Pay careful attention, then, to how you live—not as unwise people but as wise— making the most of the time, because the days are evil.

—Ephesians 5:15-16

Every day we make decisions about what to prioritize.  To be fair, it’s a constant challenge to pause in the busyness of our lives and reflect on what we are valuing in our time.  I get it.  My family produces and never-ending mountain of laundry, dirty dishes, and piles of whatever.  Never mind paying bills, taking care of the yard, and fighting for some down time.
Here’s the problem.  If we don’t stop and consider how we are using our days and hours, we will waste some of them.  Maybe most of them.  When Paul says we should make the most of our time because the days are evil, he means that the inertia of life isn’t God-centered.
We need to reclaim the lost art of stewarding our time.  I mean sitting down with your spouse and/or family and talking about what matters most for your days.  When you have this conversation, you will be tempted to immediately focus on money, school, work, sports, vacations, etc.  Before you do, stop, pray, and consider what matters most: how will you make God and his kingdom your priority this year?
Jesus recognizes the temptation to jump straight to needs.  This is why he helps us prioritize in Matthew 6:33,
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
Here are 4 suggested ways you can keep what matters most in the center of your life this year:

1. Prioritize church attendance

We all have to miss a few Sundays here and there, but there is no substitute for weekly corporate worship and fellowship with the church body.

2. Prioritize Bible reading as a family

Make a plan.  Download a devotional guide or an app.  Use the Abide Reading Plan.  Follow your church’s sermon schedule.  Whatever.  Do it.

3. Prioritize deepening spiritual friendships in the church

This is where a small group or Bible study or one on one discipleship meeting comes into play.  We have to set aside time for this, and work to protect it.  This is usually the first to go.

4. Prioritize important events in your church

I’m talking about ministry commitments, member meetings, big conferences or outreach events, work days, etc.
What if we put the body of Christ first in how we structure our weekly schedules?  Our vacation schedules?  Our social calendars?  How often do we say no to the body of Christ and yes to something… else?
This idea only sounds radical because our culture’s gravity is constantly pulling us out of orbit around God and his glory.  Don’t make it weird, make it normal.  #hiskingdomfirst

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