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R878 When Spiritual Priorities Are Set

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
September 7, 2020 8:00 am

R878 When Spiritual Priorities Are Set

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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September 7, 2020 8:00 am

The Daily Encouraging Word with Dr. Don Wilton

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God has an encouraging word for you and me today through the Bible-based preaching of Dr. Don Wilton and a message on spiritual priorities. As we dive into God's Word today, we're opening the concept of setting priorities.

Not just setting priorities, but spiritual priorities. And that's the topic for today in Colossians chapter 4 with Dr. Don Wilton. When we open God's Word, you need to know the phone numbers open as well. Always ready to take your call, as Dr. Don would say, happy to be one of your 2 a.m. friends at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673. Or we can connect online as well at That's

A great place to discover about our new series on Daniel, Men of Courage as well. All the details for that coming up in just a moment. Now, Dr. Don Wilton. You know, when you are around the things about God and about the Lord Jesus Christ, your life begins to change. You cannot come into the presence of the Lord and be the same again. And you know, that's been my experience in my own life. You know, you look at me today and you say, well, you know, that's the preacher up there.

And he looks all right and so on and what have you. But I tell you, my life has been dramatically changed because I ran into the Lord Jesus Christ. And when you experience God, God begins to speak to you.

And here's what he does. He changes your life and then he invites you to come and join him. He says, come on over here. Most of us look at God and we say, you know, God is someone that we talk about in church and we read about in a book. But you know, God is so great and he's so incredible and he allows us to experience him and to know more about him.

And when he does, he invites us over to come and sit at his table. But in order to do that, we're the ones who have got to kind of make an adjustment. We've got to move in our lives. And we've got to establish our priorities.

God speaks to us and he establishes our priorities. You know, in all the years that I've spot watched Viking football, I'm telling you there's nothing like it in the country. There's nothing like it here in Spartanburg.

These rivalries that go on between the different high schools and the spirit in the stands. And one of the things that I've loved about these men and these individuals who play is that they order their priorities. You want to play on the Viking football team. You better have your priorities in order. You don't become a part of a winning tradition and then say, well, I think I'll rock up at practice when I feel like it.

Any of you try to do that? You know, well, coach, I think, you know, it's Thursday today. I just don't feel like it today.

I'd rather go get something to eat. I'll see you guys tomorrow. I'll tell you exactly what happened.

You won't be on the team. In other words, to strive for excellence, to be everything that you know you need to be on a winning team means that you've got to order your priorities. You've got to decide what's important and you've got to establish that.

I can take you and show you successful businesses. You show me a successful business and I'll show you a business in which they've ordered their priorities. I'll tell you one of the things that I pray about in America, folks, I'm serious as mustard. One of the problems we're facing today is we no longer understand what our priorities are. We're getting caught up in a quagmire of all wants and needs and desires and affiliations. And we no longer have priorities. I want to speak to you today about when your priorities are set. And I'm not just talking about ordinary priorities. I'm talking about your spiritual priorities. In the conclusion to my book, Totally Secure, I wrote about three priorities. I said there are three things that are more important than anything else in life. Now that's a pretty radical statement to make because there's a lot of important stuff in life.

And what were the three things that I singled out? Number one, faith. I'm not just talking about any faith. I mean, all religions have faith. And if someone came to me one time and said, listen, man, I'm religious.

Well, I want to tell you something. I'm not religious. There's a difference between being religious and having faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. And when I talk about faith, I'm talking about prioritizing my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God's son, who came and who died upon a cross just for me.

He came with that express purpose in mind to forgive me for my sin, to make me radically brand new and to write my name in God's book in heaven. Faith, I believe, is the number one priority. Listen, you can go and play for the NFL, but if you don't know Jesus Christ, you'll never take your Hall of Fame with you.

You can make a multi millions of dollars. If you don't know Jesus Christ, you've got nothing. So faith is number one. The second one is family. I believe family is the number two priority in life because families are important. God's blessed us with our families, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, you name it. We've got family and we need to prioritize our family.

