My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27
By the time the fire department arrived, flames were leaping high into the air from the burning house.
That's when a young man appeared at an upper window in his pajamas. The firemen encouraged him to climb down the ladder that was placed against the house for his assistance.
To their amazement, he yelled down that he had to get dressed first.
The firemen shouted, "Come as you are!"
No one knows why the man did what he did, but they do know he refused the help being offered. He refused and his negative response led to his unfortunate and unnecessary death.
It occurs to me this young man is representative of a great many people -- people who have managed to get their priorities way out of line.
They eagerly pursue all kinds of things unimportant and do so at the cost of that which is truly essential.
Jobs push aside families. Attaining money takes precedence over friends. Watching television or playing golf precludes time spent with children and spouses.
In contrast to our questionable priorities, our loving Lord made saving us His primary and principal imperative. Rejection by those whom He had come to save, betrayal by a disciple, crucifixion on a cross - all these did not make Him lose sight of His goal.
Now, there's no way that sinful human beings can live with the same kind of faithfulness as did the Son of God. Still, if we're going to escape the fires of this life (and the next), we need to let the Lord keep our priorities in order.
And what does that mean? In part, it means, when our Lord says, "Come as you are!" we don't debate, argue, or hesitate. We heed His call, and we follow Him.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, for Your commitment, Your faithfulness, and Your dedication to saving me, I give thanks. Now may I ask that You bring my priorities into line with Yours. May the Holy Spirit teach me to pursue that which is truly important. In Your Name. Amen.
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In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries