19. PROFESSIONAL PRIORITY

"The energies of the minister are all needed for his high calling. His best powers belong to God. He should not engage in speculation or in any other business that would turn him aside from his great work. 'No man that warreth,' Paul declared, 'entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier' (2 Timothy 2:4). Thus the apostle emphasized the minister's need of unreserved consecration to the Master's service. The minister who is wholly consecrated to God refuses to engage in business that would hinder him from giving himself fully to his sacred calling. He is not striving for earthly honor or riches; his one purpose is to tell others of the Saviour, who gave Himself to bring to human beings the riches of eternal life. His highest desire is not to lay up treasure in this world, but to bring to the attention of the indifferent and the disloyal the realities of eternity. He may be asked to engage in enterprises which promise large worldly gain, but to such temptations he returns the answer, 'What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?' (Mark 8:36)."

APPLICATION

a. Principle Focus (review)

Priority-- the state, quality, or right of taking precedence in order, rank, privilege, etc.; precedence given because of importance or value.

b. Scriptural Foundation (study)

In 2 Timothy 2 Paul makes a strong case to Timothy that the ministry deserves top and sole priority.

c. Behavior Outcomes (model)

  • I covenant that nothing will compete with ministry, though job, money, fame, or interest may tempt.
  • My spouse, family, and friends know that ministry is primary, sole, and exclusive.

d. Personal Assessment (evaluate)

How satisfied am I with the development of this characteristic in my ministry? (Circle one.)

1 2 3 4 5
Extremely
Dissatisfied
Somewhat
Satisfied
Extremely
Satisfied

e. Action Plan (implement)

What will I do to increase my effectiveness in this area? (Write your intentions.)





MEDITATION

"Lord, I make the commitments, but You must sanctify them and keep me focused and committed. I take my calling seriously and would not get entangled. You, others, and I will know if I deviate from this committed position. Let me hold Your trust and that of others high."