Take a minute to think about your current priorities … what are they?
Many of the conflicts we have, anxieties that we experience and overwhelming feelings we encounter are because we have compartmentalized our lives. We fit Jesus in rather than putting Him first.
We often experience guilt and frustration when we see the needs of the world around us because we do not know how we can fit anything else into our already very full lives. How can we help anyone else, hear their cries or respond to their needs when we are so consumed with ourselves that there is no room for anything or anyone else?
We need to reorder, recalibrate, repent and return to our first love. It’s all an issue of what is first in our lives. When we shift our priorities and our focus, subsequently our actions shift as well, as we seek His kingdom first, He then adds whatever we need. He does not forget our needs, deny them or ignore them. He provides for each and every one. The key to His provision is to put Him first. The amazing truth is that we never come second by putting God first.“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” (John 4:34-35)
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
“As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified” (John 17:18-19).
There is a certain danger that can increase when we have been involved in church life for a long time. Sometimes we get so involved with our Christian friends and Christian activities that we let go of our relationships with lost people and lose sight of the issues that affect them.
If we are going to reach the lost, we must consciously choose to stay connected to unchurched people. In the same way that you cannot impact a world that you are not in, you cannot influence people with whom you have no relationship.
It is important that we are fully engaged in church life, but we need to remember that church is the place where we go to be trained and equipped to do what God has called us to do. It is where we gather so that we are strengthened for service when we scatter.This mission of God is far too important to leave the missionaries alone. It requires all of us to be witnesses.
“… while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).
In the parable of the prodigal son, the younger of two sons asks for his share of his father’s estate and soon after leaves for a distant country where he squanders his wealth in wild living.
Because of his immaturity and selfishness, the prodigal son made a very bad miscalculation. He thought that a life outside of his father’s house and without the father would be better than a life within the house with his father. He was proved to be tragically wrong, and he knew it. So he headed home.
Despite the fact that the young man had brought great pain to his loved ones, his father did not condemn, reject or ignore him. On the contrary, at the first sight of his son, he ran to embrace him!When a lost person comes home to be reconciled with Jesus, we the church must always have a “Welcome Home” sign ready, the doors wide open and the table prepared with the finest feast. Let’s love and never reject the prodigals.
For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes (Deuteronomy 10:17).
One particular trip home to Sydney, I spent the afternoon visiting my mum (and eating lots of Greek food). I walked into the bedroom I had occupied in my mum’s house for almost thirty years and was amazed at how small it actually was. In that bedroom I not only slept but somehow managed to fit a study desk that, when combined with my bed, took up every available square inch of space.
I smiled as I reflected on the fact that it was in that room I studied for my high school exams, my university exams and my Bible college exams. It was there I wrote the first six years of sermons I ever preached. I marveled at how a global ministry started in a room where I could literally almost touch opposing walls if I stretched out my arms.
I realized that it is not the size of the room but the size of our God that determines our destiny.
Sometimes we want to wait until everything is perfect before we start to do anything, but I have found that if we simply start where we are, with what we have, when we can, then God in His bigness is well able to compensate for any of our smallness.
Now that is good news!