Theology Thursday (On Friday Again)
As some of you know, for a while I was putting out a "Theology Thursday" blog that sought to explain different theological topics and ideas. It was never a thorough undertaking of a topic, but it was always something that pointed us to Jesus. I have done this blog for one simple reason: Without Jesus, there would be no All Things New. That is important to note.
We exist because we love Jesus, Jesus loves people and children, and so do we. Jesus found and saved me, and without Him I would be dead in my transgressions, with no hope for my future, and without a Spiritual Father...A depressing place to be. With Him I have everything.
I have a taken a few weeks off of this blog, and most of our Theology Thursday blogs will not be emailed but instead shared on social media and our website. Today is different because we are getting it back started and because of the importance of today's topic.
A long time ago, probably 20 years, I took a youth group with me to New Orleans for a mission trip. On that trip, the speaker shared something that has stuck very much with me and I wanted to share it with you.
He told us to take some time and make a priority list for our lives. Whether it be 3, 5, or even 10 items long, he wanted us to figure out what in our lives was most important. I remember it vividly. Almost everyone there put GOD first and then followed that with normal things like school, family, sports, etc. It seemed like a mundane activity.
He then, much more eloquently than I am about to, explained to us why putting GOD anywhere on our priority list, if we are followers of Christ, was wrong.
At first, I was a little offended but also curious as to where he was going with that statement. I thought maybe the camp had brought the wrong speaker to a Christian camp...I was wrong.
He told us that if GOD was just a priority in our life then we were not living for Him. Church should be a priority, our quiet time should be a priority, school should be a priority, family should be a priority, but GOD should be the very list on which we write every other priority in our life.
Think about that shift. We cannot prioritize GOD in our lives because He is not a priority...He is our life!
And here is the shift. GOD is not only found at church. He is not only found when we are on our knees. He is the reason we do anything. Think about these simple examples:
- What if our jobs were not a means to the end of money, retirement, and comfort? What if our job was one of the primary ways we worship Jesus and the priority of our job was to glorify Him?
- What if school was not a means to the end of college, a job, a social life, or simply what we do at a certain age? What if school was a way for us to bring glory to GOD and to point our friends and teachers to Him?
- What if sports was not a means to the end of winning tournaments, learning lessons about teamwork/discipline, or getting a scholarship to a college? What if sports was a way for us to love Jesus for the talent He gave us and a way for us to share that talent in such a humble and loving way that other people are drawn to Jesus because of us?
The things above are all things that take huge amounts of time in our life. If we are not glorifying GOD in these things, then we are taking the majority of our focused awake time in our life and giving it up to something other than the GOD of the universe.
What if our priorities just completely changed? What would that look like? We were created for more than most of us, including myself, live for. We were created to pursue something so great and so wonderful that He is completely different and completely set apart from everything we have ever known and seen, and instead of pursuing Him, instead of pursuing greatness and power and magnificence...We pursue money, intelligence, social standing, and athletic prowess. Instead of pursuing someone who matters for the rest of eternity, we pursue things that mean absolutely nothing in 20 years, 2 weeks, 3 days, or even 2 hours.
I am tired of seeing meaningless things take precedence in my life and in the world. My challenge for me and for you today is to pursue the greater thing. Pursue the only thing that can bring peace, joy, hope, and love. Pursue Jesus first, and let's make everything else in our life a priority only inasmuch as it leads us to the foot of the Cross!