Nehemiah 13:11 Priorities

Checklist paper

So I rebuked the officials and asked them, “Why is the house of God neglected?” Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts. Nehemiah 13:11 

Living life gives a person many different choices to make. There are a thousand different things that need to be done on a regular basis. Life calls a person in a thousand different ways every day.

Choosing which thing to do is done by making priorities. Which thing is the most important to do and continuing down the list of priorities. Most people do not have a problem making a choice as to what they want to do first, however, what most people see as the highest priority is not always the highest, but on the lower end.

Nehemiah had went back to Jerusalem and found that many of the priests were neglecting their duties as priest. They had chosen to go back home to their own fields and work their fields, rather than do their duties in God’s house. God’s house was being neglected.

People are very quick to find time to work and earn money or to take some free time to play or watch a game. While working a job and providing an income for the family is important, it is not the most important thing to do. Relaxing while playing or watching a game can be a good thing, but, again, it is not the highest priority in life.

The first and highest priority has to deal with eternal matters, not just a temporary thing. While work and relaxing is good, they are temporary. God’s house is eternal.

There are two parts of God’s house, one’s own life and all believers together. Neither need to be neglected. One must make sure his own life is in line with God’s will. One must also strive to build others up in Christ in order to build God’s house larger.

Each and every day you must stop and take time to spend some time with God. Spend it in prayer, praise, worship, reading His word and listening to Him. This builds you up and allows God to guide you in what to do for the day, what your priorities should be.

Then spend time building others up, starting with family, then those closest to you, then every one else. There is always someone who needs to be built up in Jesus. Don’t neglect God’s house for a temporary fix. Go for the eternal.

I pray today that you will have a hunger to know God more; that you will allow God to guide your priorities in life; that you will never neglect God’s house for the temporary; and that God will use you to build His house larger.

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1 Kings 18:21 Make A Choice

Choice of two paths

Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing. 1 Kings 18:21 

It is very common for people to not want to make a concrete decision. Many people do not like to have to make a final choice in a situation. They like to be able to have the option of two or more different ways and change choices as they go along.

With the choices available, people like different things with both options. So rather than lock themselves down with one side, they waver in the middle and go back and forth all the time.

As God was ready to bring the drought to an end, Elijah called all the people together with the prophets of Baal. His first statement was that they needed to make a choice. They had to choose who was the real God. He left it up to them to decide between God and Baal.

For a number of years, the people would serve both God and Baal. Depending upon the time and situation, they would waver between the two. Yet, there was only room for one God and they had to make a choice.

The same problem occurs today. Although no one follows Baal anymore, there are other things that people follow as though it was God or a god, as they also follow God on Sundays. On Sunday they go to church and worship and serve God. As soon as Sunday is over they are serving self and following some other God–jobs, people, sports, money, or anything else.

When people live like this, they are not making a choice in who is God. They are being lukewarm in their life and in the end will be cast out. God wants a choice to be made. He prefers that He be the real God in each person’s life, but it is still a choice, one way or the other.

As a believer you have made a choice at some point to believe God is God. Now you have a choice to live that way. Take a look at your life and see if you are wavering between God and some idol.

What thing(s) or people are getting in your way between you and God? Make a choice as to who is God and then follow that God with all of your life. Don’t waver and get kicked out.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will serve God with all of your life; that you will not waver in your belief in God; and that you will not waver in your following God. 

1 Kings 11:9 Making God Angry

Highway into sunset

The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 1 Kings 11:9 

Starting out great is something that is easy to do, but finishing at the same level or better is difficult. To finish well, one must stay focused the entire time. There must be a goal kept in the center of the mind and it must be aimed for, or else one will falter and fail.

There has been a lot of people who have started out doing great, always making the right choices, being successful, but in the end they lose focus and walk away from the good choices.

Solomon had started out serving God faithfully. God had even chosen to appear directly to him, an unusual thing to occur. God had blessed Solomon with more wealth, wisdom and fame than another other man has ever known before or since his time. Yet, near the end of his life, Solomon let his wives lead him astray to follow false gods and walk away from God.

Living like this, God had become very angry with him and chose to remove the kingdom from him. God had mercy, in that He allowed to keep the kingdom in his lifetime, but would pull it from his sons.

There are believers today who have done the same thing. They start off their life following God with a whole heart, then along the way, they allow someone to lead them away from God. They begin to choose to follow after the ways of this world, rather than follow and obey God.

Some completely leave the church, while others just live with one foot in the world and one foot in the church. They are no longer serving God with their whole heart. This will always upset God. He has given everything for the believer.

The world will tempt you to turn away from God, to lose your focus on God. They want you to choose to leave God and follow them.

Keep your focus on God. You began the walk with Him, don’t give it up for some temporary pleasure. Do not allow others to guide you down a wrong path.

Jesus gave His life up for you, don’t make it a waste for Him. Live your entire life focused on serving and obeying God with all of your heart. Don’t make God angry.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will obey God in every area of your life; that you will have a heart after God’s; and that God will strengthen you to keep focused on Him. 

