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God’s Priority Checklist

God’s Priority Checklist

By David Jeremiah

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Coronado Island is an idyllic Southern California destination that attracts locals and tourists by the thousands each summer. One popular picnic spot is Spreckels Park, which boasts a sprawling swath of lush green grass, a gazebo, playground equipment, and towering shade trees. There is just one problem: the park is nestled in the center of the nearly 33-square mile island, directly adjacent to a main thoroughfare and bordered by busy streets on all sides. On a recent outing, I spotted a towheaded toddler making a break for the sidewalk three different times with his beleaguered parents trailing behind. Children can enjoy the time of their lives at the park, but there is real danger if they stray from their parents’ watchful eye.

Obedience is one of the earliest lessons in life that children must learn. And commands are one of the primary tools employed by parents to move their children in the right direction. Some situations allow time for asking questions, but when there’s only ten feet between a child and a busy street, a command is in order. Hopefully, our commands are bathed in love and encouragement, but that doesn’t change what a command is—the expressed will of an authority figure that comes with the expectation of prompt obedience.

We can always trust that His will for our life will agree with the precepts found in His Word.

As Christians, we have a similar responsibility to obey our Heavenly Father. After our spiritual rebirth and adoption into God’s family (John 3:3; Romans 8:14-17), it becomes our life’s work to live in a manner consistent with His priorities and commands. Those precepts provide a protective barrier between us and spiritual harm when we follow them. Sometimes the right choice isn’t immediately apparent, so we pray for God’s guidance to help us accomplish His will for our life. At other times, there are commands in Scripture that clearly express our Father’s will for our situation. We can always trust that His will for our life will agree with the precepts found in His Word.  

The best way to begin establishing godly priorities for our life is to make sure we are complying with the checklist God has provided in Scripture. Following His will is so important that Jesus told His apostles to teach all His commands to every new Christian (Matthew 28:19-20). That may sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. God’s Word and His will are consistent. As we grow in grace and maturity, we begin to sense His will for our individual circumstances because of our close connection to His Word.

As we grow in grace and maturity, we begin to sense His will for our individual circumstances because of our close connection to His Word.

Consider this list of 56 priorities established by our Heavenly Father.

God’s Priorities for Your Relationship With Him

  • Repent (Matthew 4:17; Revelation 2:5).
  • Be born again (John 3:3, 7).
  • Seek Him and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
  • Follow Jesus regardless of the cost (Matthew 4:19; 16:24).
  • Be godly (Matthew 5:48).
  • Store treasures in heaven, not on earth (Matthew 6:19-21).
  • Honor God’s laws (Matthew 5:17-19).
  • Keep Jesus’ commands (Luke 6:46; John 14:15).
  • Practice spiritual disciplines like giving, fasting, praying discreetly, not seeking attention (Matthew 6:1-18).
  • Pray continually (Matthew 7:7-8).
  • Follow God’s path, not the crowd’s (Matthew 7:13-14).
  • Pray for more Christian workers (Matthew 9:37-38).
  • Exercise discernment (Matthew 10:16).
  • Fear God, not man (Matthew 10:28).
  • Open your spiritual ears to God’s voice (Matthew 11:15; 13:9).
  • Take your burdens to Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30).
  • Protect the integrity of God’s Word (Matthew 16:6-12).
  • Love God with your whole being (Matthew 22:37-38).
  • Live expectantly in light of Christ’s return (Matthew 24:42-44).
  • Teach others to follow Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20).
  • Depend on God’s power (Luke 24:49).
  • Stay connected to Jesus (John 15:1-7).
  • Have faith in God (Mark 11:22).
  •  Ask God for whatever you need (John 15:7).

God’s Priorities for Your Habits

  • Demonstrate your faith through good works (Matthew 5:16).
  • Do not commit sexual sin (Matthew 5:27-30).
  • Do not steal (Matthew 19:18).
  • Do not lie (Matthew 19:18).
  • Keep your word (Matthew 5:33-37).
  • Do more than is expected of you (Matthew 5:38-42).
  • Share spiritual truth with discernment (Matthew 7:6).
  • Celebrate the Lord’s Supper faithfully (Matthew 26:26-27).
  • Be baptized (Matthew 28:19).
  • Pray as Jesus taught His disciples (Matthew 6:9-13).

God’s Priorities for Your Attitude

  • Choose gladness (Matthew 5:12).
  • Do not be troubled (John 14:27; 16:33).
  • Do not be angry without a cause (Matthew 5:21-26).
  • Do not be judgmental (Matthew 7:1-2).
  • Do not covet (Luke 12:15).
  • Guard your heart against sinful desires (Matthew 26:41).
  • Exercise humility (Luke 14:8-11).
  • Love others (John 13:35).

God’s Priorities for Your Relationships

  • Look for opportunities to share the Good News (John 4:35).
  • Reconcile damaged relationships (Matthew 5:24-25).
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated (Matthew 7:12).
  • Do not tolerate false teachers (Matthew 7:15).
  • Honor your parents (Matthew 15:3-6).
  • Respect God’s appointed authorities (Matthew 22:19-21).
  • Value children (Matthew 18:10).
  • Handle personal offenses privately whenever possible (Matthew 18:15-17).
  • Extend forgiveness freely (Matthew 18:21-22).
  • Honor the institution of marriage (Matthew 19:3-9).
  • Practice servant leadership (Matthew 20:26-28).
  • Help the poor and do not expect anything in return (Luke 14:12-14).
  • Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39-40).
  • Love your enemies (Matthew 5:43-48).

This article is adapted from the March 2013 issue of Turning Points devotional magazine. Request your complimentary subscription today!

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