I've had people say to me many times, watch out, your kids are going to grow up before you know it. Well, folks, I'm now at that point where I'm saying that to other people because family is so important. You've got to prioritize family in that relationship. The third one, or it's a tough one, priority number one, faith in Jesus Christ. Number two, family, our relationships together.

Number three, fitness, our physical well-being. I just told my wife last night, I looked her in the eye and I said to her, man, I've got to do something. My fitness has gone down the tubes. You know, folks, in the last four or five weeks, I haven't run, walked.

I haven't said boobah, kiss my foot. All I've done is feed my soul. That's all I've done. I tell you, I told my wife last night, I said, I'm just too busy. Haven't had time to go walk around the neighborhood, go and get on a treadmill, go and do something. And I'm starting to feel frumpy and look like a dried up prune. I said to her, guess what I've got to do? I've got to order my priorities.

Any questions? Not a matter of options, is it? Let me tell you a couple of things ordering your priorities will do for you. Number one, it'll help your focus.

We as a people, we struggle with our focus. Number two, it'll motivate your actions. When you set your priorities in order, it'll motivate your actions. It's what you do.

Don't stand there and tell me what a fine football player you are. If you don't order your priorities, you won't have focus and you most certainly won't have any action. You want to show me what you can do?

Get on the ball field and show me what you can do. But you've done that not because you rolled out of bed that morning, you did it because you ordered your priorities. Number three, when you order your spiritual priorities, it'll facilitate your strategy. Now what is strategy? Strategy is your network, it's your game plan. It's when you sit there before the game has begun and you devise your strategy. You devise a strategy based upon the opposition.

You analyze intricately the minutest details of that which comes against you and you strategize. But if you don't prioritize what you're doing, you're never going to facilitate that strategy. Number four, setting spiritual priorities will direct your intentions. Intentions are great things. I've met a lot of people, including myself, who have all kinds of intentions. You know my favorite saying, sometimes I sit and think, other times I just sit.

Folks, the people who pull up a couch and all they do is just sit are people who have got intentions but they don't translate into actions because they have no priorities that are set in place. Setting your priorities and your spiritual priorities is critical. Number five, it will enhance your vision. By the way, vision, spiritual vision is the ability that God gives to people to see tomorrow even though you cannot see it.

God invites you to buy into a place that only God can go. So how do you enhance your vision? By prioritizing your spiritual priorities. You've got to set in place your pattern of behavior. And number six, when you prioritize like this and you set them in place, it's going to nullify your weaknesses. All of us have got weaknesses, every one of us. All of us struggle. If I had time right now, I'd say get out a pen and paper, write down your weaknesses.

Now what do you do? Do you play to your strengths or do you develop your weaknesses? I'll tell you what you do, you play to your strengths by nullifying your weaknesses, which means you've got to address your weaknesses.

If you don't address your weaknesses, your weaknesses overcome your strengths. You might be a great running back and have a capacity to run with the ball and make incredible yardage, but you're always fumbling the ball. Maybe you're holding it too high, too low. Maybe you're not switching hands enough. Maybe you're not doing, you've got some kind of weakness. Nullify your weakness by ordering your priorities. Work on it and watch what happens.

If you ran for 100 yards yesterday, you're going to run for 150 yards today and you're going to have no fumbles because you nullified your weakness. Now watch this folks, here in the book of Colossians, I want you to turn to Colossians chapter 4, right there in the Bible. And you can turn to page 1144, 1144, page 1144, and you'll be right there where I'm going to read to you from God's Word today.

Now Colossians is a letter that God wrote to a group of people just like ourselves in a place called Colossi. And Paul in the first three chapters told these people a lot of stuff. You know it's like when you gather and you develop all that game plan, now it comes down to where the water hits the wheel. This is where Paul puts the smack on everybody. He says it's game time and I'm going to show you how to order your priorities.

