Keeping our priorities in their proper order is difficult. (Marilyn, for example, does not understand that some ball games are more important yard work.) In business, some matters take precedence over others. The same is true in the home and family relationship. It is certainly true in the spiritual realm (Matt. 6:33; 23:23).
In Luke 10, Jesus sent seventy disciples to preach the gospel of the kingdom. Having been given miraculous power, when they returned, they exulted, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name” (v. 17)! While that was good and it had its place in showing the Savior’s superiority over Satan, Jesus said, “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (v. 20). In other words, first things first.
How is it with you and me? Do we rejoice that we are members of the Lord’s body, and that we are breaking bread each Lord’s day and singing without a piano? If so, that is good. Notwithstanding, do we truly eat the bread and drink the cup in memory of Christ? Do we sing with grace in our hearts to the Lord, or are we swelled up with pride because we are “doing it right and everyone else is wrong”? “These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”
We may rightly be thankful that we are “a sound church,” and that we turn neither to the right nor to the left with respect to being obedient to the word of God. Again, that is good. Notwithstanding, are we waiting “for his Son from heaven” (1 Thess. 1:10)? Are we “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13)? Are we rejoicing that our names are written in heaven? If not, our priorities may be slightly askew. Remember, first things first!
—Larry Ray Hafley