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1. opening statements

2. bags with holes

3. Priorities

4. Contentment

5. stewardship

6. Personal duties

7. Giving

 


The meaning of priorities - Status established in order of importance or urgency
 
One must examine - what are the priorities in my life? In an order of importance, where is
God? The things of God? Where is my family?

Am I number one? Do my interests come before all others? Often it takes some soul searching and prayer, "Lord show me my heart" 

In the previous teaching "Bags with holes;" Israel wasn't prospering because they had put the work of God on the back burner. Their wants and needs became their priority.

What our Lord Jesus said:

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

The 1st. priority is to put God and the things of God first. If money or things is the first priority then we have broken the 1st commandment.

Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Please notice:

Matthew 6:19-24   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

If my god is money then is God  going to bless me with more?

Luke 16:13 "No servant can serve two masters. For either he will hate one and love the other, or be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and riches!"

Most of the time when a person has a near death experience, their priorities change very quickly. Why?  Do you suppose that they get the revelation that this life is short and that we are just passing through?

James 4:14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

According to the scriptures, King Solomon was the wisest man ever. Let us see what He said in the scriptures.

Ecclesiastes 12:13  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

All through the book of  Ecclesiastes King Solomon speaks of his pursuit of material things, accomplishments, wisdom and worldly pleasures, all to no avail. He found that none of these things truly fulfilled his purpose in life and that it was vanity. His conclusion was the verse above. Fear God and keep His commandments.

Luke 12:15-21  And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Jesus said that our lives consists not in the abundance of material things. Notice the following:

Matthew 16:26  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

What do we exchange for:

Being in the presence of God.
Watching our children grow up.
Spending quality precious time with our spouse.
Just observing a beautiful sunset, sunrise.

I'm sure that all of us hold dear to our hearts a precious moment that we value above most things.

There are things that are far more important then earthly possessions. I recently spoke with a lady that worked outside of her home. The demands of her job took away from her time with her children. In discussing her regrets, the subject of money came up. Much of her money was spent on frivolous things of little value. I remember saying to her, "you are trading what is most precious to you (time with your children) for material things of little value, that by this time next year, most of it will be in the trash."

If you must work then use your money wisely, make it count. Chances are, that it cost you much more then just your labor. What are you trading for money?
 

A Value above family

Mark 10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,
30 But he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

Mat 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

The work of God has an eternal value, that outweighs even  family. Whatever we do for the kingdom of God will have eternal consequences, and will be laid up as treasure in heaven.