It feels like the world around me has determined the word of the year to be First. Maybe it is a new year thing, but this year I seem to be hearing it from all sides.
Yesterday on the Coconut Hut Radio show (and last week too) the theme was First. In church, Nathan is preaching about making God first in our lives in all areas and how that would change our year and life. In Bible study, as I work through James, Beth is talking about this same theme.
Maybe God is just doing this for me. Or, maybe it is more than just for me.
But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given unto you. Matthew 6:33
Great verse. So often taken out of context. In Bible Drill we are memorizing this verse from Matthew as well
If you believe, you will receive
whatever you ask for in prayer
It seems if we ask we will get it. Sounds wonderful, but so not in the real world.
In context though, these are great promises, great truths to cling to on a yucky day. If we seek His kingdom first, everything will be given to us. More money, more stuff? No. Peace, glory, goodness, eternal life. It may not look pretty here, but we will be able to get through whatever comes our way, and we will have more rewards and riches in our Eternal Life – in Heaven!
So hearing this everywhere I am reminded again how we compromise in so many ways. Do we make God our first priority? Do we place his agenda for the day before our own? Do we even think about him before we get our day going? I have to admit that I cannot say yes to all of those, every day. Every day I wake up and sometimes I think of him first, sometimes I think of me first, and sometimes I think of my to-do list first.
I am finding though, when I wake up and pray for my day, for his will to lead my choices, my day goes better. When I spend time in his word before the kids get up, or even with them at the table reading themselves, things go much better. If we spend time as a family reading some devotional (our recent favorite is 101 Bible Adventure Stories), my day goes better.
Bad news still comes. Accidents still happen. But it seems I am much more equipped to handle them. Days that I spend that time in the morning in His word, are days that I yell less, get angry infrequently, and that I seek his comfort and peace throughout my day.
First things first. It does not always look the same every day. Some days I do not get into The Word until the afternoon, but if I start the day covered in prayer it still flows so much better. If I ask him to sort through my to-do list and to let the unnecessary fall away, it seems to happen.
I want to be able to answer Pastor Nathan’s question of “Did you make your pursuit of God a priority in 2012?” with a resounding Yes. Will I fail some days? Yes, unfortunately, probably many. I am not perfect, and life happens. But as I try to establish healthy habits, a somewhat consistent routine, I find that I am setting myself up for success far more than flying by the seat of my pants, does!
First things First. If He is first, things will not be all lovely, pretty and wonderful, but things will be better, manageable and right.