1 Samuel 23:1-2 Seek God’s Advice

Seeking God

When David was told, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors,” he inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” The LORD answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” 1 Samuel 23:1-2 

When people become very good at something or are very successful in an area, they become very confident of themselves. Until that point, most people are nervous and seek guidance and help. Once confident, however, they no longer seek advice or direction, they just go about doing things on their own as they think it should be done.

Pride rises up in self and prevents many people from seeking guidance or help. They are now ‘successful’ and no longer need anyone’s guidance or help.

David had become a great warrior, who was successful in every battle. He did not lose. Yet, when it came to fighting a battle, David would seek God’s advice as to what to do. He would not take the battle into his own hands, but left it up to God. God was allowed to make the decision of who to fight against and who to leave alone.

Believers can sometimes fall into this trap of thinking that they can do things on their own. God has given them success in an area of their life, so they now think that they can do it all on their own without God.

It is at this point that many will choose paths that God does not want them to choose. Opportunities will be passed up or deviation from God’s path will occur.

No matter how successful a person may be, he must realize that it is only because of God’s mercy, grace and direction. Without following God’s ways, one cannot please God. One might be successful for a short time, but in the end will fall short, because He is not really following God.

Every time that you have a decision to be made, stop and take the time to seek God’s direction in it. Do not be so self-confident that you do not include God in your decision making process.

God knows what the best action to do is better than you could ever possibly know. Let God make the choices for you in your life. There will be times when God says move forward, while other times He may change your direction or stop you altogether.

Seek and trust God’s advice in your life.

I pray today that you will seek God’s advice; that you will trust God’s directions; that you will not put all your confidence in yourself or others; and that you will see God’s hand at work in your life. 

Judges 1:1 Seeking God’s Directions

Split path

After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Canaanites?” Judges 1:1 

Every day billions of decisions are made by people all over the world. Some of the decisions are very major ones that can decide the outcome of the individual or even of nations, while the majority are minor ones, affecting only a few people.

With every decision there are at least two different choices to make, to do or not do something. After that, the possibility of choices is endless. The results of a choice can also be a simple effect or a major affect.

How people make the choice is different for each person? Some will actually toss a coin to make the decision. Others will seek advice from other people, read books or articles on it, or just wild guess the decision to be made.

Moses had been the one who started making choices for the Israelites, then it was Joshua. Now that both were gone, the Israelites had to make the choice themselves. The very first thing that they did was to ask God about the choices. The chose to let God make the choice Himself and then follow through with His decision.

Just as everyone else in the world has to make decisions, so does every believer. Individual all the way up to corporate level choices need to be made on a daily basis.

Unlike the world, however, the believer has One who can hep make the perfect choice every time. Every believer can be filled with God’s Holy Spirit to guide them and every believer can ask God for direction. There is no decision or choice to be made that is too big or too small to ask God about.

You may have some choices to be made in the near days to come. Think about how you make your choice. Is it on your own or in the ways of the world? Or are you seeking God to guide your choice?

God knows what is the best choice to be made. Take the time to stop and seek His answer. It may be a choice that the world would also make, or it could be something very different. God sees and knows the big picture, so He also knows the best way to do things.

Take time today to ask God for direction. He is generous and will give it.

I pray today that you will seek God’s directions; that you will trust God’s directions for your life; that you will follow God’s directions in your life; and that God will reveal His great grace and favor in your life. 

Deuteronomy 13:4 What You Must Do

Two paths

It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. Deuteronomy 13:4

Going through life brings many different choices that must be made. Questions as often asked as to what a person should do. There are thousands of different paths that a person can take, and choosing the correct one is often a hard choice for many to make.

Each path as different points that are good and bad. Most people do not want to make the wrong choice. Yet, the majority of the people in this world do make the wrong choice.

The reality of the matter is that it is only one real choice of two paths to make. Every other choice falls under one of those two paths that a person chooses. There is the path of following self or the world, and the path of following God.

Moses tells the people that they must follow God. In the process of following God they must revere, obey, serve and hold fast to Him. There is to be no other gods in the life of a person.

The question is then often asked, how does following God answer every other choice to be made? If a person is following God, He will lead him in the right direction every time. The choice is no longer left up to the person, but up to God to be made.

Around the verse, the people are told to love God with everything in them and to obey Him in every way. This puts God first in the life of the person. God is the one who knows the choices to be made. Believers must trust His choices and directions. Every choice God makes is for the benefit of the believer and for His kingdom. It is a win-win situation.

Trusting that you are a believer and believe in God, you must also make a choice. How much are you willing to trust and obey God? Are you willing to serve God with everything that is in you?

Hold on to God with all that is within you. God is there for you and is not against you. He wants only what is best for you. However, it is up to you to follow, obey, serve, honor and hold fast to Him.

Now you know what you must do, so start doing it.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will follow God alone; that you will serve and obey God with your whole life; and that you will allow God to make the choices in your life.