One day King David did a priority check; “After the king was settled in his palace…he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.” (2 Samuel 7:1, 2)
Haggai the prophet once challenged the people of Israel about the same issue; “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” (Haggai 1: 4).
Too often we are self centered, not God centered, more interested in our house than God’s house.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 7: 31 that we should “…use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.” How engrossed are you in these things? What do you invest your time in? What you talk about? What do you keep turning over in your mind? How much of your time is consumed with transient things rather than transcendent things?
I’ve avoided it so far, but let’s talk about money. (“Do we have to?”). The way we think about money reveals more about our priorities than almost anything else. Rashi, the great Jewish commentator was explaining what it really meant to “love the Lord with all your might.” Rashi said it would be just as correct to say, “with all your money,” for “you sometimes find a man whose money is dearer to him than his life.
The financial section in one of Israel’s major newspapers is called “MAMMON.” It’s simply the Hebrew word for “money.” The Messiah said: “No one can serve two masters…. You cannot serve both God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)
By the way, you don’t have to be rich to care too much about money! Your total net worth may be one suitcase of clothes and $87.56 in cash, and yet, be more materialistic than a billionaire. J.C. Ryle said: “We may love money without having it, just as we may have money without loving it.” It’s all a matter of your heart condition. The Messiah said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”(Matthew 6: 21).
Every shekel invested in God’s Kingdom will eventually be translated into the currency of heaven — not imprinted with the image of a former prime minister, king or queen, but with the stamp of God’s image. And you can be sure that one day it will purchase a fantastic place in heaven (paneling and all!).
We’re all prone to getting our priorities out of order. Share with me some keys you’ve learned to keep first things first.