Alternative View - January 28, 2016

Make me know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. - (Psalm 25:4)

Much of your life—whether it shows up in successes or failures—will be determined by your priorities. What you put first in your thoughts, desires, and choices will affect the fruit or consequences you then face.

Jesus spoke about our priorities in the longest sermon He ever preached while on earth. This sermon is recorded in Scripture and is called the Sermon on the Mount. Now, people in my congregation may think I preach a long time, but Jesus’ sermon takes up three full chapters (Matthew 5–7) in the Bible. That’s a long sermon.

His message is addressed to believers—originally to His disciples. And it is primarily a sermon about the kingdom whose centerpiece revolves around one verse.

In fact, this one verse is the centerpiece of kingdom living altogether. We read, “But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

The word that I want to focus on from this passage is the word first, because it is the diminishing of the value of this word that has led to the diminishing of the experience of God in many of our lives.

To live life to its fullest and to accomplish and experience all that God has created you to do, God and His kingdom must be first. God is not to be one among many—He is to be first.

The problem in most of our lives today is that God is merely in the vicinity; He is not first. I often hear people tell me that they just don’t have enough time for God, which means that they are really telling me God is not first place in their lives. This is because a person will always make time for what is first, for what matters most.

Reflection: What does it mean for God to be first in our lives? What does it look like for God to be first? Where does God come in second (or later) in your life . . . and how can you put Him back in first place?

First. That’s where You belong. That’s where You deserve to be in my life, Lord. First. Forgive me for not always putting You first. But I will try to do so, starting now. Help me to make You first.

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