We all have priorities. Even if we’ve never consciously thought of our priorities, we have them. Our priorities are reflected in what’s important to us. Our priorities are what drive us.

  • The importance of having money to support yourself is why getting out of bed on a workday takes priority over snuggling under the covers.
  • The importance of your kids is why attending another middle school band concert takes priority over staying home to watch the Stanley Cup.
  • The importance of maintaining your investments is why doing repairs to your house on Saturday morning takes priority over a game of golf.

I’ve been mulling over a single question: Can I have priorities (plural) or do I have only one priority? By its very nature, a priority is something that takes precedence over other things. Logically, I can’t have two priorities. A priority is not taking precedence over everything else if there is another priority also claiming precedence over everything else. Only one thing can reign as your priority.

(I am reminded of the Hindu religion with its 330 million gods. By definition, a god is a supreme ruler, but a god in the Hindu religion isn’t much of a god if it has to contend with millions of other so-called gods for the title of supreme ruler.)

Yeah, yeah, I know I’m splitting hairs about priority v. priorities, but do you see my point? You can really only have one priority. All other “priorities” are subservient to that.

So what is that one priority in your life?

If you’re a follower of Christ, you probably said following Him is your one priority. I hope that’s true, but let’s be honest. You have a lot of things in your life screaming for your attention, and you feel the tug of their importance. I know you do because I hear it myself. It can be hard to keep Jesus your priority when all these other things are clamoring for your attention.

Over the years, several people have said to me something like this: “I would love to be in full-time ministry like you. Then I could really make Jesus and ministry my one priority.”

It doesn’t work that way. Every full-time minister will back me up on this: we still experience the tug from other things wanting precedence in our lives. And we have to remind ourselves that, whatever we’re doing at the moment, we are to do it under the lordship of Christ. Living in Christ and under His rule is The One Priority.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. You are to live under the lordship of Christ as you engage in work … as you hang out with friends  … as you coach Little League … as you lounge in front of the TV after a full day. We do have important things to focus on each day, but only one thing takes priority: following Jesus as you go about these tasks.

I have no intention of lessening the importance of other things in your life. If you’ve got a spouse and a family, they are important. It is important that you work. It is important for you to build relationships and hang out with others. But in all these important matters, Jesus reigns over them. Following Jesus as you go about your day is your one priority.

  • “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” (Matt. 6:33).
  • “And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3:17).

Following Jesus takes priority over all other commitments.

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This post supports the study “Let the dead Bury Their Dead” in Bible Studies for Life.