Keeping 1st Things 1st (Part 3 -Balancing)

This is Part 3 from the series  “Balancing Life’s Demands”

How to Keep “First Things First”

Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

(You can listen to the series in part or as a whole)

{Answer on audio and in the Bible}

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

The Problem: Many start well, but few finish well.

The Answer:
Biblical Accountability

• Definition: Biblical Accountability is enlisting the support of those who love me to help me keep my commitments to God.


• Its Power:
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one
falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to
help him up! 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one
keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)

The Need:
Why accountability is essential for spiritual success

Five Reasons:
1. Because we never outgrow the need for________________ ___________________.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27

24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the
prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the
games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable
wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim;
I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my
slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NASB)

2. Because past successes are no guarantee of ______________ _______________.
1 Corinthians 10:1-5

1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the
cloud and all passed through the sea; 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud
and in the sea; 3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all drank the same spiritual
drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock
was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they
were laid low in the wilderness.
1 Corinthians 10:1-5 (NASB)

He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel.
Psalms 103:7 NASB

3. Because we constantly underestimate the power of our own ________________
1 Corinthians 10:6-11

6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat to eat and drink and stood to play.” 8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. 9 Nor let
us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these
things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction,
upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
1 Corinthians 10:6-11 (NASB)

Note above: we can learn from result of others choices, they Crave evil things, idolaters (anything or anyone who take the place of The Lord), act immorally, try (test), grumble.

4. Because we constantly overestimate our ability to handle ______________.
1 Corinthians 10:12

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
1 Corinthians 10:12 (NASB)

Hebrews 3:13
But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 3:13 NASB

5. Because we naively believe our struggles and temptations are _____________.
1 Corinthians 10:13

13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is
faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the
temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NASB)

Summary: “Therefore, my beloved, flee from _______________________________!”
1 Corinthians 10:14 (NASB)

Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
1 Corinthians 10:14 (NASB)

The Means:
“How To” develop accountability in relationships:
• It begins at ________________.
• In an atmosphere of ___________ .
• It must be voluntary and by __________________.

We should not be going out and hold other people accountable -that is God’s job

Allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in you and others.

• It must be _______________ , not generic.
• It must be ________________ , not sporadic.
• No more than _________ _____________.

Discussion Questions:
1. In what area of your life have you recently made a commitment to God?
2. From what you learned today, how could you get help in keeping this commitment?
3. Why is accountability so essential for all of us?
4. What specific steps will you take to become accountable so you can be a finisher?

This concludes:
Balancing Life’s Demands (Part 3) How to Keep “First Things First”

For more resources, go to
Copyright © 2011 Chip Ingram and Living on the Edge

Click below to:
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