Priorities

Life is a lot like a coin; you can spend it any way you wish, but you can spend it only once. Choosing one thing over all the rest throughout life is a difficult thing to do. This is especially true when the choices are so many and the possibilities are so close. To be completely truthful with you, however, we aren’t left with numerous possibilities.

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Putting First Things First

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth . . . . But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:24, 33) Our Father, we confess that placing Jesus first in our lives precludes competition from all other loyalties:

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Overcoming Hypocrisy

“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding.” (Matthew 6:1 MSG) Lord God, we thank You for the model of Jesus Christ our Savior who, when He walked this earth, dripped with authenticity.

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A Fire for Cold Hearts

It happened in a large, seventy-five-year-old stone house on the west side of Houston. A massive stairway led up to several bedrooms. The den down below was done in rough-hewn boards with soft leather chairs and a couple of matching sofas. The wet bar had been converted into a small library, including a shelf of tape recordings and a multiple-speaker sound system.

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Cracks in the Wall

The longer I live the less I know for sure. That sounds like 50% heresy . . . but it’s 100% honesty. In my younger years I had a lot more answers than I do now. Things were absolutely black and white, right or wrong, yes or no, in or out, but a lot of that is beginning to change. The more I travel and read and wrestle and think the less simplistic things seem.

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The Final Priority

Somebody copied the following paraphrase from a well-worn carbon in the billfold of a thirty-year veteran missionary. With her husband, she was on her way to another tour of duty at Khartoum, Sudan. No one seems to know who authored it, but whoever it was captured the essence of the greatest essay on love ever written.

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Man’s Quest

Greece said . . . Be wise, know yourself. Rome said . . . Be strong, discipline yourself. Judaism says . . . Be holy, conform yourself. Epicureanism says . . . Be sensuous, enjoy yourself. Education says . . . Be resourceful, expend yourself. Psychology says . . . Be confident, fulfill yourself. Materialism says . . . Be acquisitive, please yourself. Pride says . . . Be superior, promote yourself.

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A Parable: Saving Lives

On a dangerous seacoast notorious for shipwrecks, there was a crude little lifesaving station. Actually, the station was merely a hut with only one boat . . . but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the turbulent sea. With little thought for themselves, they would go out day and night tirelessly searching for those in danger as well as the lost.

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Memorizing Scripture

I know of no other single practice in the Christian life that’s more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. That’s right. No other single discipline is more useful and rewarding than this. No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective.

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The Sinking Sand of Superstition

THE GREAT PLAGUE STRETCHED across London like a thick, drab blanket. It came as a thief in the night. The mortality rate was astounding. Someone came up with the foolish idea that polluted air brought on the plague. So, people began to carry flower petals in their pockets, superstitiously thinking the fragrance would ward off the disease.

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