Tony Evans — A Challenge to Prioritize Your Priorities
Who else do you call on when life shuts down on you? Well, if you think that they are your savior, go to them. Go to them. But if you really want me to be all that and a bag of chips, I need to be first.
Well, friends, we're continuing our series on "The Jesus Challenge," and today he's gonna challenge you about priority. Because if you don't have him in the right place, things are just not gonna go like he wants 'em to go or like you need them to go in your life.
So let's go to the book of Revelation chapter 2, and let's find out what this challenge is all about. What it looks like, what it means, how it works, and what the benefits of it are to you when you get your priorities straight.
The first church we come to is the church at Ephesus. To appreciate and understand Ephesus, all you have to do is understand New York. Ephesus was the New York of Asia Minor, now known as Turkey.
Ephesus was the center of commerce, of culture, of civic focus, of fashion. If you wanted to go on vacation, Ephesus was the place to go. It was a tourist city. It was well known throughout Asia as the place to go. It was an economic boomtown. It was like a Wall Street.
It dealt in significant financial matters because of its strategic location. It was also known for idolatry. The church at Ephesus where you get the book of Ephesians out of, that's the book written to the church at Ephesus.
The story of the church's beginning--feel free to read it sometime-- is Acts chapter 19 of how in the midst of sorcery and witchcraft and economics, people got saved and the church was established and it is expressed to us in Acts 19 about the energy, excitement, and challenges that faced this brand-new church.
But here in the book of Revelation, he is not writing because all is well. He is writing because of a situation that needed to be addressed for people who wanted to be overcomers, as I hope that we do.
He makes it clear in the first verse that this was written for the angel of that house, that is God's messenger-- the word "angel" from the Greek word angelos means messenger-- that the messenger, the pastor if you will, was to proclaim this message to the congregation at Ephesus Bible Fellowship.
And if you and I will hear what he has to say, "He that hath an ear, let him hear," verse 7 says, then you are on your way to being an overcomer, an overruler, of that which is ruling over you.