Choosing God's Priorities

Choosing God’s Priorities 
Time management becomes crucial to success in the sports world, especially as the game is getting near the end. Christians need to manage the clock well also. Why? We are not promised tomorrow and by keeping our eye on the clock we stay more focused on God’s purposes and priorities.

Nehemiah had a passion and his call was to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem to bring honor to God and restore His people. He had to deal with a distraction in Neh. 6:1-4. 

How did he deal with it? He said, “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down.” He stayed focused on what God had told him to do and didn’t yield to temptation, even though he was tempted four times.

Do you ever find yourself mismanaging your time or yielding to distractions? Did it keep you from accomplishing the work God has given you to do? If not, did it delay you? 

God may not have called us to build a wall around a city, but He has called you to something. What is it?
  • Is it to do your best at school, so you can move on to the next mission?
  • Is it to build a strong marriage?
  • Is it to raise Godly children?
  • Is it to be a witness for Christ at your workplace or in your neighborhood?
  • Is it to serve in a specific area in the church?
  • Is it to be a loving and giving Christian following Christ’s example everyday?
We fill our calendars with way more than we can do.
Are any of them a distraction to what God would have us do?
 
Proverbs 16:9  “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”
 
Are we planning our course without consulting God?
Does the way we manage our time reflect our priorities?
 
Three ways we commonly mismanage time based on James 4:13-17
 
1.     in our planning
Based on James 4:13, what was wrong with the way the businessperson planned?
He forgot to include God in the planning.
 
Do we do that? Do we squeeze God’s agenda out of our lives? If we do even consider God, do we ask God to bless our plans rather than asking God to direct our plans.
 
Prov. 16:3 – KJV says“Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” NLT says, “Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.”
 
Have you submitted all that you are; your thoughts, plans, and actions, to the Lord?
 
As we include God in our planning, we should always be open to His rearranging our plans for His purposes.
 
2.     by presuming
According to James 4:14, what was wrong with the attitude of the businessperson?
The businessperson presumed that their future plans were a done deal.
 
Matt. 6:34   Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
 
Prov. 27:1   Don’t boast about tomorrow, for you don’t know what a day might bring.
 
Life is unpredictable!!!
 
March 2004, Reader’s Digest Quotable Quotes...the headline quote was “Live everyday like it’s your last, ‘cause one day you’re gonna be right” by Ray Charles. He died in June 2004.
 
3.     by procrastinating
What was the time management problem in James 4:17
Putting off doing the good we know that God is leading us to do.
 
We commit sin by doing something we shouldn’t or by not doing something we should.
 
Prov. 3:27-28 - Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”
 
Do you ever say:
·       One day, I’ll…start tithing.
·       One day, I’ll…invite……to church.
·       One day, I’ll…start having a daily devotion
·       One day, I’ll…surrender my life to God
 
Eph. 5:15-16 - So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.
 
Which of the plans mentioned in James 4:13 do you tend to leave God out of the most?
  • Planning your calendar – “today or tomorrow”
  • Picking the places you go – “we will go to this or that city”
  • Planning your future – “spend a year there”
  • Pursuits in life – “carrying on business”
  • Personal finances – “make money”
 
James says our lives are like a “mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes (v. 14). What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind when your time on earth is completed?
 
It’s one thing to have good intentions regarding our time, but it’s another to actually prioritize our schedules to reflect God’s values.
 
Jesus knew what it meant to balance His priorities with other. Luke 4:42-44 says at daybreak, Jesus went to a solitary place. “I must preach…that is why I was sent”  FOCUSED – no distractions…not even with good things
 
Practical ways to use your time wisely.
 
  1. Write a life mission statement reflecting God’s priorities.
Begin by thinking about how you want to be remembered.
Think of some statements you hope would be made about you at your funeral.
Then take qualities from those statements to create a mission statement…”My mission in life is to….” Putting it in writing will help you stay focused on what’s important.
 
  1. Include prayer in your planning process.
Jesus spent much time in prayer…If praying helped Jesus to stay on track with the Father’s plan for His life, how much more do we need to pray?
 
  1. Obey what God has already led you to do. -  Don’t procrastinate.
Do you need to ask someone’s forgiveness or forgive someone?
Do you need to pay someone the money you owe them?
Do you need to share Christ with someone that God has been dealing with you?
Do you need to give your heart to God?