RAP SHEET 6/6/21
Sermon: Prior Ties
ICE BREAKER: What is something that used to be a top priority in your life that now seems silly?
Proper Priorities help us Maximize our Purpose, Minimize Distractions, and Multiply our Impact! They are key to living the life God created us to live.
In week 1, we started with the story of two sisters - Mary and Martha. Jesus had come to visit and Mary's only priority was sitting at his feet and soaking up time in His presence. Martha, on the other hand, was worried about SO many other things!
Which of these two sisters do you relate the most to? Why?
Mary and Martha's story points to the first step in proper prioritization - INTENTIONALITY!
If we fail to get intentional about what is most important, life will decide for you. That leads to the next question - how does life choose our priorities? It does so based off our previous experiences. In other words, if we fail to prioritize for our future, our past will set our life's agenda!
This truth leads to our BIG IDEA:
The People, Places, and Things from our past act as anchors holding us back from the fullness of our future. If we are not intentional about setting new priorities, the PRIOR TIES from our past WILL set them for us!
This week's application is going to look a little different. We will walk through the three categories of PRIOR TIES to begin breaking the power of our pasts as we prioritize for our future!
Jesus used hyperbole, (or, extreme exaggeration), when He said, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, and even his own life—he cannot be my disciple." Jesus used this extreme language to show the seriousness of putting God over EVERYONE else in your life. Our relationships are SO powerful and many people are still held back today by people who are not even in their life anymore!
THE FIRST QUESTION IS: WHO ARE YOUR PRIOR TIES?
What relationships shaped how you view your life today? Where did you see the habits you hate modeled for you? Who was it that hurt you and caused the pain you are still trying to escape?
Next, we look at the powerful places from our past. In the Jewish Scriptures, the people were on the border of the promised land. However, they lost faith, and when they did they wanted to go back to Egypt! Never mind that this was a place of great suffering. Never mind that they were literally SLAVES there. They are ready to prioritize going back to the place that they KNOW instead of moving into the FUTURE where they belong.
THE SECOND QUESTION IS: WHERE ARE YOUR PRIOR TIES?
So many people live tied to disappointments from early elementary school. They weren’t able to socialize well and they now live willing to do ANYTHING to gain the approval of the people around them! Many people are still strongly Tied to their high school experience - nothing in life can seem to top the popularity they had among their peers or the success they had on the high school football field. Maybe you are tied to a previous job? You had so much success and were a part of something significant. Every new job path just seems meaningless compared to where you used to be.
Last, we look at the things that set the priorities in our life. One day, a Rich Young Ruler came up to Jesus and wanted to know how to follow Jesus. Sensing that his STUFF was more important than his significance, Jesus challenged him to sell all that he had and give it all to the poor. This was the one thing the Rich Man simply could not do!
THE THIRD QUESTION IS: WHAT ARE YOUR PRIOR TIES?
This question is often the easiest to answer, and the hardest to change. To figure out your material ties, look no further than what gets your TIME, TALENT, and TREASURE. What are your pouring money into that isn't increasing your purpose? What gets the majority of your attention throughout the day?
The process of naming your Prior Ties instantly gives you a massive amount of power moving forward! If you can Name It, you can Tame It! Next week we are going to get serious about dealing with these improper priorities!
Spend some time asking the Holy Spirit to show you more People, Places, and Things that you have tied yourself to throughout your life. Trust God that your life is too important to not set proper priorities. Ask Jesus to prepare your heart to make some big changes during the course of this series!