REACH FORWARD – 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead… Philippians 3:13 NKJV
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 NIV
Not only did Paul determine his purpose, but he also determined his priorities. In Philippians 3:13 he says “one thing I do.” He chose to forget what was in the past and to reach forward for one thing.
Once a purpose is clarified, priorities help to accomplish it. Like with any goal, begin with the end in mind. Hopefully yesterday you thought through your purpose- where it is you want to go and who it is you want to be. What steps need to be taken in order for you to be that person?
Prioritizing is something Jesus mentions repeatedly.
Prioritizing is something Jesus mentions repeatedly. In today’s verse He says to seek His kingdom first and “all these things” (in this case referring to food, drink, and clothing) will be given. When we look to Him first, our everyday needs will be taken care of. When asked about the greatest commandment, Jesus said to love God first and then others. “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt. 22:40 NIV). When we love God above all else, we will naturally obey other things He asks.
How can you make God priority in your life? There is a practical tip that says we should give God the first hour of every day, the first day of every week, and the first dime of every dollar. That’s certainly a great place to start! What do you need to shift around in order to put God first and to reach forward in the things of Him?
– Ask God to help you make Him priority. Consider committing to God the first hour of your day (daily devotion/prayer time), day of your week (attending church), and the first dime of your dollar (tithe).
– Praise God for a church like Liberty who prioritizes the things of God in order to accomplish the purpose He’s given us. Pray that we would be diligent in keeping the main things the main things. Pray for our six core ministries- Worship Arts, Connect Groups, Kids, Students, Connections, and Missions.
– Mark your calendars for January 4. Pastor Grant will be leading a Wednesday night series on finances. This will be a great way for people of all ages to learn more about putting God first. Topics will include budgeting, financial planning, insurance, retirement, wills, trusts, leaving a legacy, etc.
– Pray again for the lost people in Hampton Roads. Pray that our burden for them would motivate our priorities.