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2019 Honolulu Assembly of God. 1007 Koko Head Avenue Honolulu, HI 96816

First things First: Priorities!

January 23, 2019

8,760!

 

What does that number represent?

 

It is the total number of hours in 2019!

 

On this 23rd day of the new year, we've already used up around 540 of them so we only have 8,220 hours left.

 

How will you use that precious currency? And it is precious indeed. In fact, for many people, time is the true currency of life, even more valuable than money. You might be able to make more money, but you can't make more time!

 

You can, however, make the most of the time you have. How? By setting your priorities, choosing what is most valuable in life.

 

Start with these.

 

1.    Make the Big Decision.

What's the Big Decision? It is the decision that helps determine your other decisions in life. In Joshua 24:14-15, Joshua challenges his people (and us): "Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."

As Bob Dylan reminded us, "You gotta' serve somebody."

Make the Big Decision to serve the Lord. Put Him first in your life and everything else will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).

By choosing to submit your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, you will have answered many of the questions of life. It affects everything you do. Honor the Lord with your life and every decision you make.

 

2.    Forget the Past.

Get Rid of the Junk in your life. Throw away the Old: All the mistakes, failures, disappointments and bad stuff in your past. Jesus has set your free from every sin (Romans 8:1). The old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Too many people are crippled by past failures. They are caught in the quicksand of discouragement and despair. Others are hampered by past successes, which is just as dangerous. They want to live in the past.

Be encouraged by what God has done for you in the past; let it be a  Landmark! But don’t let it become an Anchor to hold you back.

Be like the Apostle Paul who said, "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it (All that Jesus has in store for him). But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14).

Let's move ahead, Imua for Jesus!

 

3.    Live an Uncompromised Life.

Don’t Straddle the Fence. What does that mean?  Straddling the fence is trying to have access to both sides. It is all about Compromise.

When I was a teenager, my life was all about straddling the fence. As a pastor's son, I was both fascinated and uncomfortable with the things of the world. Result? I was miserable with both worlds. Thankfully, I eventually committed my life entirely to Jesus and I am so glad I did!

My message to everyone is this: Don’t try to live for Jesus and for the world. Get off on one side or the other! Sadly, I've met many Christians trying to do both. But to try to live for both Jesus and the world is a miserable life and will eventually end in destruction anyway.

Instead, Live the Word. How can you grow in the Lord if you don't know His word? Read the Bible on a daily, consistent basis. Read the entire Bible in one year. There are many plans available. For example, Back to the Bible includes 5 different plans. One should be just right for you.

In addition to reading the Bible, be sure you apply what you learn to your life. Don't just be a hearer of the word. Be a doer also (James 1:22-25). Being a reader and doer of the world will give you courage and help you to grow strong in the Lord.

 

4.    Invest Yourself Completely for Jesus. 

Serve Christ with Passion! Surprisingly, there aren't as many passionate followers of Jesus as you would think. Thankfully I've had the privilege to meet a number of people who are passionate about their relationship with Jesus. It's exciting to be around them! Jesus is looking for people who will love and serve Him with passion. He's not looking for people who are neither hot nor cold but lukewarm. In fact, He declares to us in Revelation 3:15-16, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth."

Wow! Jesus wants us to be either hot or cold. What does that mean? Either go all out for Jesus Christ or Quit! There's no middle ground.

 

In 1908 Minnie Haskins wrote a poem entitled, God Knows.  Part of it goes like this: "I said to the man at the gate of the year, 'Give me a light that I might walk safely into the unknown.' And he said to me, 'Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God. It shall be to you safer than the light and better than the known.'"

 

Put your hand into the hand of God. Great words of wisdom for the New Year!

 

Set your Priorities. How will you spend the 8,220 hours you have left of this year?

 

 

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