Priorities (Ephesians #35)

Text: Ephesians 5:15-17

Watch out for conflicting priorities

  • …walk circumspectly, not as fools…
  • Circum – around – circumference.  Spect – spectacle – see
  • Exodus 23:13 don’t introduce rivals to the Lord into your life.  Aaron creating conflict with the Lord by making golden calves.
  • Circumspect like a watchman looking for an approaching enemy.  You’re supposed to be watching for things that will rival the place of the Lord.  Things that will move the Lord to the back burner, cause him to lose priority.
  • Luke 12:15-20
    • I have, so I am!
    • People in Beeville, TX believe they are what they have.
    • People in this room may believe you are what you have.
    • You may believe that your kids are what they have.
    • Your kids probably believe they are what they have.

Setting priorities because time is working against you

  • …redeeming the time…
  • To the world, the phrase redeeming the time could mean cosmetic surgery; turning one’s gray hair to brown to recapture a youthful look; or sleeping off a hangover.
  • To redeem means to purchase.
  • Time is a trial afforded by God.
    • God will use it to judge us because He knows we will do what we want to with our time.
    • Because there is no promise of tomorrow we will do what is important to us to do today.
    • We use time as an excuse even though we all have the same amount of it.  We still say, “I don’t have time.” That’s not true even though we believe it is.  Time used as an excuse is the opposite of time redeemed.
    • He will use it to grow us up.
  • Days are evil and you know that because we’re already into March of 2018 and we just had Christmas!  You know the days are evil because without purposing in your schedule to serve God you’ll wake up and wonder where 10 years of your life have gone.
  • Psalm 90:9 …as a tale that is told denotes the brevity of life.  Much of it can be summed up in a few lines such as the kings of Israel’s epitaphs read, and he did evil in the sight of the Lord.  An entire life summed up in nine words.  He’s describing what the soul of a king did with his time.  Not what he meant to do. Not what his intentions were. Just record what he did with his TIME.  Or it could be said that he did right in the sight of the Lord.

How time is redeemed

  • …understanding what the will of the Lord is…
  • Prioritize the Lord first.  Make God’s priorities your priorities.
  • So you don’t have time to do everything you want to do in this life.  But you do have time to do everything God wants you to do. And what God wants you to do is the most productive thing you could be doing.
  • Organizational priority – Exodus 25 – Ark of the covenant was built first.  God’s priority is fellowship with his people. When fellowship with God is in its right place, everything else will be in the right place.
    • First part of your day.  Psalm 63:1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee:
    • First part of the week; Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2
    • First part of your increase; Proverbs 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
    • First part of your life; Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
      • Young Samuel – Speak, Lord, thy SERVANT heareth
      • Even as young Daniel (Daniel 1:8)
    • First part of your talent.  What can I do with what God’s given me to make God happy?
  • Foundational priority – 1 Corinthians 3:11 & Psalm 127:1-2.  
    • It is so important to make sure God is in what you’re doing, work, play, be sure you get his opinion first.  If you don’t, you’ll inevitably become like the guy in Luke 12 just caught up with the demands of a priority you introduced into your life without God.  People who prioritize God first get more done than people who try to get more done by cutting God out.