Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2005
Title] The Lord of Our Priorities
[Texts] Genesis 1:1; Exodus 19:5; Isaiah 45:18; Psalm 24:1, 50: 10,11; Colossians 1:16: Isaiah 44:22; John 4:34, 6:38; Luke 22:42; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 10:9; Luke 6:46; Mark 1:35; Psalm 5:1-3.
[Use] July 9, 2005
Are you overloaded, overwhelmed and overextended? What margin of space for yourself do you have on a day-to-day basis? In a recent article in REV magazine , Wayne Cordeiro asks readers to contemplate their margin. Cordeiro defines individuals' margins as the difference between their load and their limit. Too many of us have little margin and too much load. Could it be that the Devil knows if he keeps us too busy it will damage our sense of balance and that our physical, mental, social and spiritual health will suffer?
This week's Independence Day holiday afforded many Americans what is commonly referred to as a four-day weekend. While not everyone was work-free all four days, the longer weekend provided more opportunity for time to rest, relax, worship, play and give quality time to family and friends. This weekend many of us not only celebrated our national freedom but also a more balanced life.
How often do you feel your priorities are set for you before your day begins? Do your computer, cell phone and Day-Timer set the course of your day? Will just a morning prayer keep your life in balance?
Today workaholism is the "ism" many consider the most respectable of all addictions. One does not even have to receive remuneration to be considered a workaholic. Workaholism invades the home, the church, the volunteer and work place. It is no respecter of person.
Whether we're bona fide volunteeraholics or simply individuals who have taken on too much, we need to ask ourselves: in our drive to create an illusion of self-worth that's based on what we accomplish, are we doing irreparable damage to our children, family, and friends as well as to our relationship with our Savior and Lord? Who or what is setting our priorities anyway? Surely not the Devil!
This week's Bible lesson stresses the importance of not only aligning our priorities with God's priorities for us, but making Him Lord of our priorities. How is that possible when we can't physically turn over our Day-timers to Him?
In his book "Ordering Your Private World," author Gordon McDonald suggests that we must learn to say no to things we may really want to do so that we may say yes to the very best things. This demands a sense of our God-given mission and a daily recommitment to our personal priorities.  If we don't have personal priorities, we'll find that our to-do lists will choke out our to-be list, our ability to be who God wants us to be and do what God wants us to do.
The Rev. Billy Graham is considered a global ambassador for Christ and the most prominent American evangelist of the past century. The last week of June, more than 230,000 attended what might be Graham's last crusade in New York.  The evangelist suffers from symptoms of Parkinson's disease and frailty of age. He asked New Yorkers to consider that "the end--of a person's life and of the world--may very well be imminent." He urged them to do two things: pray and go to church. When faced with death or the end of the world, one's priorities become pretty simple.
Nations have priorities. Places of business have priorities. Schools have priorities. Your denomination has priorities. Many local church congregations have priorities. To enhance our relationship with our Creator and Redeemer, ask daily for the Savior to be the Lord of your priorities. "This demands a sense of our God-given mission and a daily recommitment to our personal priorities." Otherwise, everyone else's priority will take first priority!
 Various media reports, June 27, 2005