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Intro: What do you do every day? I’m talking the things you don’t have to do but you choose to do. Not eating or sleeping. Everyone does those and they are kind of needed. But what are you choosing to spend your time on? Some of those things that we choose are more necessary than others right? For instance working, something commanded for man to do that we better do? Some things we choose to do can be good in moderation, but too much just means that thing is an idol. What we are doing every day. Those are our priorities.
Now it doesn’t have to be every day, maybe they are weekly or something we do every month, but those things that we hold most important are our priorities. What do I hold as most important in my life?
Now I see you raising your hand and saying, “God!” Of course I hold Him most important. But even as I evaluate my own life I can see when that is not always the case and it leaves me hurting and discouraged, in need of grace and forgiveness.
Our priorities must be in step with the mind of Christ.
Our priorities must be in step with the mind of Christ.
We all already have priorities, they may have become a habit, good or bad. Some of those things we hold most important have really just became an idol. Maybe if you are younger here today your priorities are your parents priorities as they seek to raise you up in how you should go. And as you get older you will have to set your own values, what you hold to be most important. But those priorities have got to be in step with the mind of Christ.
As you get older I’m experiencing, you all know, As we get older we gain more responsibilities, and our time gets busier and busier and we have more and more to do and eventually we can’t keep up. Maybe we need to rethink our priorities? Let’s all reevaluate our routine today. I pray we find that our priorities are in step with the mind of Christ.

Prioritize the Eternal

What is something that is eternal, or rather, someone? Well, people are eternal. It doesn’t matter what road a person is on, their soul is eternal. If your faith is in Christ, He has promised us eternal life. Sweet.
John 5:24 ESV
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
That is sweet, comforting to our ears. We have no need to fear death, we can even be excited for when God calls us home to be with Him.
It is not enough to just know who Jesus is, “Like oh that Jesus guy, ya that was pretty cool what he did and all.” “Oh the gift is free, that’s great I’ll take that fire insurance.” But how is it recieved, through hearing, and believing. And belief makes all the difference. Belief that I can’t do it on my own and I need Jesus. At that moment we have that eternal life and at the moment we breath our last, we will be with our gracious, loving savior.
2 Corinthians 5:8 ESV
8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
It is not just believers who will be around for eternity. Unbelievers souls will be around forever in eternal torment. That is tragic to think about and it causes us to be a little uncomfy. This fact should cause us to make sure we are prioritizing people. Yes, absolutely, believers around us, but also unbelievers.
2 Thessalonians 1:7–9 ESV
7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
Often we don’t even want to think about how awful that would be. But these verses kind’a make us get our mind set on being a light to unbelievers.
When Jesus comes again it will not be as a savior. He will come to judge those who don’t know Him. Those who don’t know Him are going to suffer eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord. Presently, even unbelievers are experiencing good gifts from God: life, breath… it says in James 1:17 that every good and perfect gift is from above. If they die without Christ, if you are even here today and you are not trusting in Jesus finished work on the cross for your sins, you will be forever tormented, away from the presence of the giver of everything good and right.
A verse that summarizes the eternality of all people is Matthew 25:46
Matthew 25:46 ESV
46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
What does this mean for us, how do we prioritize people? People are eternal and if we simplify it into terms that matter for eternity there are only 2 groups of people, there is no on the fence. The first group: The saints.
How do I prioritize the saints? How can I invest in the lives of believers around me? In what ways can I teach younger believers around me about the Lord? Each of us has a responsibility to teach and model the mind of Christ to those younger in the faith than us. That’s what we see in Titus 2, the older men and women teaching the younger men and women in the church. And us that are younger, we aren’t off the hook because we are to follow the example of service that those older in the faith have shown. From generation, to generation, to generation, in our church we must teach and train up. We must remain faithful, each generation, we must not lose our first love, we must remain dedicated, commited to the saint’s around us.
Hebrews 10:23–25 ESV
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Its often said that church gives me the encouragement that I need for the week. I need this time to recharge. I need this time to reset. And granted, what an encouraging time it is to meet with other dedicated believers. It truly is a recharging station where we can enjoy fellowship with others. It can be that time to reset your heart and get back right with God.
