Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”
“Is it the Lord that shut me in?
Then I can bear to wait!
No place so dark, no place so poor,
So strong and fast no prisoning door,
Though walled by grievous fate,
But out of it goes fair and broad
An unseen pathway, straight to God,
By which I mount to Thee.”
Today’s Study Text:
“So he (Solomon) was seven years building it (the House of God)…But Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all his house.”
1 Kings 6:38, 1 Kings 7:1 K.J.V.
“God’s Three “P’s - Priority – Part 2
“Priority” – Something that takes precedence established by an order of urgency or importance. A recognized right in order or rank. A preceding right.
“True wisdom is to know what is best worth knowing, and to do what is best worth doing.”
If I were to list the priorities in my own life, what would they be?
Am I following through each day in my life, making certain that the spiritual priority is first?
“It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, ‘What are we busy about?’”
Henry David Thoreau
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Matthew 6: 33
As we look at the three “P’s” that are found in the life of Solomon, we uncover the fact that he was a child of promise. God promised to not only be with Solomon but He had a specific task He wanted Solomon to undertake -- building a Temple for the worship of God.
Today, we unwrap, so to speak, another lesson from the three “P’s” in Solomon’s life. It is the word “priority.” From our two study texts, found in 1 Kings 6 and 7, we are told that it took seven years to build the Temple and thirteen years for Solomon to build his own house. This is a fact we will study more about next week. However, for today, I want to focus on the important detail that before Solomon finished a house for his wife, Pharaoh’s daughter, and for himself, he completed the task of building a Temple to the worship of God.
At this point in time, it is apparent that building the Temple was the first priority in Solomon’s life. During the coming weeks, as we continue to look into the subsequent decisions Solomon made in his life, how heartbreaking it will be to see what a massive train wreck he made of his life when his priorities got out of whack and he put the spiritual portion of his life on the back burner.
As we find, the word “priority” means to keep things in a proper ranking -- meaning what is first is most important to us.
I’ll admit that it was in the “working” world, as a nurse, where I first became acquainted with what the word “priority” actually means when applied to our practical, everyday activities. For those of you who are nurses, assigned especially to direct, hands-on patient care, you’ll know what I mean when I say that if you don’t plan your time with great care, something simply won’t get done. I remember coming to work every shift and looking over the list of procedures my patients might be scheduled for. Once I found out the times of these activities, I undertook the task of making certain my patients’ meals, medicines, linen changes, hygiene care and doctor’s rounds fit within the time allotted for everything on the schedule.
But it isn’t just at work where we face keeping priorities in their proper place. We do this with our lives all the time, sometimes by necessity and others by what some call chance. And this is where it becomes easy to let our lives derail if our priorities aren’t in the right place.
The author Eric Zorn makes this very astute observation, “Don’t waste your breath proclaiming what’s really important to you. How you spend your time says it all.”
And this pertinent piece of information got me to thinking about the time I spend and the money I spend. As Larry Winget noted, “Go to your checkbook and see what you spend money on. In an instant, you will know what is important to you because your money goes toward it.” As I thought about the way I personally prioritize my life, I thought about how things changed, drastically, after our car accident, when life itself, became a treasured gift from God.
Before our accident, I’m not saying that I had bad priorities. I worked hard. I was responsible. I was busy. But as Henry David Thoreau observed, “ants are busy,” too. What I found in my own life, sad to say, is that way too frequently, it wasn’t that the spiritual cultivation of my life didn’t matter, it just got squeezed out at times. You may understand completely what I’m referring to. Johann von Goethe made this pertinent point, “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” And it seems, in my own everyday world of living, that the urgent, can regularly crowd out the things that I think can wait. What a tragedy, though, if what we think can wait is really essential to our happiness, not only in this life but for our eternal life as well. As Henry Drummond wrote in 1893, “Do not be an amphibian, no man can serve two masters, and, if you only knew it, it is a thousand times easier to seek first the Kingdom of God than to seek it second.”
I find that Anne Smollin, in her book, God Knows Your Stressed, really hit the nail on the head when she shared this crucial thought, “At the end of our life will we really care about all the hours we worked, all the committees we sat on, or even all the money we accumulated? Or will we wish we had spent more time laughing, talking to loved ones, relaxing and filling our hearts and souls with life-giving memories?”
What are my priorities? This wasn’t just a question for Solomon. It is also a question for you and me, today. For as Richard Baxter wrote in the 17th century, “What we most value, we shall think no pains too great to obtain.”
“Scripture calls us to action and to change the priorities in our lives. “
He Satisfies My Soul
be all my love,
all my hope,
all my striving;
let my thoughts and
words flow from You,
My daily life be in You,
and every breath I take
be for You.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.