Links Daily Devotional

Sorting It All Out

“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” (Joshua 24:15, NIV)

You may have seen the little note last week. Maybe you thought it incidental. Meanwhile, I emailed the link to my father and told him that sometimes it takes a long time in life to get your priorities in order.

What is it? Just this: Jack Nicklaus is partnering with Schwan Food Company to produce his own label of ice cream.

Paul Newman has salad dressing. Greg Norman went with wine. Personally, I’m with Jack.

Now, as for that part about priorities, please accept my tongue-in-cheek approach. Nicklaus obviously made the right choice when he went with golf first. And even in his winningest years, the Golden Bear was known as a family man, unwilling to be on the road three weeks in succession. He wanted time with Barbara and the kids. Good for him.

Any number of things define us as something more than “just another animal”—our appreciation of beauty, reasoned debate, theory-building, anticipation of future events. But today we’ll take up two particular uniqueness of Spirit-infused humanity (Genesis 2:7).

First, there is the spiritual yearning that occupies our frames to their deepest core. The writer of Ecclesiastes said of God that he had “set eternity in the hearts of men.” And so our souls ponder the question of who God is and how we can live with him.

Second, there is the ability of human beings to sort through the relative importance of life’s pursuits. Abraham Maslow grouped these in a hierarchical pyramid, but most Westerners live somewhere in the upper echelons of that pyramid, so we are not wondering where our next meal will come from so much as asking ourselves whether we’re willing to skip lunch altogether today for the sake of a work project or another nine holes of golf.

Now when we put these two characteristics of humanity together, we recognize that we can pursue the flesh or pursue the Spirit. This is a matter of choosing priorities. What do we hope to attain, and what are we willing to sacrifice in order to get it?

When Jesus challenged his disciples to “take up your cross daily and follow me,” he was telling them to reorder their priorities. It’s a harder concept even than “seek first the kingdom of God,” and it’s all part of working out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).

It may be time for you to have a sit-down with the Lord, to really talk to him about what should fall where on your list of priorities, in the long-term and on a day-by-day basis. You’ll go to a lot of meetings in your life; I’m sure you’ll find this one among the most important meetings you’ve ever had.

Jeff Hopper
March 2, 2015
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