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Sermon Illustrations: Priorities


A professor stood before his philosophy class with a very large empty jar and began to fill it with golf balls. "Is the jar full?" "Yes." He poured a box of small pebbles into the jar, and they rolled into the cracks. "Is the jar full?" "Yes." He poured a box of sand into the jar. "Is the jar full?" "Yes." He then poured two cans of ginger beer into the jar. "The jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - God, family, children, friends, health - things that if all else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, car. The sand is everything else - the small stuff. If you put the sand in first, there's no room for the pebbles or golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you'll never have room for the important things. Pay attention to the important things - there will always be time to clean the house, and do the yard. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand." A student raised his hand: "What does the ginger beer represent?" "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of ginger beers."

Philip II was king of Macedonia. He had just won a battle capturing the town of Potidaea when three messengers arrived, one after the other. The first one told him the good news that his favourite general, Parmenion, had won a great battle against the Illyrian tribes. The second told him that the horse he'd sponsored in the Olympic Games had won first prize. The third told him that his wife, Olympias, had just given birth to a son, who would one day become Alexander the Great. To celebrate the news he valued most, he issued orders that a silver coin be minted to celebrate his horse's victory.

Whatever your gender, if you spend an hour or so each day - make-up, hair, clothing, primping and preening - and five minutes in prayer and reading the Bible, isn't that an indication of your priorities?

My Collection of Jokes, Quotes & Anecdotes

Jesus was very busy. He was never hurried. You never see Him saying irritably, "Who touched my coat? I've gotta be at the mountain to preach in five minutes."


We have the ability to make priorities in life; animals live by habit. Stuart Winch

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Please note that all Scripture quotations, unless otherwise stated, are taken from the New King James Version ®.
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