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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of February 24, 2014

You can spend your time, waste your time, or invest your time. It's your choice.

We all have exactly 24 hours in one day. No more; no less. You will use that time on what you consider to be important.

No one else is forcing you to do anything. You only commit to things because you choose to; so, your schedule reveals your priorities. Examine your schedule, and you might be surprised when you discover what your priorities turn out to be.

Instead of scheduling your priorities around your life, you ought to schedule your life around your priorities.

What should those priorities be? In Matthew 6:33, Jesus says, "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Of the Ten Commandments, the very first commandment God gave was: "You shall have no other gods before me." The Bible is clear: God should be our number one -- most important -- priority.

In John 15:1-4, Jesus talks about pruning off things that produce no fruit. That is, he tells us to cut off anything that does not have meaningful, eternal value, which means that we are to get rid of anything that doesn't further our relationship with God. Clearly, God doesn't want to be number ten on a list of top ten priorities. In fact, God really doesn't even want to be number one on a list of ten; God wants to be number one on a list of one!

You could spend or waste your time doing meaningless things; or you could invest your time in order to achieve maximum eternal impact.

When you seek God as the only thing you need, he will take care of everything else (see Matthew 6:33). In Luke 10:38-42, we learn the story of Mary and Martha. As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." That's what it means to seek the only meaningful, eternal thing -- God.

Therefore, prune your life. List practical ways that you can cut out the junk in your life in order to focus on knowing God better, seeking him and knowing his word and his truth. That's the only thing needed -- that's how you invest your time wisely.

Are you so hungry to own more money that your money owns you?

In Mark 10:17-22, we read the story of a man who asked Jesus, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" The man had followed all the commandments; however, Jesus told him, "One thing you lack. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Jesus told him that he lacked "one thing", which is implied to be a relationship with God. The man had followed the commandments; however, he didn't know God. He knew the laws, but not the God who made the laws. Interestingly, that "one thing" is exactly the same as what David wanted (see Psalm 27:4).

In order to inherit eternal life, the man needed a personal relationship with Christ. However, Jesus knew that the man's money was holding him back. When Jesus told him to "sell everything" for the Kingdom, the man went away -- he turned his back on a relationship with God.

The reason that he turned his back on a relationship with God was because he owned so much money that, really, his money owned him. That is, he loved his money more than he loved God. His face fell and he went away sad, because he didn't want to give up his money. So he picked money (wealth and worldly possessions) instead of a relationship with God.

In this man we clearly see the principle that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21). His treasure (that is, what he valued) was his money; so, when Jesus asked for his heart, the man refused the offer, and, as a result, he went away sad.

Are you so attached to your money and possessions that they have become more valuable to you than God? Do you want money so much that it dictates how you use your time? If so, God requires that you put Him first, but in exchange you get the most valuable thing in the world -- a relationship with God. Therefore, examine your life and make sure that you're not so hungry to own more money that your money owns you.