Summary: Placing God first in our lives allows us to not worry about what should be second or third.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”
I was saved in 1982. I was converted, changed INSTANANEOUSLY…… A short time later the Lord called me into the ministry. As I began to grow I began to wonder about my priorities. (Not that I was doing anything wrong, I just needed to know where to place the things in my life)
(I was a young pastor with a wife, raising 3 kids, pastoring a small country church full time, working with brother-in-law & sister-in-law with a youth program, working shift work at the paper mill in Ashdown, going thru the course of study to be ordained…..)
I had a proctor in DeQueen that was an ordained elder, she had been an evangelist for 17 years, she was like my “mentor”. It seemed like as I was growing as a pastor, as a Christian I was trying to “juggle” my priorities WHAT IS #1 in my life? Is God #1? How about the church? Where does the church fit in if God is #1? Would this be in the same category as God as well as the youth program too? Okay, God is #1, then the church, #2?
How about my family…..where do they fit in? What number are they? ……..#2, #3?
What about my job, it is important what number is it? WOW….this was driving me crazy!! I asked my proctor one day due to her EXPERIENCE…..I ask her HOW SHOULD I PUT THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE OR PRIORITY….. He looked at me with a grin and said to ALWAYS put God in first place!!
COOL!!! I can do that!! No problem, PLACE GOD FIRST!! Okay, now and even more important question, What should be #2? The church? My family? My job? Geez……What is #2? #3?
She looked at me again & smiled & said “Always put God first”…….Always….. You see, when you ACTUALLY PLACE GOD IN FIRST PLACE, then #2, #3, #4 will all fall into place!! You don’t have to worry about anything beyond God being in first…….
The problem today? Placing God in first & leaving Him there, actually living as though God is first!!! Look at what God gave Moses in Exodus 20 “And God spake all these words, saying , 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth
beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments”
God MUST BE FIRST IN OUR LIVES!! He says here that He is a “Jealous” God!! He will not settle to be second, or third. He must be FIRST!! (There are people today that feel good about the fact that He is second or third or they are PROUD to have God in the top 10 of their lives!!!)
Being born & raised in Florida I have always been a Gator man first, then Miami next and Seminole man third. I always pull for the Florida teams unless they are playing Florida, I remember what it was like to have ALL three Florida teams in the top 10 of the college polls!!! (people are like that today about their relationship with God)
There are a lot of folks today up to their necks in Idolatry….. How? In 2012….idolatry? By placing God in their lives other than #1…… He says we are NOT to bow down or worship or serve any other god than Himself!!!!
Today, people place their jobs in first place….. maybe their families…. Maybe their hobbies or pleasures in first place…. (Paul says that one way we will be able to tell that we are living in the last days as man will become “lovers of pleasure more than lover of God”)
In our text Christ is warning folks over their concern & love for material things…. Matthew 6: verse 24 say’s “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon”.
Colossians 3: verse 2 say’s “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth”.
Our self examination during Lent would have been good to ask God what place He was in our lives…in our hearts. The best way to keep things in perspective, in priority is to put God first & leave Him first. Not second, not third but first!!
As we close out this service this AM, where is God in your life? Where do you have your affections this AM, towards Heaven or down here on the earth….. IS GOD FIRST IN YOUR LIFE?