December 1st, 2017 — DEVOTE

What matters most in your life? What holds the greatest importance to you? If you think about that for a moment, I’m really sure a whole host of thoughts will pass through your mind. People and things like: your spouse… your children… your grandchildren… maybe even your great-grandchildren, to name a few. You may add to your list, your home… your hobby… your job or career.

But I wonder how many of you might include, your Bible?.. your faith?.. your community of believers?.. your worship?.. your prayer?

I’m not sure why those things don’t get top billing in our lives. Maybe it because they’re so readily available to most of us. We haven’t ever been in a situation where we were told we couldn’t read our Bibles, or attend a worship service, or talk about our faith, or pray. Most of us have grown up with those things as part of our upbringing and continue them in our daily lives. The thought of not having them available to us, isn’t even a thought. But they still might not get the recognition as “most important” in our lives – though they are.

As I read Acts 20 today, I found what was most important to a man named Paul. Him and a few other guys had been traveling the known world at that time, telling people all about Jesus. At one stop, Paul called a group of church leaders together to meet with them one last time. As he was speaking to them he said this…
“I don’t know what will happen to me in Jerusalem, but I must obey God’s Spirit and go there. In every city I visit, I am told by the Holy Spirit that I will be put in jail and will be in trouble in Jerusalem.” Acts 20:22-23 CEV

So let me ask you… if the Holy Spirit told you to go someplace that might not be extremely convenient for you… would you still go? If you knew it might possibly be the last time you experienced freedom as you know it, would you still make the trip? How would you feel about leaving all those other “most important” things behind?

Here’s Paul’s response…
“But I don’t care what happens to me, as long as I finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do. And that work is to tell the good news about God’s great kindness.” Acts 20:24 CEV

This guy had a “most important” list. On top of that list, even above his own life, was his Savior, Jesus. He understood what it took to save his life, and so he was very willing to lay it all down so that Jesus could be lifted up.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: I don’t know what God’s calling you to do… or where to go… or even when to do it, but don’t let God’s dreams, stay dreams! Finish the work that He gave you to do. Make it “most important!”

Father,
Help me make You “most important” each day and every day. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen