Faith Blog

PRIORITIES!

Matthew 6:25-34

I recently started going to a new dentist. They take pictures of my teeth, display them on a 50 inch screen in front of me, and point out the different things that are wrong. Not cool! The last time I visited, my dentist told me that I had been grinding my teeth, and that I should start wearing a retainer in order to preserve them and experience fewer headaches. Preserving my teeth sounds great, but I asked the dentist what the root of my problem was. (Haha, see what I did there?) She said, “I don’t know…maybe stress.”

As a student pastor, I’m constantly confronted with the reality that every new adversity in the life of a teenager is amplified. Students are just trying to find their way without standing out too much while living up to the expectations of everyone around them in addition to their own. The life of a teenager is heavy. Navigating friendships, family dynamics, school, work, and spiritual things can be new and exciting, but it’s often intimidating and overwhelming.

With so many responsibilities, it can be difficult choosing what to leave in and what to leave out. I read yesterday, with my teenage daughter, Emma, that the word “priorities” wasn’t used until the 10th century. Before that, only “priority” was used. Not plural, but singular. Maybe one of the reasons so many of us experience anxiety is because we’ve lost focus of the main thing, divided our attention, and misplaced priority. As Jesus addresses His anxious disciples in Matthew 6:25-34, I’m reminded of the main thing when I reach verse 33:          

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

These early disciples were worried about things like food, water, and clothing. Seems pretty basic, but following Jesus had led to a scarcity of these resources. It’s kind of hard for me to relate to that, if I’m honest. In fact, the things that I worry about often seem frivolous in comparison. Today I’m challenged to focus my priority on God’s kingdom, where He promises to meet all my needs, save me from worry, and hopefully save my teeth!

Posted by Donnie Chase with

DISCOVER THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

Proverbs 2:1-5

I believe I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs that right after I was saved, my youth director had me doing my quiet times in Romans (interesting book for a new believer) and Proverbs (chapter numbers corresponded with the date of the month). The first five verses of chapter 2 are quite a promise to us from God! “My son, if you will receive my sayings, and treasure my commandments within you, Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver, And search for her as if for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the Lord, And discover the knowledge of God.”

To me, there seems to be a natural progression in these verses.

  1. “Receive my sayings” – You need to be in the Word in order to accomplish this.
  2. “Treasure my commandments within you” – to me this is memorization (in order to pull them up at a moment's notice).
  3. “Make your ear attentive to wisdom”- you need to train your ear to know wisdom when you hear it.  It makes life so much easier! (And keeps you from chasing after folly!)
  4. “Incline your heart to understanding” – take it in, chew on it a little, explore all of its nuances, let it seep into your core and dwell in your heart.
  5. “If you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding” - being able to discern and not     understand does not make much sense, does it?
  6. “Seek for her as silver, search for her as for hidden treasure” – understanding is that IMPORTANT!
  7. “Then you will discern the fear of the Lord, And discover the knowledge of God.” – this is the end product after progressing through these steps.

These are the thoughts of someone with a very cluttered mind!

A wise man once told me that he would rather take personal advice from someone with a very well used Bible than from someone with multiple degrees on the wall. I tend to agree!

Posted by Paul Kightlinger with

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