The God of Your Life

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).

 When we think of New Testament Christianity, we must ask ourselves where God comes in the priorities of our lives. The above passage of Scripture reminds us Jesus put God first in His life, and He calls us to do the same as well. We see Jesus putting God first by becoming human (Philippians 2:7) and offering His life on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, that we could have forgiveness of our sins (Romans 5:8-10). Jesus could say of His own life, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me" (John 5:30).

The apostle Paul understood this as well, and was willing to forego the pleasures and pursuit of fleshly desires to know Christ as His Lord and Savior, to know the life that was truly worth living. What Paul was willing to do was what Jesus asked His disciples to do if they would follow Him (Luke 5:11). It is what He asks us to do to be part of His kingdom, to put Him first, foremost, especially in relation to place, order, and time. Paul gave up those things that would come between Him and the life Christ called Him to live. He considered the hope of eternal life of greater value than putting fleshly experiences first. He used such phrases as "crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20), "to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21), and "Christ, who is our life" (Colossians 3:4). He was willing to sacrifice everything that would block or hinder him from living the Christian life. Jesus came first in his priorities. This is what Christ was asking in putting the kingdom first.

What does this mean in everyday Christian living? Certainly, we have responsibilities in life that need to be taken care of, such as family relationships, earning a living, seeing to the various needs of the body, and more. However, when it comes to spiritual matters, such as worship, Bible study, prayer, seeking the lost, and other such pursuits, do we opt for something else and leave these undone? Do we view worship as an optional extra, and will give up times of corporate worship for anything else that suits one's desires? Money may be prioritized for personal benefits, and God's work can suffer. Opportunities for the gospel can be exchanged to discuss sports, weather, politics, or a number of other things. We condition our thoughts and lifestyle to be temporally focused and miss what is really important!

There is nothing wrong with enjoying the blessings God gives us for today, but if it becomes a temptation to substitute such for the spiritual, we are not seeking what should come first. Physical things and pursuits will perish, but the spiritual endures forever. We are called to live for that which lasts. "That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory" (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12).

How should we view anything that would come between us and Christ, between us and His kingdom? Jesus said, "And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." (Matthew 5:30). Look at your planners, your bank account, your time, your affections; who comes first? God offers us the best; He offers us everything. What do you offer Him? "For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again" (2 Corinthians 5:13-15).

 Robert Johnson, Longview, TX