THE EXTRAORDINARY FATHER PUTS FIRST THINGS FIRST

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…” (Matthew 6:33).

For many men, life seems to daily overwhelm them with an unending list of demands for their time and energy. Twenty-four hours a day just doesn’t seem to be enough time for all that fills the daily to-do list! The obvious result is that many men become irritated, agitated, and frustrated by what seems like the impossible task of getting everything done. When a man lifts his head off his pillow in the morning and then before he knows it he is putting his head back on the pillow at night, he realizes that the things that must get done tomorrow include the things he didn’t get done today. What a sad commentary on the life that many men in our day are trying to live.

Though the solution to this problem may not come easily, there is one word that may help. It is the word: priorities. When we speak of priorities we are talking about the things that are most important. Priorities are the things that come first.

Jesus taught about priorities in the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 6, Jesus addressed the tendency of many people to be consumed with things like food and drink as well as their outward attire and clothing (v. 25). These items represent the most basic elements of life in the physical realm. Jesus concluded his lesson on this subject by saying “after all these things do the Gentiles seek” (v. 32). Jesus was not teaching that feeding and clothing the body were unimportant, but rather that there were matters of greater importance. It was at this point in His sermon that He stated, “Seek first the kingdom of God” (v. 33) which clearly implied that the spiritual realm of life was far more important. Jesus wanted His hearers to recognize the significance of keeping the main thing the main thing!

I have come to believe that there are four priorities that the man will establish and maintain in his life. He must first be a man of God as a person. “What a man is with his God determines what a man is, and nothing else,” said Robert Murray McCheyne, the young Scottish preacher. Every other dimension of a man’s life depends upon the relationship he has with God.

Next, he must be a man of God as a partner. If he is a married man, his relationship to his wife is second only to his relationship to the Lord. There is not another human relationship that should receive more time, attention, or effort than the one established in marriage.

Thirdly, he must be a man of God as a parent. If and when God chooses to bring children into a man’s life, he must assume the incredible responsibility of pouring himself into the lives of those little ones. The role of a dad cannot be treated casually or carelessly simply because these children need a father whose example and training will prepare them for life.

Finally, he must be a man of God as a professional. We are now speaking of his profession, the occupation or vocation by which he earns a living. His job is the God-given means which provides for the needs of his family, ensuring that they will be well cared for in life.

When a man is willing to establish priorities like these, and he is willing to dedicate himself to them, life becomes structured and organized in a new way. Rather than living in chaos and confusion, a man is able to focus his attention and concentrate his efforts on the most important things in his world. It is also worth noting that each one of the items listed is dependent upon those above it. For example, it will be difficult to be the right kind of parent if a man’s relationship with his God and with his wife is not right.

Priorities are a necessity in the life of any man who desires to be the best for God that he can be.

To Think and Pray About…

  • Maintaining and balancing priorities in life can be challenging. Identify which of the four listed ones you should most focus on this week.
  • Consider selecting a verse of Scripture for each of the four listed priorities that will reinforce your commitment to it.
  • How might you best guard your heart in each of these four areas?

This chapter was written by Evangelist Tom Palmer.

Taken from The Extraordinary Father. CLICK HERE for more information.

 

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Harold Vaughan

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Evangelist Harold Vaughan is the founder of Christ Life Ministries, Inc. To date, his ministry has led him to preach in forty-eight states and many foreign countries. Click on "ABOUT" in the menu bar to learn more about Harold.
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