Summary: As you study the bible you can really see that God has placed some things above others. In other words, God has some ‘first things first’.
I hope I never become unthankful or ungrateful for those who had a part in molding and making me.
1. Many of you here tonight have helped and taught me.
2. My stepdad has helped me.
a. He is dead and gone, but I am still thankful for him.
b. He was a man of low morals and few principles, but…
1) He loved and cared for me.
2) He taught me to work, paint, show up to work and not gripe about it.
3. I would suppose that Bro Ingram has been the most influential man in my life.
a. He has given me many principles by which to live by.
b. Many through statements he has made and let govern his own life.
1) Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
2) The word assume is not in our vocabulary.
3) I would guess the most important statement he has ever made was, “First things first.”
4. As you study the bible you can really see that God has placed some things above others. In other words, God has some ‘first things first’.
a. The most important things we could do is to know and practice what God places first.
b. Whether you are a preacher, song leader, teacher, bus worker, or just a babe in Christ, we need to put first things first.
c. Many things clamor for priorities, and we need to learn how to assess the real values and not give first place to secondary things.
5. There is much trouble today because we have gotten away from these principles. We have reversed the order. We are majoring in the minors and minoring in the majors.
6. There is a certain excitement about first things.
a. In our children, teeth, walk, words, day at school.
b. Married life; first date, kiss, honeymoon.
c. Christian life: class taught, song sung, message preached.
I. The Importance of Priorities
1. Mark 8:36; soul more important than the body.
2. Hebrews 9:27; eternity more important than time.
3. Luke 12:15; things of life more important than possession.
a. Verse 23; life more than meat.
b. Body is more than raiment.
4. Ephesians 6:10; moral strength more important than physical.
II. Some Strong Words, Commands, and Statements from Christ
1. Matthew 22:36-38; the first and great commandment.
a. Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. That is your whole being.
b. What makes your heart excited tonight? Wealth, pleasure, Lord’s work, singing, teaching, preaching, soul winning?
2. 1 John 4:19; we love Him, because He first loved us.
3. Luke 14:28-31; some prerequisites to discipleship.
4. 2 Corinthians 8:5; first is where giving must begin.
5. John 1:41; first where soul winning must begin.
6. 1 Peter 4:17; first is where judgment must begin.
7. So over and over we read of things God has placed first in our lives. I want us to consider five more found in the book of Matthew for tonight’s message.
III. First Your Brother Then Your Gift
2. Devil loves to sow seeds of discord in our Church. Not only in our church, but in all the lives of saved people.
3. In these verses God gives us the order for blessings and there is no way to reverse the order.
a. Worship, then the gift. All in vain if we fail to obey the first requirement.
4. God’s work is paralyzed by unwillingness to be reconciled.
b. No Christian can be right with God if he is consciously wrong with his brother.
IV. First the Spiritual and Then the Temporal
1. Matthew 6:33
2. There is a big difference between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Heaven.
a. The kingdom of Heaven refers to the earthly rule of Christ.
b. The kingdom of God is entered only by the new birth.
1) John 3:3
2) Only the saved are in the kingdom of God.
c. The kingdom of God comes not with outward show.
1) Luke 17:23
2) Is chiefly that which is inward and spiritual.
3. Put the spiritual things before the things of life and God will take care of all else.
V. First Judge Self and then Your Brother
1. Notice the words. Verse 3
a. Mote; a small dry stalk, a twig, a bit of dried stalk.
b. Beam; support of roof, a large piece of timber.
2. Romans 2:1-3; be careful about self-appointed judges. We are guilty of the same things.
a. John 8:7
b. If people knew the whole truth about us, they would not be half as nice to us as they are.
VI. Give Christ First and then Yourself Second
2. A lot of saved people with a “me first attitude.”