Stop and Start - Part 2

A blog series on how families can apply the gospel into their pain and dysfunction.

Part 2 - How to Set Priorities that Matter. How do you decide what is most important in your life? We all face decisions every day. Where will I eat lunch? Do I want to go to church? Will I accept that Facebook friend invite?

One major issue in today's families is the lack of priority in what eternally matters. I say that because many students live stressful, packed schedules. Many times the last place on their priority list is their spiritual growth. Sports, dance, academics and more are the main priorities.

The Bible does not give a step-by-step checklist to follow. It does provide principles that are applicable to how we make wise decisions with our lives. According to God, below are the priorities that matter most:

#1 God

#2 Spouse 

#3 Children 

 #4 Everything Else. This is where it gets messy.

 Paul talks more about what matter most in life! 

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! Philippians 3:7-14

The apostle Paul talks about putting excessive value on things. The creation becomes worshipped more than the Creator. The world considers these valuable, but to God it's just earthly things. In fact, its just MANURE compared to knowing Christ! The greek word in v. 8 is translated as “rubbish” is actually the word for poop!

The Philippians were the most supportive church of Paul’s missionary work. The Church at Philippi was undergoing persecution for a while and now Paul is in prison writing this letter to them. Paul writes to encourage them. Paul referred to Christ’ persecutions and His faithfulness. Everything we call great in this world is nothing compared to knowing Jesus.

 According to Paul, here is what matters most in life: 

  • Pressing on to being more like Christ

  • Forget past mistakes. God has forgiven you.

  • Press onto God’s specific purpose for your life. 

 Jesus is not just a priority in the family. Stop viewing God as a part of your life. Instead start viewing God AS your life. The heart response is that Jesus is not just a priority but He is the center of our lives. When we simply "put" Jesus first, it can turn into a checklist that we follow. Slowly, we put God into a box that we create.

A few questions to consider:  

- What sort of things would be hardest for you to give up? - Imagine a manure-meter that lets you score your progress as you learn to live Phil. 3:8, as you learn to value the things of the world. What would be your score of one to ten? (10 being “I counted everything as loss” and 1 being “Well, there’s something about manure that I like.”) Why would you score yourself that way? - Ask Christ to help you focus on Him and not on the things of this world

How do we have a strong nation? We have strong churches who love Jesus. How do we have strong churches? We have strong families that love Jesus. How do we have strong families? We have strong marriages that are the foundation for generations to come. How do we build strong marriages? Individuals who love Jesus more than anything in this world. What would you add about family priorities? How do we decide on setting priorities in our family?