But church isn’t just a place for us to benefit, though it does benefit us tremendously. It is also our place to encourage others. It is our place to remind and celebrate with others the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord.
Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. A question we need to be asking is, “How can I stir things up in here?” That doesn’t sound quite right does it? But this verse is encouraging us to stir things up, absolutely not in the sense of causing division, but in the sense of encouraging one another to love more like Christ, and do more that Christ would do. How can I serve in my church? Should I be studying and teaching? Should I reach out to someone who hasn’t been here in a while? Should I get to know someone better? How can we each be serving other believers? Don’t let your service stop at those double doors either.
We need to be at church not solely because we personally need encouragement, but also because others may need us to encourage them in the Lord. Maybe your child needs to be encouraged by someone here. We need each other. Set the priority of spending time with your church family set those habits for you and you family. Be here as often as you can even in your business. Don’t miss out on body of Christ building each other up.
Our priorities must be in step with the mind of Christ. Eternal priorities, prioritize people, the saints. And...
The second group of people we must prioritize is: the ain'ts. Those who do not know the Lord. Or those that claim to know Him, but their hearts are far from Him.
Matthew 15:8 ESV
8 “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
Matthew 7:21–23 ESV
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
It pains me to see so many who claim to know the Lord, but their hearts are far from Him. So many at school who want the Lord for fire insurance, but other than that, in how they act, in how they talk, they pay the Lord no mind.
Ah! If they could only see how God has something better for them. The world wants nothing to do with Him. We must be striving to have everything to do with Him. And in doing so, often it may feel like an Island. Sometimes it may feel like we are the only one standing in a sea of unbelief. With the Lord’s help we must continue to stand, to be a light in the darkness of this world with His power. If we are not standing with His help, we are going to act just like the world. Our values and views are going to be poisoned and warped into something that God never intended.
The world might not be saying, did we not prophecy, cast out out demons, and do works in your name.
As I think through these verses, paraphrases often come to mind. The world may say, Lord did I not go to church as child, did I not go to youth group. Lord, did I not pray before and after ball games for you. Did I not give to the church. Did I not go to mass, did I not go to confessional, Lord I did all these things. I got a verse tattooed on my arm, I have a fish sticker on my car and a cross hanging on my wall, I did enough to make it! How can I not be right before you?
I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.
Christ is enough for us. Christ can be enough for them. It’s not about what we do, but about what He did. When we fathom the depth of His grace, it should pierce our heart. How can we not live for Him?
Spend time with people, people are eternal. And we need to keep learning how to be intentional. It is not enough to just be with people if they never hear truth from us or never hear about Christ from us.
How can I prioritize the ain’ts? I can spend a lot of time shooting the breeze with someone and never go deeper than surface level. I can talk about basketball a lot. How to play well, what to do in nearly any situation, how to finish around the rim, how to shoot. We have a message that is much more important than how to shoot a basketball. We have the message of the cross. We must take the opportunities that God places in front of us to stand for truth. To live in a way that God can get behind.
What situations do you find yourselves in? Where are you having conversations with people, and how can you bring the truth of God’s Word into it? Where do people see you? How can your attitude reflect Christ in those conversations at true value, at the ball game, at the grocery store, at the co-op, at the hospital, at work? Does your attitude and how you talk reflect Christ?
We should be the most joyful people. The joy of the Lord is our strength, what sets us apart.
Jesus spent time with people. Jesus spent time with the lost. Mat 9:11-13
Matthew 9:11–13 ESV
11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Our priorities must be in step with the mind of Christ. Christ, His whole ministry was centered around people right. Its why He came, for people. To seek and to save the lost, to call the sinners. Us, right? He came to call us out of the world, and our priorities should look different from the world. To the world its foolish to spend every Sunday at church when you were busy all week. To the World it is foolish to be joyful always.
What priorities are you living by? How are you using your time for eternal purposes? Ya know, if our priorities are not in step with the mind of Christ, they aren’t priorities, they are just idols. Something that we are putting above the plan He has for us. If our priorities are not in step with the mind of Christ, they aren’t priorities, they are idols.
Continue searching the Scriptures to see how God wants you to spend your time. Is their something that you need to cut out that has become an idol? A habit that is a priority that does not please God? Let’s have our priorities something that Christ would approve of.
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