First Things First
The truth is, we always do first things first. By that I mean that we always do what is first to us first. If you want to know what is really first in your life – look at your day, what did you choose to do first? I believe the real test on seeing what is first is found by our choices.
There are 3 things that motivate or dictate what we do:
1. Pressing things. These are the things that we have no control over, but demand our immediate attention – like a crying baby, an over-flowing toilet, an emergency.
2. Responsibility. These are the things that we must do as part of our responsibility. I know that there are irresponsible individuals who ignore their responsibilities and just move on to choice – but this should be the next thing that determines our time and schedule. We know that we must be at work at a certain time, have our children at school at a specific time, have certain tasks accomplished by an exact time or date…we build our schedule around these things.
3. Choice. This is the part of our days, our lives, that shows what is really first. When we wake up in the morning what do we choose to do first?
For the Christian we know that the first and great commandment is that we love the Lord with all that is in us.
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40
We also have been instructed to seek God first.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
The very fact that putting the Lord first is a commandment proves that it is a choice – if it came naturally, we would not need to be told to do it. You notice that we are not commanded to eat – that comes naturally, when we are hungry – we eat! When we’re cold, we cover up, when we’re hot, we fan ourselves – caring for and loving ourselves comes naturally.
Love, while we like to believe it is an emotion, is also a choice. It is easy to love those with whom we get along, people that we have a lot in common with, people who share our views and values, our sense of humor, our ideals – but what about the unlovely, the grumpy, those uncharitable? It is not easy to love “those” people, yet, we are commanded to love our neighbours as we love ourselves…that is a tall order!
If indeed we put first things first –it will make a marked difference in every aspect of our lives. Imagine how life changing it is that Jesus said that on those 2 commandments, Loving God and loving others, hang ALL the law and prophets! There are well over 600 commandments in the Bible, and yet if we put the law of love first we’ll be keeping all of them!
You may ask how can you choose to love God first, or how can we love people that are so soulfully ugly – the answer is that we must realize what love is – what true love is.
We know that God is love
We know that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son
We know that God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners He died for us
We know that greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends
We also know that the attributes of love are:
Being Patient, Kind
Not envying or boasting
Is not proud
Does not dishonor others
Is not self-seeking or easily angered
Does not keep record of wrongs
Doesn’t delight in evil
Rejoices in truth
Always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres
Love never fails
“Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. We love him, because he first loved us.
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
1 ¶ Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” I John 4:15 -5:3
So, first things first? Receive the gift of Salvation purchased for us by the blood of Christ – that is the greatest gift of love ever given, and upon receiving that love we are then capable of giving true love - the love of God that works in us and allows us to love others.
Will you receive that gift of love that Christ purchased for us when He died on the cross? Will you choose to love the Lord evidenced by your obedience to Him?
It is my prayer that you understand that this is written with love for you and especially for our Saviour that laid down His life for you and for me so that we could be with Him forever in eternity.
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God…” 1 John 3:1
Have a wonderful day!