I'm going to tell you what to put in place here so that you can be more effective in the way you function. Now we're going to talk about spiritual priorities. Let me read to you what Paul said here in Colossians chapter 4 and verse 2.

He said, Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful and pray for us too that God may open a door for our message so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly as I should. By the way, that little word there, as I should, is definitive. It's a mandate.

That little word there says because I absolutely have to do this. Have you ever gone to somebody and said, you know, I just got to do this. I told my wife I love to walk and exercise and I've always kind of kept up a basic regimen but the last four or five weeks, folks have just let it go. So I went to my wife and I just said to her, I said, man, I have got to get out there and start exercising again.

That's what I'm talking about. In other words, what he's saying, everything's important. I'm going to tell you something, folks, I don't have time to exercise. I don't have time to eat properly because I love it all.

I don't have time to put the time into the practice to play the game. But if I'm going to play the game and win the game, I've got to do what I've got to do to get there. And Paul here is saying this, pray that I may proclaim it clearly as I have got to do. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders. Make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt.

Don't you like that? So that you may know how to answer everybody. Paul here sits down four major priorities. Number one is the priority of prayer. I'm sensing as we experience God together, a new initiative concerning prayer. But when Paul says in verse two, devote yourselves to prayer and pray for us too. And he talks about the priority of prayer. He puts it in the context of three challenges that I identify with. Number one is the challenge to be devoted.

Now look at that word there in verse two, he says, devote yourself. I love football. I'm just going to confess I apologize to everybody who doesn't. I love college football and high school football.

You want me to show you devotion? You go watch some of these young men, the work ethic they've got. I'm telling you, I've seen even field goal kickers get out there and kick and kick and kick until your leg wants to fall off. And then you wonder why they make that 50 yard field goal with three seconds left on the clock. And everybody says, what a kicker. But they don't see the devotion that went behind kicking the ball between the posts.

Now watch this folks. Paul says challenge number one is not prayer in and of itself. It's the single minded purpose with which you make a determination that that's a priority. See, we're not devoted to prayer as we ought to. Forgive the interruption. We'll be back with the rest of today's message when spiritual priorities are set by Dr. Don Wilton. But that challenge, that we're not devoted to prayer as we ought to, is something that perhaps we could help each other with. We have a wonderful resource called the Daily Encouraging Word Bible Guide that helps launch our day.

It launches my quiet time every day. You can sign up for it email wise on our website at That's or call for your copy at 866-899-WORD.

That's 866-899-9673. Ask for the Daily Encouraging Word Bible Guide that will revolutionize your prayer life. Now back to today's message with Dr. Don Wilton. But there was a second challenge that Paul wrote about.

He talks about it right here. It's not just the challenge to be devoted. It's the challenge to be watchful. Look what he says in verse two. By the way, that word watchful in verse two is interesting because he's talking about prayer. Watchful means I've got to kind of walk around with my eyes open.

No. Is he trying to say when I drive down the road in my motor car and I'm praying I better be watchful in case I have a wreck? That's not what he's talking about. You better open your eyes when you're praying going down the road in your motor car. Not what he's talking about. What he's talking about is that my devotion to the priority of prayer is accompanied by a spiritual openness within my heart, a spiritual sensitivity whereby I allow and invite the Spirit of the living God to feed my soul and give me meaning in the context of prayer. There's a third thing he says. The third challenge is the challenge to be thankful. I tell you it's hard to teach that to the millennial generation, our young children who are coming on the scene, because we live in a world today in America where we've got everything. Why be thankful?

I tell you, you young guys around here, your biggest challenges, man. Which one do I choose? Which restaurant do I go to?

How much do I eat? What am I prepared to pay for it? I'm going to get it.

I'm going to get it now. Why be thankful? By the way, have you noticed how more and more people go to more and more places, get given more and more things, but nobody wants to say thank you? Sometimes you guys, you principals and headmasters and head coaches and assistant coaches and you folks who spend you the salt of the earth and you're around our young people year after year after year after year, going through all the kind of stuff.

