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First things First!

SERMON: First things First!

A Little Humor: Farmer Joe was in a serious accident and decided to take the trucking company responsible for the accident to court. In court, the trucking company's lawyer was questioning farmer Joe. "Didn't you say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine?'," questioned the lawyer. Farmer Joe responded, "Well I'll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favorite mule Bessie into the..." "I didn't ask for any details," the lawyer interrupted, "just answer the question. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine'!" Farmer Joe said, "Well I had just got Bessie into the trailer and I was driving down the road..." The lawyer interrupted again and said, "Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question." By this time the Judge was fairly interested in Farmer Joe's answer and said to the lawyer, "I'd like to hear what he has to say about his favorite mule Bessie." Joe thanked the Judge and proceeded, "Well as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my favorite mule, into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop-sign and smacked my truck right in the side. I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other. I was hurting real bad and didn't want to move. However, I could hear ole Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans. Shortly after the accident a Highway Patrolman came on the scene. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he went over to her. After he looked at her he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes. Then the Patrolman came across the road with his gun in his hand and looked at me. He said, "Your mule was in such bad shape I had to shoot her. How are you feeling?" It was then that I said, "I'm fine."

TEXT: Matthew 6:33 - But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Introduction: Christ revealed the need for setting proper priorities in Matthew 6:33. Putting first things last and last things first is far too easy and frequent, therefore, con- sider four particulars from the words of Christ that will aid in putting 1st things 1st.

Story about young boy in attic looking back at Kindergarden notebook.

1. OBLIGATION - "seek." We must understand the Jesus is issuing a command, not an option. If we desire a heavenly home, we must follow this absolute imperative. Seeking requires a diligent effort on our part. Cf. Hebrews 11:6, "but without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

2. OBJECTS - "the kingdom of God and his righteousness." The top priorities in a Christian's life are the "kingdom" or the Church (Mt. 16:18-19 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.") and "his righteousness" which is revealed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:16-17). 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."

3. ORDER - "first." The emphasis is that the Church that belongs to Christ must never take a back seat. In all we do we must seek to put these things first in our heart, mind, soul and strength! The concept of "seeking first" for the things of God is a predominant biblical concept that touches one's motivation and priorities including how one spends their leisure time, the goals one sets in their life, and whether or not they experience spiritual growth.

4. OUTCOME - "all these things shall be added unto you." This statement shows the blessings that will result if your priorities are right. The result for obediently seeking the kingdom and God's righteousness will lead to your every need being supplied in accordance to God Himself. What an awesome promise. This does not mean that all your wants will be taken care of. Without fail God will surely take care of what your daily requirements are. It is also a clear reminder that "So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:33).

Conclusion: It was points out that one old recipe for rabbit started out with this injunction: "First catch the rabbit." Says the chief: "The writer knew how to put first things first. That's what we do when we establish priorities -- we put the things that should be in first place in their proper order.


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