Category: What does putting God first really mean?


A great post from Loopylou305

Food For the Spiritual Soul's Blog

As each day goes by, we are getting one day closer to the end of times. And as each day goes by, we can see that. There is physical proof of this all around us. Whether we are aware of it or not…whether we want to be or not….we are ALL a part of a SPIRITUAL WARFARE. So it is important that we grow stronger in our faith. When we do, this will prove to be a consistent stronghold for us, and our hearts and souls. And no one or nothing will be able to shake us from this. Because God says He is beyond what we see and hear with our human eyes and ears on this earth. And when we have the FATHER OF CREATION as our focus, we will definitely be on the winning side of this spiritual war.

As God’s Creations, we are all on the…

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It is common to hear people say “God first, family second, work third.” But  what does it really mean to put God first? What does it mean to “love the Lord  your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5)? If we  are to actually follow this command, what would our lives look like?

Think for a moment about the impossibility of this command and of the standard  God sets for us. When we do not follow His commands, it is sin. And, if we’re  honest, we know that there has never been a moment when any of us have  completely followed this command. As believers, we all love God to some degree,  but we never succeed in loving Him with all of our being at every moment, as the  command suggests we should. In Jesus’ life, on the other hand, there was never a  moment when He was not loving God with all of His being. The only way we can do  what He did is to, in some sense, become completely like Him.

But being  sinners, in and of ourselves, that is impossible. But the good news is that He  has made possible the impossible. He has exchanged our sinfulness for His  righteousness on the cross, making us completely new creations (2 Corinthians  5:17-21). Now we are able to love as He loves because we are now in  Him. Therefore, our only hope to succeed in putting God first is to begin by  trusting fully in His promise to cover our sinfulness with His righteous life  (1 John  4:10).

Knowing that Jesus’ life was perfect in regard to putting  God first, we should look at the way He lived His life and imitate Him,  attempting to “walk in the manner that He walked” (1 John 2:6).  Jesus’ life was characterized by submission to the Father’s will, service to  others, and prayer. It is interesting to note that Jesus never pursued worldly  ambition in any way and never pursued the glory of this world. He had every  gift, talent and ability to make Him the most famous and wealthiest man who ever  lived. But there was only one goal which He considered worthy of His talents—the  glory of the Father.

This should be an example to believers. The time,  resources, energy, gifts, and knowledge of God that we’ve been given should be  used not to gain influence, make money, or fuel pride, but instead to multiply  glory for the Kingdom (Matthew  25:14-30) and to save the souls of the lost (2  Corinthians 5:20) as we trust in Him to protect us and provide for us (Matthew 6:31-33). As an  example to those who believe throughout the ages, Jesus sought first the Kingdom  of God, and laid down His life for His friends (John 10:1115:13). His life was a  perfect picture of loving God with heart, soul and strength, putting Him first.

It is also interesting to note that we never see Jesus expressing His  love for God by singing praise to God or dancing for joy. That is not to say  that Jesus was not joyful. He was joyful. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit.  Furthermore, Jesus knew that His actions on earth would mean God’s glory and the  joy of His people, and we are told in Hebrews  12:2 that as He went to the cross He anticipated great joy and was even  motivated by it. But the snapshot of Jesus’ life that we see in the Bible—the  snapshot that we must assume God wanted us to see and emulate (1 Peter 2:21)—is not  primarily a picture of freedom and happiness and songs and laughter. In fact, it  seems that Jesus’ love for God was played out in most often in hardship, tears,  sorrows, trials and ultimately a painful and horrific death.

Loving God  with all our heart, all our soul and all our strength is not an easy path (Luke 13:24). Yes, the life of  a Christian is a life of joy, despite trials, and a life that anticipates great  joy (2  Corinthians 7:4; Revelation 22:16-17). But we should not expect our life  in this world to be easy, or successful and fulfilling in a worldly sense. The  world is at enmity with Christ, and is therefore also at enmity with His  followers (John  15:18-19). The world will tell us to be someone, to achieve, to live the  good life in this world. All that is a lie. It does not bring fulfillment but  only pain and disappointment to those who give their lives to it (1 Timothy  6:9-10).

Conversely, the life of a Christian should be characterized  by moment-by-moment selfless service to God that flows from love for Him and His  people. That is what it means to put God first. Any wealth that comes our way  should be used to generously give (Mark 10:21),  any success or influence or talents that we have should be used to multiply His  influence (Matthew  25:14-30), and any strength or health we enjoy should be spent in His  service (Philippians 2:14-17; Mark  8:35).