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Proper Priorities

Proper Priorities

August 20, 2014

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First comes love, then comes marriage, then come…..

Marry for any reason without love, your asking for disastrous consequences. The best spouses can do for each other is to put the other one first. Where is your priorities at? Somewhere in my DNA makeup is a doohicky with a specific man’s name embedded in to it. Put there by God Himself. To remain faithful to him.

Yes, I have a Kindle fire device, a smartphone and a desktop computer…they all have a purpose, just like a toaster, blender, mixer, coffee pot, microwave…in the kitchen, along with a cake pop set. I make time for Bible study, praying for him, collecting date tips from Jimmy Evans and a few other Christ like men (preachers) to suggest, I have worked on it because the Lord Jesus Christ told me too!

Jimmy Evans Blog...

All of us have 24 hours in a day. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman, whether you’re rich or poor. We all have the same amount of time.

Your life is defined by how you choose to spend that time—between work, church, family, hobbies, and everything else. Time evaporates quickly, and that’s why we have to make choices.

It’s easy to say what our priorities are, but the most accurate way to determine our priorities isn’t based on our words, but on how we live.

When God created marriage, he gave a foundational rule for relationships between a husband and wife: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

You have a one hundred percent chance of success in marriage if you follow God’s plan. He created a foundation to ensure every marriage could succeed, and it’s not complicated. It’s all about priorities.

When the Bible says we leave our father and mother, it’s really saying that we reprioritize our lives. The moment you get married, you “cleave” to your spouse. Your spouse comes first. That’s the law of priority.

It’s reflected in natural jealousy. In our culture, we often view jealousy as a negative thing, but there is a legitimate jealousy that God puts inside us related to marriage. The Bible says God is jealous when we allow something in our lives to take His place. In marriage, spouses have the same type of jealousy.

In marriage, a husband or wife will naturally become jealous when something begins to replace them in their spouse’s life.

That’s why the satisfaction level of marriage often drops when children enter the picture. At this point, a woman typically turns her attention to the kids while the husband turns his attention to his career.

The priority of the marriage is lost. The husband and wife stop focusing attention on each other. For a successful marriage, a husband and wife must find a way to avoid this trap by maintaining the right priorities.

The only way to do this is by sacrifice. Sometimes we have to give up certain interests—golf, shopping, longer days at work—for the good of our marriage. Why? Because time is the essential commodity of relationships. For a healthy marriage, we have to take time away from self-focused pursuits and devote it to our spouse.

Once you’ve established priorities, you must protect them. Work is a good thing. Children are good. Church is good. But the things that destroy marriage aren’t often bad things, but good things done out of priority. This includes working too much or focusing too much on the kids—to the detriment of your marriage.

How will your kids succeed if your marriage doesn’t show them how?

Marriage only works when it is in first place. That’s a challenge, but the law of priority is one God set at the very beginning. If your spouse has complained about the time you spend at work, or with your friends, or playing golf, or on Facebook, then you may be violating God’s law of priority.

If so, you need to make changes. You need to sacrifice and rearrange your priorities. That’s the only way marriage works

Jimmy Evans

Enough or Too Much

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2014

D E V O T I O N Asking Why

I am nothing–how could I ever find the answers? I lay my hand upon my mouth in silence. I have said too much already. —Job 40:4–5

We can ask God why anytime we want to. But I don’t know whether we will really be satisfied with His answers.

If God came down to you on a shining cloud and explained His purposes to you, would it really make it any better? I don’t know that it would. As far as we know, Job never was given the “why” of all the tragedies that befell him. But He was given an incredible revelation of God’s wisdom and power.

When Jesus was in great agony, dying on the cross for our sins, and He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” He did ask why. But notice that He prefaced it with, “My God, My God.” It wasn’t an accusation against the Father. Jesus was merely stating the reality of what was taking place in those awful hours, as all of the sin of the world was being placed upon Him who had known no sin. And as the Father turned His holy face away, the Son cried out, “Why have You forsaken Me?” (see Matthew 27:46).

