Priorities for a Christian should be:
1. Relationship to God
2. Relationship to Family
I think people often forget this and want to put Ministry/Work in the #2 spot.
I love this numeric sequencing of priority BUT what about this verse in relation to 2 and 3?
29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
It seems 1 stands always but 2 and 3 may be inverted depending on 1. Love, Steven
Priorities: Jesus made it very clear throughout His ministry what His priorities were and how each of us should follow His example.
He addressed the two fundamental categories that encompass all priorities. Jesus taught…
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
The first commandment addressed the vertical relationship between man and God. The second commandment addressed the horizontal relationship with other people. All of your priorities as a Christian will likely fall into these two basic categories.
I actually would like to expand the order to differentiate between marriage and family. I would also like split ministry and work:
1. Loyalty to God – God comes first as we are commanded to Love God with all of our being and have no other gods before Him.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. Loyalty to Spouse – Nothing should ever become husband and wife who are knit together by God as one flesh. (Matt. 19:6) Men are to love their wives sacrificially and unconditionally. Women are to honor their husbands sacrificially and unconditionally. (Eph 5:33)
“So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects [honors] her husband.
3. Loyalty to Family – First to children as they are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3) and parent’s responsibility to bring children up in the Lord. (Eph 6:4) Parents are to instruct and give their children the law. (Prov. 1:8) Next parents & siblings, etc.
My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother.
And you, fathers [and by implication mothers], do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
We are also called to provide for our own family. (1 Tim. 5:8) This included parents. Jesus spoke against the Scribes and Pharisees for “following tradition” but not taking care of their parents (Matt. 15:1-11)
1 Timothy 5:8
“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— 6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’
4. Loyalty to the Church (Ministry) – We are to love God, love people, take care of our own house, then look after the ministries in the Church.
If you are reading this right now and you are a Christian serving the Church in some capacity and have put the service to the Church above your spouse or children, please hear what I am about to say.
This can’t go on indefinitely.
When your service to the church has a higher priority than those people in your own family, something has to give. Your marriage will suffer and your children will become angry with you. Even your ministry will become toilsome because when your home is not in order it’s difficult to minister to others with joy. At the very least you will be unhappy. Your relationships at home must be your priority.
1 Tim 3:5
For if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?
5. Loyalty to Work or Job – Why does ministry come before work? Because we are citizens of Heaven.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The Gospel is the priority. Riches and all things in this life will pass away. Many people have said, “I don’t have time to serve the Lord or go to church or do family things because I’ve got to provide for my family.” I would agree that providing for your family is very important, but when there is never any time left to serve the Lord or be a companion to your spouse or children, then something is wrong.
Don’t let the seeds of the Gospel be choked by the things of this world…
...and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Do you agree or disagree? Anything to add?
Christ is Risen!
Edit: to add Matthew 15 to #3 Family.
Edited by GoldenEagle, 16 October 2012 - 07:46 AM.