Well, I'm going to tell you right now, thank you. I had the privilege of talking to Lieutenant Andrew Carnot. I just happened to be standing together with his father and he's called from Iraq on a satellite phone. He's a company commander over there.

He's in a combat area. None of us knew what was going on, but he called. And I had about 30 seconds just to say a word to Lieutenant Carnot.

I didn't want to take away from the time his father would have with him. But I said to him, Andrew, I'm thankful. I'm thankful that here I am watching my football games and here I am enjoying what I have. And you're over there putting your life on the line.

I am thankful to you. All right, there's priority number one, the priority of prayer. Number two, the priority of proclamation. He says right there in verse three, he says, so that we may proclaim. Verse four, he says, so that I may proclaim.

By the way, the word proclaim means to speak out. I had the privilege of travelling down to Charleston. I was invited to speak at Charleston Southern University. Incredible campus.

Right there as you come into North Charleston. I said to myself, man, which student's going to want to go to church on Wednesday morning, you know? I walked into that place that was packed out with students. I mean, it was rocking.

Not only that, they were having some kind of election day, election for this, election for that. Trying to decide parading all the queens of homecoming or whatever that is. And I mean, everybody was up there and the band was playing and people were cheering and groups were standing up and going on and on. And I'm sitting there saying, oh man, have you ever felt just insignificant, folks?

I mean, here I am on a college campus sitting on the front row, looked like a dried prune dressed up in a suit. And I got to get up in front of all these students. I said, Lord, help me. And the power of God came down on that place.

Amongst the things I said was, man, I appreciate these groups. You guys there, boy, you can cheer. You go to a football game, watch people stand up and shout and cheer. You guys know that sound, man, when you run in that winning touchdown, the stand goes berserk.

Nothing like it. I mean, the place rocks, man. I mean, people get up there. I mean, that's movement. You know what I'm saying? That's people getting down with it. I said, hey, listen, man, I love to get down with it and to rock the place and to rock the house and to get up and burst a blood vessel.

But I want to ask you a question. Is there any one of you men who are willing to stand up and rock the house like you do right now in the name of a football game? Is there any one of you willing to stand up and do the same thing for Jesus Christ? I think this is what Paul had in mind when he talked about the priority of proclamation. He was talking about what we know and what we believe to be true about God and Jesus Christ. And that we prioritize because of our conviction that, yes, we're going to be amongst the best of them. We're going to sit in the football stands of the world. We're going to buy all that fried chicken in the universe. We're going to rock the boat with everybody else and we're going to get down there level with the gravel. But when it comes to the Lord Jesus Christ, that somebody in America is going to stand up and say, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Somebody say amen here today. That's what he's talking about. The priority of proclamation has three ingredients according to this passage. There are three things that make up that priority. Number one is the work of God. He said that God may open the door.

That's the work of God. That's the content of our proclamation. Number two, the mystery of Christ in the second part of verse three, for which Paul was in chains. I don't understand it, but Jesus said, if I want to follow him, I've got to take up the cross.

I've got to be willing to become amalgamated in the suffering of Jesus Christ. And the third ingredient is the communication of man. He said that I might say what I say in a manner that is clearly spelled out so that all people can understand. Any of you ever been to church and said, you know, it sounded good and it looked good, but what in the world was he saying?

You see, relevancy is the name of the game, folks. I can study and make all the right moves and draw all the right plans, but until I execute that play on the field, I'll never win the ball game. And Jesus Christ is our head coach and he's got the plan. He said, order your priorities. Priority number one is the priority of prayer. Priority number two is the priority of proclamation. Now let's put that into the life of a church like this. If in fact we determined that those were two of our foremost priorities, that means as of this moment, there are two things that are more important than anything else. Talking to God and sharing his word.

Any questions? If in fact we thought that those were priorities. Number three is the priority of opportunity in verse five. He says, I want to make the most of every opportunity. The priority of opportunity. Do you know that being here together today is special? Because this is the opportunity God has given to us. Would you bow your heads with me this morning?

