Brother Mark Vasquez: There are many things that are important to us in life. The most important things we call ‘priorities’. There’s an order of which one we value more. But what happens when one priority conflicts with another one? When it comes down to it, is work more important, or school? Should you make more time to spend with your family or put in more hours at work, to give more to your family? Today, we’re going to ask people that we meet, “What are your priorities? And which of these priorities, take first place?”
[Video MOS interviews]
Brother Mark: What are your priorities in life? What’s important to you?
Interviewee#1: Learning—I work at a college. Keep on learning; you’ve got to have dreams; a goal.
Interviewee#2: My job and my family.
Interviewee#3: First, my family, my husband. I have two kids, then my job, obviously. You gotta keep the house afloat.
Interviewee#4: To be happy, and to spread happiness.
Interviewee#5: My basic priorities are just taking care of my family. Getting myself up on my feet and getting my own place.
Brother Mark: Some of you watching could relate to what our new friends said. Maybe your priority is family. Your priority might be work or school. It might even be that friends are the most important to you. Whatever is most important, though, one thing’s for sure: our top priority determines everything else in life.
There are many, though, who say that there’s a tie for first place when it comes to their priorities. But did you know when it comes to multitasking, studies have proven that only 2% of people are able to multitask through priorities efficiently. The other 98% think they’re able to juggle their priorities, but in reality, are lessening productivity in balancing what’s important to them. So, what’s important to you?
[Video MOS interviews continued]
Brother Mark: Out of all those things. which is the most important to you?
Interviewee#3: My kids, not my husband. My kids.
Interviewee#5: My daughter, Koi. She’s tiny. She’s five years old; she’s adorable. The most gorgeous little girl ever. And all I care about is giving her the life that she deserves.
Interviewee#6: My family is more important.
Interviewee#7: God always does ‘cause He seems to straighten it all out. In a way, in my life anyways. Always been there for me and always straightens things out.
Brother Mark: If everyone were to believe in God and have faith that He gave us our life, time and energy, it would be best to ask Him: What is the most important thing in this life, that He gave to us? Let’s see what’s most important by reading His words in the Bible. What does God want us to put as our priority, with the time that He gave to us? We’ll read it here in Matthew in 6:33:
But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.
[Matthew 6:33 Contemporary English Version]
Brother Mark: What should be our first priority in life? The Lord Jesus Christ told us, we should put God’s work first. How can we put God’s work first? We do what God wants. What about the other things in life that need our attention? We have to completely let go of those things? If there’s anything else we need the Lord Jesus Christ promised us, “…the other things will be yours as well”.
If we put God first, we will not have to be at the losing end. We have everything to gain, if only we put God first. God is so much more valuable than anything else in this life. If anything would ever challenge putting the Almighty God, and even the Lord Jesus Christ, first in our life, how should we be able to regard the other priorities that we might have? Let’s read that here in Phillipians 3, 7 down to 8:
But all those things that I might count as profit I now reckon as loss for Christ’s sake. Not only those things; I reckon everything as complete loss for the sake of what is so much more valuable, the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have thrown everything away; I consider it all as mere garbage, so that I may gain Christ
[Philippians 3:7-8 Good News Bible]
Brother Mark: How should we be able to regard the other priorities we may have, if anything would ever challenge putting the Lord God first in our life? The Apostle Paul said, “I reckon everything as complete loss for the sake of what is so much more valuable.” How did he regard other things as a complete loss? He said, “All those things that I might count as profit I now reckon as loss, for Christ’s sake.”
If you notice in this passage we read, Apostle Paul even likened everything else as mere garbage. What’s garbage? It’s something that’s easy to let go of. We don’t struggle to throw garbage away. That’s why Apostle Paul said, “For his sake, I have thrown everything away, so that I may gain Christ.” On our part, it should be easy to let go of or sacrifice other things for God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who are so much more valuable than anything else. Who is an example of someone who was able to sacrifice other things for the sake of putting God as first place in his life? Let’s read that here in Hebrews. We’ll read 11:24 ,down to 27:
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
[Hebrews 11:24-27 New International Version]
Brother Mark: Who is an example of someone who was able to sacrifice other things for the sake of putting God as first place in his life? Moses. How did Moses keep God as top priority in his life? Do you remember Moses’s situation before? He was considered the grandson of Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt.
