What Does The Bible Say About Priorities In Life?

bible and notebook - what does the Bible say about priorities?

Every hour of every day we are making decisions and setting priorities. We all make choices based on what is most important at any given moment. 

When something, anything, is a priority, it is more important than other things.  In other words, a priority comes first. 

The mother of young children sets the priority of getting the kids to bed so she can have some downtime. Someone driving on icy roads has a priority of getting to safety without incident. The post-surgical patient makes a priority of recovering. 

So, what priorities do we, as Christians, have on our minds? Should we place the certainty of our salvation first on the list? Do we put spreading the gospel to the nations of the world first? Is our first priority loving others as we love ourselves? 

What Does The Bible Say Are The Most Important Things?

Throughout my life I’ve heard that Christians should put God first, then spouse, family, church, then work. I think most of us would agree that if we are believers, God should take first place in our lives, and this should be evident in the way we live. 

We all know that good things are not always the most important things. At any given moment in our days, the things we put first may not be God’s priorities for us. 

Here are some examples from the Bible of some things that should be priorities: 

  • Paul tells us in 2 Timothy that we should all lead a quiet life.
  • In Romans, we are told that we are to be transformed by the renewal of our minds.
  • The book of Proverbs tells us to get wisdom.
  • When Martha was busy with tasks, Jesus reminded her that instead of worrying and fussing about everything, Mary has chosen the good part. sitting at Jesus’ feet and learning from Him,
  • Christ’s words, just before ascending into heaven were telling  the disciples to spread the gospel into the whole world,

Remembering that a priority is something that must be our highest goal, the above examples are each very important for the growth of God’s kingdom, and the care of His church. 

Bible Verses About Priorities

I’ve collected a few key verses that can help us all to keep first things first in our lives as believers. Of course, we can’t all have every single Biblical topic as our highest priority all the time.

These instructions and commands are given to us so that we place them on a higher scale than worldly activities. These are more than suggestions, they are Biblical goals that we should strive for as we live our lives, shining the light of Jesus and showing others how to live by example.

Matthew 22:36-39

“Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself” (CSB)

The Greatest Commandment – The Pharisee that asked was actually trying to trick Jesus with this question. Jesus answered him with two very familiar sentences from the Torah. We often interpret this passage as a number one and a number two in importance, but Jesus said “The second is like it”, meaning that they are both equal in importance.

How we love God and how we treat other people are concepts that intertwine with each other. Our love for God cannot be separated from how we treat others. This is why these both fit together as the greatest commandment.

Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.

Eternital perspective – If we are truly occupied with seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness, we won’t have the time or the inclination to worry about what to eat, drink, or wear. We will be spending our time trusting Him fully rather than doubting and worrying. He provides what is needed for those who leave the details to Him. 

Colossians 3:2

Eternity Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. 

This simple and short Bible verse gives us clear instruction to look ahead at what we are facing in eternity rather than the short-sightedness of living for immediate gratification. 

Romans 19:9-10

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.

Salvation – In this passage, Paul is expounding on how to receive salvation. Confessing and believing are key parts of receiving salvation for eternal life in heaven. In Acts 16:31 Paul and Silas told the jailer to “believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” Although the part about confessing with your mouth was not spoken in the Acts verse, the jailer did just that anyway, as he “rejoiced because he had come to believe in God with his entire household”. 

Ephesians 4:11-16

“And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head – Christ. From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building itself up in love by the proper working of each individual part.”  (CSB)

Spiritual growth – It’s a big deal in the New Testament. You don’t have to be a mature Christian immediately, but it is important to be growing into maturity so that you are not always in danger of being deceived by false teaching. We all started as babies in Christian life as well as in human life, but we are not to stop there. Growth in knowledge, unity in the faith, and Christian maturity are all high priorities for believers. 

2 Timothy 2:2

“What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 

Teaching – Paul is telling young Timothy to teach to others what he learned from Paul, teaching. This passing on of the knowledge of Christ is an important part of the Christian faith. There is always someone we can learn from and there is always someone we can teach. We will never be too spiritually mature to stop learning. 

