Introduction: Often I ask myself “What should I do first?” It is an
important question to consider, because otherwise I find myself
working first on whatever has caught my attention, and not what is a
priority. Our lesson this week is about spiritual priorities. Do we
make spiritual matters a priority, or do we just take care of what
currently has our attention? Let’s dive into our lesson and see what
God has to say on the subject of spiritual priorities!

  1. Lord of All

    1. Read Psalms 24:1. Over what is God master? (Everything.)

    2. Read Psalms 24:2. Why is God entitled to claim dominion
      over everything? (Because He made it. He created
      everything, therefore He owns it.)

    3. Assume you owned a business and your biggest and best
      customer called. Would you set aside all of your other
      work to deal with your best customer? (It would be foolish
      to do anything else.)

      1. What does this business example teach us about making
        God our first priority? (One reason to make God our
        first priority is that He is our “best customer” in
        that He has given us all that we have.)

    4. Read Psalms 24:3. Move this idea of approaching God into
      another context. Assume one person owned your entire town.
      What might cause you to need to approach the town owner?
      (If you wanted authority to do something. If you wanted a
      favor. If you had gratitude for being allowed to live in
      the town.)

    5. Read Exodus 19:5-6. What reason does God give for us
      approaching Him? (We will be His representatives. We have
      a special relationship with Him.)

      1. What kind of a representative is a priest? (One who
        is supposed to act on behalf of God.)

    6. Let’s return to Psalms 24:3-4. Read verse 4 in the context
      of verse 3. God is in charge of everything, He has
      openings for personal representatives. What qualifications
      is God looking for in His personal representatives?

      1. “Clean hands and pure heart.” Is God looking for
        well-bathed people to be His representatives? (He is
        looking for those who have pure thinking (heart)and
        who do what is right (hands).

      2. “Not lift up his soul to an idol.” What does it mean
        to lift up your soul to an idol? (It means to serve
        something other than God.)

        1. What in your life interferes with your
          allegiance to God?

        2. What does this teach us about God’s desire that
          we make Him our first priority? (God tells us
          that if we want to represent His authority, we
          need to make Him the priority of our life.)

      3. “Swear by what is false.” Is this just referring to
        honesty? (Honesty is certainly part of it. However,
        this seems to include promoting what is improper.)

      4. How would you summarize these three qualifications
        for being God’s representative? (God wants to be
        first in our allegiance (no idol), He wants to be
        first in our causes (no swearing by the false), He
        wants our mind and our actions to reflect His will
        (pure heart and clean hands).)

    7. How would you go about making God, His program and His
      will a priority in your life?

  2. A Life Reflecting Our Priorities

    1. Read Luke 22:39-40. How can we use prayer to guide our

      1. When Jesus said that the disciples should pray that
        they would not fall into temptation, what did that
        have to do with their priorities? (Temptation seeks
        to replace God’s will for our life with Satan’s will
        for our life.)

    2. Read Luke 22:41-42. How did Jesus make God’s will His

      1. Consider the words of Jesus: Jesus first tells His
        Father what He would like. Is that the way we should
        approach setting our priorities in life?

      2. What is the “bottom line” for Jesus? (He tells His
        Father what He would prefer, but Jesus says, “I’m
        going to do Your will regardless of My preferences.”)

      3. In setting our priorities each day, is it reasonable
        to tell God what we would like to do, pray that we
        will not be overtaken by Satan’s priorities, and
        finish by saying that we want God’s priorities to be
        our priorities?

    3. Imagine that you just finished the prayer we discussed
      above. What do you do next? How do you, as a practical
      matter, follow up this prayer?

    4. Read Luke 6:46-48. What does God want from us? (Obedience.
      This is what Jesus was offering His Father when He said,
      “Not My will, but Your will.”)

      1. Luke 6:47 gives us the steps to obedience. What are
        they? (I see three steps. First, we make a conscious
        decision to come to God. Second, we “hear” God’s
        word. Last, we put God’s words into practice.)

        1. What does it mean to “hear” God’s word? (It
          primarily means what you are doing right now –
          studying God’s word, the Bible.)

    1. Read Luke 6:49. What is the failure of this builder? (Not
      putting God’s words into practice.)

      1. In this parable, what do you think the “house”
        represents? (Your life!)

      2. What does the flood represent? (Difficult times. The
        final judgment.)

      3. If the house is your life, what personal benefit do
        we get from making God our first priority? (This is
        the wonderful “secret” about making God first – it
        blesses our life.)

    2. Read Ephesians 5:28. This is not only one of my favorite
      texts, I believe this is a text which goes far beyond the
      marriage relationship. What lesson do we find in this text
      about loving ourselves? (This is a fuller description of
      the secret of making God first. God teaches us that if we
      obey Him (by, for example, loving our spouse) that we will
      be blessing ourselves. Making God our first priority, ends
      up blessing us.)

  1. A Time Reflecting Our Priorities

    1. Read Mark 1:35 and Psalms 5:3. Neither of these texts give
      us a command, they simply describe the fact that Jesus and
      David approached God in the morning. Have you tried coming
      to God by studying His word in the morning? If so, have
      you found it better than coming in the evening? (As I am
      writing this, it is morning and I am in a hotel. Just
      before I read these texts in Mark and Psalms, I was
      closing my computer because I thought it was check-out
      time. I mentioned to my wife how important I had found it
      to be for me to study and write these lessons in the
      morning. She discovered that we had another hour before
      check out, and I was able to continue working. The next
      texts I read were these texts in Mark and Psalms – which
      confirmed what I had just said to her!)

    2. In addition to offering to God a clearer mind in the
      morning, what else does morning prayer and Bible study do
      for us? (It helps to remind us of God’s priorities for our
      life that day.)

    3. Friend, God has a claim over your life because He created
      you and then saved you from eternal death. Will you
      determine every morning to come to Him and make His will
      your priority for that day?

  2. Next week: Lord of Our Thoughts.