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All of us have our priorities, the things that we consider are really important to us in our lives. But are we prepared to sacrifice them for the sake of the love for the gospel and the discipline of loving God and putting God before all our priorities in life?
If each believer were practising Matthew 6:33, there would be plenty of manpower for service, more money for missions, and the work of the Lord would progress and prosper. Are we practising Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”?
What is our top priority in life? Is it not to put God first as God requires of us? Mark 12:30 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”
Yet, Many People Put Other Things First.
Some will put job or profession first. Yes, it is important for a Christian to be a good worker. Regardless of where a believer works, their employer ought to be able to see a difference in them! If you are a businessman, then you ought to work hard to make your business a success!
But never…never…allow your job or your business to come first in your life!
Some will put the accumulation of wealth first. Many spend their time and energies gaining and getting. But they often lose their sense of God. The more we seek earthly things, the less of the things of God we can see.
Some people put pleasure first. Many may say, “But Sunday is my only day off…I need that time to relax!” God isn’t opposed to a person having a good time and enjoying life!
Mark 6:31 “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.”
But pleasure should not be our chief aim of life, and nothing should come before God!
What is the chief end of men? To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.
Jesus is clear in this verse, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”. Come to worship and be active in serving the Lord whenever He has called you, and you will deserve a blessed and good rest.
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Some people put their family first. Now don’t get me wrong, family is important. But they are not more important than God!
A lady moans and groans nearly every time she sees her children not in church for fellowship meetings. Well, what went wrong? When they were younger, she taught them by example that going to Grandma’s and Aunt So-in-so’s was more important that going to church, and serving God!
Matthew 10:37-39 “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” Be careful not to let whatever or whoever that is dear to our life to stand between us and faithful service to God, lest will be unworthy of the Lord.
What Does It Mean to Put God First or to Seek First the Kingdom?
Putting God first in our life means that we conform our lives to His biblical principles. Romans 12:2 tells us “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Are we living our lives guided by biblical principles or by some worldly philosophy? Is our mind being transformed each day by the faithful reading of God’s Word? The more we read the Bible, the more we will have the mind of Christ and know the good, acceptable and perfect will of God to guide us through life.
Putting God first means serving in His kingdom. 2 Cor 5:20, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ…” An ambassador is supposed to serve his king.
Unfortunately, God has many ambassadors who poorly represent Him to this lost and dying world. If the lost is to hear the Gospel and be saved, we must be actively serving our King and seeing that Gospel preached at home and around the world. How active are we in witnessing for the Lord?
Putting God first means putting His church first. The local church is the only organization Christ left down here to do His work! Or should it be “organism” because it is supposed to be growing.
And as we have been saved and still left in this world, we are to be part of a local body of Christ. We are to serve Christ through the local church! It is the body of Christ, and being part of the body of Christ, we need to come together and work together, whether you are the leg or the hand, whether with one talent or with five, we need one another, for the sake of Christ’s body to grow.
We owe it all to the local church which God has by His providence put us in. We are to serve Him and with fellow brethren with high priority.
We owe the church our presence. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
Do I attend every gathering of God’s people that I can? Do we hear some Christians saying, “You know, it is not commanded that we assemble on Saturday afternoon or on Tuesday evening,” as if it were a light thing to miss an assembly of God’s people.
I am sure that you realize I am not talking about being providentially hindered, by things over which we have no control. God knows when we are sick or unable to attend.
I am talking about willfully missing gatherings of God’s people. Just because there is something else we desire to do or somewhere else we had rather be.
We should eagerly anticipate the opportunity to encourage each other, to lend our thoughts in prayer, to raise our voices in songs of praise, to offer a friendly handshake to both member and visitor. To be a part of the family of God.
We owe the church our prayers. Paul asked the church to pray for him on many occasions. James 5:16 tells us to “pray for one another”. Who knows what mighty things this church could do if everyone was praying together?
We owe the church our promise and commitment. What I am talking about is real commitment which we have promised the Lord what we will do for the church – being of one mind, of one purpose.
We ought to totally give of ourselves faithfully to the ministry of this church. Ephesians 4:11-13 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: [not the ministry of only the pastor, but also of all in the body of Christ] 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” Here is the commitment of everyone in the body of Christ.
In the everyday world we understand what commitment means:
We take out a 30 year mortgage on a house. What have we done? Committed ourself to 360 monthly payments. And we signed many papers assuring that we realize the commitment we have made.
We go to work for an employer and a commitment is involved. We are going to be there on time, ready to work the committed hours. We are going to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. The reason? The Lord is watching and we made a commitment (Eph. 5:5-8).
We marry someone – a lifelong commitment. We are going to love one another, labor together, trust and honor one another, “until death do us part.” Commitment!
How people commit themselves in the things they find to do.
Look at the sportsmen and sportswomen. An Olympic swimmer would swim 8,000 meters just about every day when in training. That’s 160 laps in an Olympic size pool. A world famous basketball player would eat, drink, and sleep basketball. All champions are like that. Now that is Commitment!
Here is a little test for all of us. Ask yourself the question, “Has service to God become boring?” “Do I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to attend services and worship our Creator?” If the answer is NO, one problem may be a lack of real sacrifice on our part.
How to overcome your boredom? It is by joyous participation. Psalms 100:2 reminds us, “Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” Nothing is more boring than religion devoid of meaningful and joyful service.
But Praise God for there is God’s Reward to Those Who Seek First the Kingdom.
“All these things shall be added unto you.” The Lord is talking here about material needs which we read about from vv. 25-32.
Do you believe? Is God a liar or did Jesus mean what He said? Putting God first means that we will have our needs met. If you have trusted in Christ in His promise of eternal life, why can’t we simply trust Him to take care of our temporal needs here on earth?
King David observed in Psalms 37:25 “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Remember the testimony of George Muller?
Testimony: One night when the children at the orphanage had all gone to sleep, George Muller realized that there was not bread for the breakfast the next morning. He then asked his friend, a guest at the orphanage, to join him in prayer. Muller told his visitor that there was absolutely nothing in the house for next morning’s breakfast. The friend reminded Muller that all the stores were closed which Muller knew very well.
But he prayed as he always prayed. They went to bed and slept. And lo, and behold, in the morning, there was in abundance at the usual breakfast hour bread for two thousand children. Neither Muller nor his friend ever knew how the answer came.
The story was told that the Lord called a baker out of bed in the middle of the night to send breakfast to Muller’s orphanage, and knowing nothing of the need, or of the two men at prayer, the baker sent provisions that would feed the children for a month.
God is faithful! He keeps His promises! Put Him first and then just watch Him bless you! Would you dare take up this challenge?!
We are facing a hard life, and with things getting really hectic, so much so that sometimes we might become confused with our own priorities.
But let’s keep our focus clear! What is most important for us is to put God first in every area of our lives, and all things will fall into place nicely.
GOD HAS ALWAYS REQUIRED MAN TO PUT HIM FIRST! Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Make no mistake about it. Anything less is unacceptable. This is the reason for man’s existence.
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