Monday, October 21st, 2013
Priorities (Part 1)
Faces Or Facts
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,
'Salvation to our God Who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.' And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying,
'Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.'
Revelation 7:9-12 (NAS)
In the life of Jesus, He saw many faces and faced many facts.
Consider these faces: 5,000 hungry men, plus women and children.
Consider these facts: Following His cousin's murder, Jesus came out of solitude to see an enormous crowd who had followed Him. 'He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick' (Matthew 14:14). When evening came, the people were hungry and had no food.
Jesus focused on the faces and forgot the facts. Because the facts of men can change--through God's transforming power. The result? Two fish and five loaves were multiplied beyond measure. All the people ate and were filled.*
Every day we prioritize--whether we write a to-do list, decide our daily business, or react to circumstances. We have choices: what to do first, what to do later or what to ignore. Sometimes the 'what' we ignore is a 'who.' But are facts more important than faces?
Because the faces we see are the ones God places before us. For instance, maybe a fact of your life is a modest salary. Maybe on paper, your expenses exceed your income. But despite your need (or maybe because of it), God sends to you a beggar, a missionary or a pastor--asking for your help.
The facts of your finances say, 'Keep what you've got.' The Words of your faith say, 'Give, and it will be given to you... good measure--pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return' (Luke 6:38).
Here's the thing: your choices become your priorities. Your priorities become your life: for better or for worse. The Lord God Almighty is not a 'second-place' God. His Word will not yield to our world. However, our world will yield to His Word. As in--facts can change. As in--God keeps His promises.
As in 'God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus' (Philippians 4:19). Not only that, but He is ready, willing and able 'To do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us' (Ephesians 3:20).
Even to feed thousands of people with two fish and five loaves. Therein, faces are the right priority--not facts.
To Be Continued...
* Matthew 14:13-21: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2014:13-21&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Priorities series.