As a grandson of the ruler of Egypt, you can imagine what kind of lifestyle Moses could have had? It’s fair to assume that every luxury of that time was accessible to Moses, and many others may have wanted to befriend him because of his status. But is it wealth and his status that Moses held on to? The Bible told us, “He chose to be mistreated, along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.”
Moses knew how to keep God as his first priority. He proved that God was the most important by letting go of other things that were considered very valuable. But those things that he let go of are not as important as the One he gave up all other things for. Others may ask, “Well, what about my family? In my life, family is the most important. It’s good that we love and cherish our family. Those are our blessings from the Almighty God. But should that be more important than God?
Who is someone else in the Bible that also loved his family, but was still able to put God first place in his life? We’ll read that here in Genesis. We’ll read 22, 1 down to 3:
Later on God tested Abraham’s faith and obedience. “Abraham!” God called. “Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.” Take your son, your only son – yes, Isaac, whom you love so much – and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice in there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you.” The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son Isaac. Then he chopped wood to build a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place where God had told him to go. [Genesis 22:1-3 New Living Translation]
Brother Mark: Who is someone in the Bible that also loved his family, but was still able to put God first in his life? Abraham. How did he prove that God was still first place in his life? What was God’s commandment to Abraham? He was to take his son, and offer him as a burnt offering. Why did God command Abraham to do this? The Bible says, “God tested Abraham’s faith and obedience.” What was the result of Abraham being tested? The Bible says, “The next morning, Abraham got up early…he chopped wood to build a fire for a burnt offering, and set out for the place where God had told him to go.”
Abraham proved that it is good to have God as the most important in life. Because Abraham proved that God was more important than his own family and he obeyed God’s commandment, Abraham didn’t even have to sacrifice his son, Isaac.
Although, we aren’t being instructed to make the same exact sacrifice today, we could still learn a lot from the way Abraham prioritized following God’s command. What is something important that we should remember from this instance? Putting God first and sacrificing for Him never puts us on the losing end. And how is this proven? How else did God bless Abraham because he put God first in his life? In Genesis 24:1, this is what the Bible tells us:
Abraham was now a very old man. The Lord had made him rich and he was successful in everything he did.
[Genesis 24:1 Contemporary English Version]
Brother Mark: Isn’t this the kind of life that we all want in the end? It’s very possible for us to have this successful life, having everything that we need. The God who blessed Moses and Abraham is the same God that we have today. He’s ready to bless us and reward us, if we put Him first in our life. But what if there are times when certain priorities compete for our full attention to the point we’re tempted to sacrifice the time that we’re supposed to give to God? What does God want us to do? Let’s read that here in Psalms 37, 3 down to 7:
Trust the Lord, and do good things. Live in the land, and practice being faithful. Be happy with the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Entrust your ways to the Lord. Trust him, and he will act on your behalf. He will make your righteousness shine like a light, you’re just cause like the noonday sun. Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him.
[Psalm 37:3-7 (a) God’s Word Translation]
Brother Mark: What does God want us to do? He wants us to trust Him. God will take care of anything we feel like we need to leave behind. And like the life of Abraham and Moses, and so many other stories that we can read in the Bible, God can make wonderful things happen for us that we would never be able to make happen for ourselves. We just need to trust Him to make those wonderful things happen.
It’s good that work, school and family are important to us. Those are blessings that come from the Lord God. Those things though, should not be our top priority. Serving God and following his commandments should always be number one in our life. And if there’s times we need to sacrifice other important things for the sake of putting the Lord God first, that He will be the one to give us the solution. Thank you for joining us today on The Solution. We’ll see you next time.
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