John 14:6

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Only one way to heaven – There is only one way to be saved from eternal hell, and that is through Jesus. There will be no one in heaven who got there by any other path. Acts 4:12 says basically the same thing: “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” One way. Only one.

Word-Of-The-Year-Coloring Pages

Psalm 24:3-5

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not appealed to what is false, and who has not sworn deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Purity – Having a pure heart is highly valued in the Christian life. None of us is born pure or sinless. None of us can attain either without Jesus Christ.

When we realize, confess, and repent of our sins, our hearts are purified and we are given God’s righteousness since we have none of our own. And this pure heart, we must guard carefully, striving to keep purity. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.  

For more information about having purity of heart, read What The Bible Says About A Pure Heart.

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. 

A renewed mind – If we see everything the way the world sees, conforming to what we see around us, we will be aiming at something but missing what is most important to discern – the will of God.

When we allow our minds to be transformed and renewed by God’s Word in the Holy Bible, we will see things the way He sees them and will be able to weed out the important from all that is a waste of time. God’s will is ultimately good, pleasing, and perfect.

His will is what we must seek. It is the best thing ever. 

Matthew 28:19-20 

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Make disciples – The last words a person speaks are often the most important, as is the case here. Jesus had been crucified and made alive to walk here on earth for forty days. These instructions to His disciples and to all of us throughout time are the words He spoke as He went to be with God.

1 Thessalonians 5:17

“…pray constantly…”

Prayer was a priority of Jesus, and it should be ours also. Praying about everything, at any time,  is an good example that is set for us throughout the Bible.  

Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men

Do everything for God – This verse is not telling us that we don’t need to work for men. Not at all. Here, Paul is telling us that whatever work we do, we should be doing it for a purpose higher than the people we work for or with.

We should always consider that God sees our work ethic and our behavior and even our thoughts as we do our work, and all our work is a form of worship, as we consider ourselves doing it for the Lord. 

John 1:12 

But to all who did receive him, he gave the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name. 

Jeremiah 29:13

You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. 

Ephesians 3:18-19

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (NLT)

Relationship with God – These three passages fit together to help describe the great need we have for a relationship with God and the wonderful satisfaction we have when we experience that relationship to its fullest.

Well, we won’t truly experience it fully until we meet Him in heaven, but we can get a good understanding of this relationship by spending time with God in studying His Word and prayer. 

John 15:4-5

Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. 

Follow Him – We must take our direction and nourishment from Christ Jesus. If we don’t make this a top priority, we will wander aimlessly, bearing no good fruit, and will be of no value to Him. 

In Conclusion

Everyone’s priorities will be focused on their beliefs and that Is where all of their energy and work will go. When we have a Biblical worldview, our priorities will put the things of God first. What Is A Biblical Worldview may help explain this concept.

It’s easy to be pulled here and there by the world and all that we see and hear in our everyday lives, so sometimes we need to be pulled back to our true foundational beliefs so that we can reset our priorities. 

Some ways of keeping our minds and our focus on our priorities are spending time in relationship with the Lord, praying and reading His Word to know Him better, keeping our hearts and minds pure, doing the things that will matter for eternity, working to grow the Kingdom of heaven, caring for the local church (which is the bride of Christ), and seeking Godly wisdom in all we do. 

When we are following God’s guidance, and our priorities are in place, we can experience the peace of God as we move toward someday hearing the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant”. 

As God uses us for His good purposes, our highest priorities may shift from one of these areas to another. This doesn’t mean we have the wrong priorities, although we should be constantly evaluating our motives and actions. It simply means God may be calling us in a new direction at any given time. 

One last word of advice. God does not call us to be legalistic and rigid, so neither should our priorities be like this. We don’t need to keep charts or checkboxes for following Him.

We also should not be comparing what we are doing for Him to what others are doing. He is our heavenly Father, who loves us and cares for us and teaches us, and brings things to light for us.

He is worthy of our highest praise, and worthy of our time and right priorities. 

What Does the Bible Say About Priorities - pinterest pin

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *