Many use the New Year holiday as a time to evaluate priorities. When we do, we have to ask ourselves what is important to us. Our family? Our friends? A job? The community? Or is God the most important reality?
Jesus did not minimize family or friends or daily life. Remember that He restored sick children to their parents, He provided food for hungry people, and He blessed a wedding with His presence and with supernatural provision.
Yet Jesus made it clear that family and friends—or jobs and communities—cannot be most important. God must be pre-eminent.
He told a young man to sell everything he owned and then he would have treasure in heaven. (Mt. 19:21b NKJV) He told the disciples that anyone who prefers family members is not worthy of Me. (10:37b)
It seems too harsh when not understood in the light of grace. But if we put God ahead of all else, if He is first in our lives, through His provision we have more love to give others. In fact, we have more than if we had not put God first.
When preparing for His death, Jesus said, For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. (16:25)
Jesus should always be our example, and He never subverted His priorities. He abandoned everything to His Father's will and brought salvation to all who receive him.
Originally published December 31, 1992.
Picture: Antique ceramic angels. Photo by Solveig.