The fact is, Jesus was forsaken that I might be forgiven. But even in His great cry of grief and loneliness over His separation from the Father, as He bore the sins of the world for all time, Jesus still said, “My God, My God. . . .” There was complete trust in the Lord.

You might say, “Well, I have a lot of questions for God. When I get to heaven I’m going to ask Him some things. In fact, I’ve got a list.”

You just keep that list with you. Take it with you everywhere you go, and then if you die unexpectedly, you’ll have it handy to pull out and ask God when you stand before Him.

Somehow, I don’t think that is the way it will be. I suggest to you that when you arrive in heaven, when you see your Creator, your God, your Savior in all His blazing glory, you’ll forget all about your little list of questions. One commentator wrote, “I had a million questions to ask God, but when I met Him, they all fled my mind, and it didn’t seem to matter.”

Today’sdevotional is an excerpt from EveryDay with Jesus by Greg Laurie,2013

S H A R I N G Share this today!

Have a list of questions for God? Here’s a suggestion from Greg Laurie.

C O N N E C T I O N

Today’s Radio Program: “Power to Change the World–3″

This Week’s TV Program: “The God Who Loves and Forgives, Part 1″

Today’s Bible Reading: Ezra 2-3; Luke 8

When God Doesn’t Make Sense

When God doesn’t make sense, we must remind ourselves of His promises. They give us the perspective we desperately need in hard times. When God Doesn’t Make Sense is our gift to you in thanks for your support of Harvest Ministries this month.

Copyright©2014 byHarvest Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie P.O. Box4000,Riverside, CA 92514-4000 Phone: 1-800-821-3300

YOU RAISE ME UP

You Raise Me Up”

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When I am down and, oh, my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

There is no life – no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You raise me up to more than I can be.

By JOSH GROBAN

Marriage Builder

Marriage Builder – Put God at the Center of Your Marriage

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Karen and I almost divorced. When we got married more than 40 years ago, we had no idea what we were doing. We almost broke up a few years into it.

But today, I can honestly say that we love each other more than ever. She is my soul mate and my best friend. Ours isn’t a perfect marriage, but we have one heart. We have become one in God’s purpose.

In the process, we’ve discovered a powerful principle. To be happily married, the reason for your marriage has to be greater than the stress that’s on your marriage. And there’s always stress on your marriage, from physical issues to kids or money or in-laws or work.

So I often ask these questions: What is the reason for your marriage? What is your purpose? Why are you married?

Many people will say that God brought them together. Great! I always then ask them “Why?” A lot of couples don’t have a good answer.

Some people will answer that they got married to share life with their spouse, or to share finances, or because they love each other. But a person can cause stress. Money causes stress. And feelings change. People fall out of love.

All that stress is caused by the very reasons you got married in the first place. Your reasons become your stress. That’s why marriages fail. That’s what happened with Karen and me. We got married with the best intentions but then the stress hit.

Our marriage was saved when we changed our purpose. We disposed of the idea of being married for love or to share our lives or to create a family. Instead, we made our marriage about God.

The number-one purpose in our marriage is to fulfill God’s will in our lives. The fact that we’re still married today has everything to do with that purpose.

No stress is greater than God. He is more powerful than any issue we’ll ever face. He can transcend any marriage problem.

So many of the reasons people get married have to do with self-gratification: the way someone makes them feel, or because they want to have children. There’s nothing wrong with those things under the banner of God, but when they exist by themselves, they are only about what we get.

God didn’t create marriage so we could get. He created it so we could give—specifically so we could give back to Him. We want to give God glory through our lives and our children and grandchildren.

We exist first to glorify God, not to gratify ourselves.

I truly believe that one of the reasons marriages are falling apart around the world is because people have taken God out of the equation and made marriage all about them. What they want. What they get. How it makes them feel.

God designed marriage to revolve around Him. That’s how marriage works, and that’s what keeps a marriage from failing. So ask yourself: What is the purpose of my marriage? Is it a purpose that can be defeated by stress…or actually cause stress?

