Winterville United Methodist Church

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

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August 29, 2016: Luke 14:25-33, “Priorities”

Most of us struggle very little between bad and good.  We learned those lessons from our earliest days.  Our struggle, instead, is between good and better or between better and best!

Life dangles before us every opportunity imaginable—ways to spend our money, places to invest our time.  We turn on the television, and commercials lure us with hot new gadgets to buy.  We have to have the latest iphone and it, too, becomes a trap of sorts because through the process of our searches product placements appear and lure us into buying modes. 

Then come the tugs of ways to spend our time.  Again the marketing professionals spin their messages designed to entrap us, “You haven’t lived until you’ve taken this cruise or until you’ve traveled the world.”  “You work hard, and you deserve to relax on golden beaches.”  Sports trainers and coaches lure us by telling us they can most certainly turn our five-year-old children into professional baseball players or football players or Olympic athletes, but first we must commit to every evening at practice, every Saturday on the field or in the gym, and certainly every Sunday morning we must spend at games or in practices.

So what about the need to save money, to not go into debt or to get out of debt?  What about the need to give unto God that which belongs to God?  What about the need to live simply so others can simply live?  What about the need to keep a balance with regard to our time so that we know who we are as members of the family?  What about the need to protect time that rightfully belongs to God so as to maintain close connection with God?

Luke 14:25-33 are some of the most challenging and thought-provoking words in the New Testament, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple!”  Jesus definitely gets my attention as he speaks those words!  He seems to suggest that human being become like cyclops with one eye in the center of their foreheads and with that one eye trained on Jesus!  While Jesus’ words are about hating brother, sister, mother and father, they stray away from literal application and head instead in the direction of Jesus being such a priority in our lives that it is as if we “hated” all other priorities in life—even those with the closest persons in our lives! 

But guess what!  When we make Jesus our singular focus—our priority—then all other relationships turn out better.  When we make Jesus our singular focus—our priority—then all other decisions and all other activities in our lives go in a better direction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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