and time. Here’s a guideline for what order we Christians should keep our life priorities:
- Everything else (hobbies, vacation, etc)
Wait! How dare I say that family is not my first priority?! May I present a scenario? One day you will die, and you will stand before God to give account for your life. Your life; not your mom’s life, not your son’s life, not your spouse’s life, only yours. God will hold each of us accountable for what we did with our lives, for the decisions we made, for the words we spoke, for the people we witnessed to (or didn’t witness to), for how much we did or did not live for Christ.
“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” ~Matthew 12:36
“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” ~Romans 14:12
Living a life that glorifies God is our first priority. Many people use family activities and family issues as an excuse to miss church, or to stray from the will of God for their lives. But remember, you will give account to God for choosing that little league game or family function over church. So what’s the solution? Bring your family with you! This morning I was reading in Matthew, and there are a few verses that deal with this subject that stood out:
“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” ~Matthew 10:37-39
When the day comes that we stand before God to give account, family will not be an acceptable excuse for not putting God first in our lives. Our families are important, but they are second on our list of life’s priorities. We want what is best for our family; what could be better than having a God-blessed family? God must be first for our families to be blessed.
“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” ~Psalm 34:8
“Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.” ~Psalm 112.1
“Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.” ~Psalm 119:2
“Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walked in his ways.” ~Psalm 128:1
“But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” ~Luke 11:28
Life’s journey has many turns, bumps, and unexpected delays and we are accountable for what we do with our efforts, energy, and time. I want to stand before God one day and have no regrets about how I stewarded the life He gave me. I want to stand before God and hear Him say “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:21) The last thing I want to do is neglect my family, so my resolve for 2018 is to serve the Lord with them. Go to church services together, attend church activities and functions together, go on mission trips together, etc. I want to keep my life priorities straight so God can bless not only my life by the lives of my family members as well. Will you consider doing the same? Will you consider intentionally living a life that glorifies God and puts Him first, and then plug into serving God with your family? You won’t regret it if you do.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” ~Matthew 6:33