If the reason you’re married is not about God, then you won’t become one heart until you put Him at the center. Make your marriage about God. Only then will your marriage flourish.

For more about this topic, watch this week’s show!

http://www.marriagetoday.com/becoming-one-heart/

Blessings,
Jimmy Evans

A Pickle Jar

http://www.godvine.com
A Father Gave It ALL Up to Send His Kid to College…I Was Shocked When I Learned What Else He Did.

Like many inspiring movies and books, this short story may be fictional. However, the impact that this work will have on its readers is very real. Enjoy!

The Pickle Jar

Author Unknown

The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the dresser in my parents’ bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.

As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they were dropped into the jar. They ended with a merry jingle when the jar was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar was filled. I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and admire the copper and silver circles that glinted like a pirate’s treasure when the sun poured through the bedroom window.

When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at the kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank. Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production. Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on the seat of his old truck. Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me hopefully. “Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill, son.

You’re going to do better than me. This old mill town’s not going to hold you back.” Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly.

“These are for my son’s college fund. He’ll never work at the mill all his life like me.” We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone. I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk at the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins nestled in his palm. “When we get home, we’ll start filling the jar again.”

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He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they rattled around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. “You’ll get to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters,” he said. “But you’ll get there. I’ll see to that.”

The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town. Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had been removed. A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser

where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words, and never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith. The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the most flowery of words could have done.

When I married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad had loved me. No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his coins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill, and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single dime was taken from the jar.

To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup over my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever to make away out for me. “When you finish college, Son,” he told me, his eyes glistening, “You’ll never have to eat beans again…unless you want to.”

The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad’s arms. “She probably needs to be changed,” she said, carrying the baby into my parents’ bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist in her eyes. She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me into the room.

“Look,” she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a fistful of coins.

With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same emotions I felt.

Neither one of us could speak.

Proverbs 13:22

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Consider the Lilies by Joel Hemphill

Song by Joel Hemphill

CONSIDER THE LILIES
Verse 1:
{D} Con – sid – er the {D7} lil – ies, they don’t {G} toil nor {E7}spin

But {A7} there’s not a king with more {G} splen – dor {A} than {D} them

{D}Con – sid – er the {D7} spar – row, he does – n’t {G] plant nor {E7} sow

But he’s {A7} fed by the Mast – er Who {G} watch – {A} es him {D} grow
chorus:

      {D} We have a {D7} heav – en – ly {G} Fath – er a – {E7} bove

      With {A7} eyes full of mer – cy and a {G} heart {A} full of {D} love

      He real – ly {D7} cares when your {G} head is bowed {E7} low

      Con – {A} sid – er the {A7} lil – ies and {G} then {A} you will {D} know

Verse 2:
{D} May I in – tro – {D7} duce you to {G} this Friend of {E7} mine

Who {A7} hangs out the stars and tells the {G} sun {A} when to {D} shine

And kiss – es the {D7} flow – ers each {G} morn – ing with {E7} dew

But {A7} He’s not too bus – y to {G} care {A} a – bout {D} you!

Shipwrecked Faith!

I hear the effects of the shipwrecked faith, but I wonder how strong their faith really was and is Stand firm….”Plant your feet, Stand your ground and hold on to your faith.”
-John Monroe Parker, my grandfather was a wise man.

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1 Timothy 1:18-20
This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,  having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,  of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Paul encourages Timothy to fight the good fight, and to keep his conscience clear. Then, there is a warning, and we find that our faith is able to be shipwrecked if we are not willing to stand firm in our faith. Temptation will come, and by the leading of the Holy Spirit our conscience is made aware of the sin trying to enter and corrupt us. In this way our propensity to sin is revealed to us, and we are made aware of the choices we ought to make. We are able to make the right choice, to fight the good fight, to flee from sin, because of Jesus Christ. Stand firm today! Do not allow sin to entice you and drag you away! Jesus is greater than any impulse or temptation you face.

Verse/Commentary courtesy of ‘Verse-A-Day’ android app.
http://www.verse-a-day.com/Apps

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