I'm just going to ask you today, what kind of opportunity is this for you? I wonder perhaps if someone came here today, you thought, well, I'm coming for this reason. I'm coming for that reason, but I'm coming. Here I am. What does church mean to you?

But let's just forget about church. Who is God to you? Do you know the Lord Jesus? Is he your savior? Have you trusted him? Have you given your life to him?

Are you willing to surrender all to him? I just want to pray for you right now. Lord, thank you for this time here together today. Lord, there are people in other parts of the world, in Africa where I grew up, places like India and places in South America and Asia.

Father, I'm sure even places in America where people just cannot meet like this. And this is the day the Lord has made. This is our opportunity. You've given us this opportunity.

We prioritize this opportunity because it's a God opportunity. And Lord, I pray right now that if there's anybody here in this place that needs to give their heart and life to Jesus Christ, they do it right now. Lord, I pray. I don't want anybody to misunderstand me because no prayer can save anybody. Lord, you know there are people kind of praying all kinds of prayers all over the place.

And praying doesn't mean anything unless it comes from the heart. Lord, there's somebody here today who would want to pray this prayer to get saved, to be forgiven, to become a new person, to never be the same again because they know this is their priority. So I'm going to pray this prayer, Lord, in your name. And maybe there's someone out here today that they'd pray this prayer after me, maybe in the quietness of their own heart. And you're listening because you're God and you love us so much.

So somebody, Lord, might pray this prayer and you know who they are. Dear God, I know that Jesus loves me. And I believe that Jesus died on a cross just for me. I want to repent of my sin today because I am a sinner. I've messed up.

Everybody's messed up. But because Jesus Christ died on the cross, I can be set free and I can be forgiven. I believe that God raised up Jesus from the dead. That means Jesus is alive.

He's not dead anymore. And I accept Jesus into my heart. Lord, I've prayed this prayer and I've prayed it from my heart. And I meant every word in Jesus name I pray.

Amen. A powerful moment with our pastor, Dr. Wilton. And if you have just prayed to give your life to Jesus Christ, we have wonderful resources, specific things Dr. Don has pulled aside that he wants you to have absolutely free. So once you call and ask for yours, 866-899 word is the phone number.

That's whether you've given your life to Christ for the first time or rededicated your life today. Dr. Don would love to hear from you, 866-899-9673. That's the number to call. We would love to connect you with those resources and also just connect with you, to pray with you and for you. You can connect online as well at That's our website, And if you've not heard about it, Daniel, Man of Courage is a wonderful resource that will help you grow in your faith.

Here's Liz with all the details on how you can get your copy. Our nation is in crisis. The devil is working overtime. How do we counteract the evil all around us? How do we overcome? We must learn to be quiet, to be still and listen for the voice of God. We must listen and obey. With your gift of support to the Encouraging Word this month, you will receive Dr. Wilton's timely messages on the teachings of Daniel. These messages include hearing God's voice in the crowd, the power of obedience and the story of conviction. These messages on CD or DVD will be sent to you for a gift of $20 or more in support of the Encouraging Word. Call us at 866-899-WORD to request Dr. Wilton's teachings on Daniel, a man of courage, conviction and immovable faith. The Encouraging Word is a viewer and listener supported ministry.

Thank you for listening today. Again, that's a great resource, Daniel, man of courage. The number again is 866-899-WORD. Slow down, 866-899-9673 is the number. Jot it down, store it in your cell because it's not just a place to order resources like that. But more importantly, Dr. Dunn initiated the use of this phone number to say we want to pray with you and for you.

That's 866-899-9673. And also, while you're online at our website,, I pray you'll consider signing up for what we mentioned earlier, the daily Encouraging Word email. It's absolutely free. You can get it in a hard copy if you prefer. All that is available on our website at You can sign up today and by this time tomorrow, within 48 hours, you'll be receiving great encouragement from Dr. Dunn every single day. That's online at
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-17 04:59:49 / 2024-03-17 05:11:15 / 11

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