We have inspirational sayings that hang on our walls, and we have also placed them on our desks and other furniture at home. Many of these are scriptures that inspire us; some are the words of others that encourage us. For instance, one of the sayings that my husband has on his desk is, “When life gives you lemons—make lemonade.”
I have my favorite scripture plastered everywhere—Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” My husband has his favorite scripture in his office—Luke 18:27: “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” I love to look at these every day because they strengthen and encourage me for the tasks that lie before me.
One saying that I used to see often on plaques in homes as well as stores was, “Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last. To me, to live is Christ.” It seemed that this was a standard plaque in Christian homes. The words served as a reminder for keeping priorities in the proper order.
As I began to think about that saying a few days ago, I realized that I no longer see it in homes and I haven’t seen it in a store in years. It would be wise to restore that statement in our homes. I am grieved that I see so many people placing everything and everyone else above God in these days. As I have often said in this column, my parents taught me as a young child to keep my priorities in order.
The scripture that they drilled into my head and made sure that I memorized was Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Nothing else came above God in our home. It wasn’t, “Are we going to church today?” It was, “What time are we leaving?” I have been to church more than any other place in my life. However, I have never regretted it.
In fact, I am grateful that my parents emphasized so much that I needed to make God the very center of my life. It has kept me focused on the proper priorities. In every decision I have always come back to two questions: “Will this glorify God? Or will it cause me to neglect God?” Answering these questions has helped me, and it will certainly also help you in making decisions.
We are at the end of another year. (These years seem to evaporate before our very eyes!) As you look back on 2010, ask yourself, “What was my priority this year? Did I neglect my relationship with the Lord?” I have often heard people say, “I didn’t have time for this or that.” However, I have found that whatever we value, we find the time for.
Some people value their favorite sport more than anything else. Therefore, they find time for it. Some people spend a lot of time watching television or enjoying other media. Others emphasize furthering their career. These things in themselves are not wrong. And certainly it is important that we devote the proper attention to our career. However, anything out of balance will produce a life that is out of focus.
Water is certainly good for our bodies, but I read in the news a few years back of a person dying as a result of drinking an excessive amount of water. The person’s organs literally drowned.
You are the example that your children will follow as they become adults. Your actions speak louder than your words in molding their lives. Establish a routine of setting aside time in your home for family devotions. Your children also need to see you having personal devotions. Two of my grandsons saw my daughter highlighting words in her Bible during her devotional time. They both grabbed their Bibles and yellow crayons and asked if they could highlight too.
She said, “Of course you can.” Then they asked, “What do we highlight, Mommy?” She replied, “Scriptures that mean a lot to you.” So they began to read and highlight their favorite scriptures. She was teaching them by example the importance of spending time with God.
I encourage you to reevaluate your priorities. Check up on what you are placing first in your life. Remember, the accomplishments and successes that you may achieve in this life are only temporal. What we do for Christ will last for eternity.