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Lesson 2: Lord of Our Priorities *

Introduction: Often I ask myself "What should I do first?" It is an important question to consider, because otherwise I find myself working first on whatever has caught my attention, and not what is a priority. Our lesson this week is about spiritual priorities. Do we make spiritual matters a priority, or do we just take care of what currently has our attention? Let's dive into our lesson and see what God has to say on the subject of spiritual priorities!

  1. Lord of All

    1. Read Psalms 24:1. Over what is God master? (Everything.)

    2. Read Psalms 24:2. Why is God entitled to claim dominion over everything? (Because He made it. He created everything, therefore He owns it.)

    3. Assume you owned a business and your biggest and best customer called. Would you set aside all of your other work to deal with your best customer? (It would be foolish to do anything else.)

      1. What does this business example teach us about making God our first priority? (One reason to make God our first priority is that He is our "best customer" in that He has given us all that we have.)

    4. Read Psalms 24:3. Move this idea of approaching God into another context. Assume one person owned your entire town. What might cause you to need to approach the town owner? (If you wanted authority to do something. If you wanted a favor. If you had gratitude for being allowed to live in the town.)

    5. Read Exodus 19:5-6. What reason does God give for us approaching Him? (We will be His representatives. We have a special relationship with Him.)

      1. What kind of a representative is a priest? (One who is supposed to act on behalf of God.)

    6. Let's return to Psalms 24:3-4. Read verse 4 in the context of verse 3. God is in charge of everything, He has openings for personal representatives. What qualifications is God looking for in His personal representatives?

      1. "Clean hands and pure heart." Is God looking for well-bathed people to be His representatives? (He is looking for those who have pure thinking (heart)and who do what is right (hands).

      2. "Not lift up his soul to an idol." What does it mean to lift up your soul to an idol? (It means to serve something other than God.)

        1. What in your life interferes with your allegiance to God?

        2. What does this teach us about God's desire that we make Him our first priority? (God tells us that if we want to represent His authority, we need to make Him the priority of our life.)

      3. "Swear by what is false." Is this just referring to honesty? (Honesty is certainly part of it. However, this seems to include promoting what is improper.)

      4. How would you summarize these three qualifications for being God's representative? (God wants to be first in our allegiance (no idol), He wants to be first in our causes (no swearing by the false), He wants our mind and our actions to reflect His will (pure heart and clean hands).)

    7. How would you go about making God, His program and His will a priority in your life?

  2. A Life Reflecting Our Priorities

    1. Read Luke 22:39-40. How can we use prayer to guide our priorities?

      1. When Jesus said that the disciples should pray that they would not fall into temptation, what did that have to do with their priorities? (Temptation seeks to replace God's will for our life with Satan's will for our life.)

    2. Read Luke 22:41-42. How did Jesus make God's will His priority?

      1. Consider the words of Jesus: Jesus first tells His Father what He would like. Is that the way we should approach setting our priorities in life?

      2. What is the "bottom line" for Jesus? (He tells His Father what He would prefer, but Jesus says, "I'm going to do Your will regardless of My preferences.")

      3. In setting our priorities each day, is it reasonable to tell God what we would like to do, pray that we will not be overtaken by Satan's priorities, and finish by saying that we want God's priorities to be our priorities?

    3. Imagine that you just finished the prayer we discussed above. What do you do next? How do you, as a practical matter, follow up this prayer?

    4. Read Luke 6:46-48. What does God want from us? (Obedience. This is what Jesus was offering His Father when He said, "Not My will, but Your will.")

      1. Luke 6:47 gives us the steps to obedience. What are they? (I see three steps. First, we make a conscious decision to come to God. Second, we "hear" God's word. Last, we put God's words into practice.)

        1. What does it mean to "hear" God's word? (It primarily means what you are doing right now - studying God's word, the Bible.)

    1. Read Luke 6:49. What is the failure of this builder? (Not putting God's words into practice.)

      1. In this parable, what do you think the "house" represents? (Your life!)

      2. What does the flood represent? (Difficult times. The final judgment.)

      3. If the house is your life, what personal benefit do we get from making God our first priority? (This is the wonderful "secret" about making God first - it blesses our life.)

    2. Read Ephesians 5:28. This is not only one of my favorite texts, I believe this is a text which goes far beyond the marriage relationship. What lesson do we find in this text about loving ourselves? (This is a fuller description of the secret of making God first. God teaches us that if we obey Him (by, for example, loving our spouse) that we will be blessing ourselves. Making God our first priority, ends up blessing us.)

  1. A Time Reflecting Our Priorities

    1. Read Mark 1:35 and Psalms 5:3. Neither of these texts give us a command, they simply describe the fact that Jesus and David approached God in the morning. Have you tried coming to God by studying His word in the morning? If so, have you found it better than coming in the evening? (As I am writing this, it is morning and I am in a hotel. Just before I read these texts in Mark and Psalms, I was closing my computer because I thought it was check-out time. I mentioned to my wife how important I had found it to be for me to study and write these lessons in the morning. She discovered that we had another hour before check out, and I was able to continue working. The next texts I read were these texts in Mark and Psalms - which confirmed what I had just said to her!)

    2. In addition to offering to God a clearer mind in the morning, what else does morning prayer and Bible study do for us? (It helps to remind us of God's priorities for our life that day.)

    3. Friend, God has a claim over your life because He created you and then saved you from eternal death. Will you determine every morning to come to Him and make His will your priority for that day?

  2. Next week: Lord of Our Thoughts.
* Copr. 2005, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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