Do you put God first?
When someone asked Jesus what the greatest commandment is, he said:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is one Lord, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength.
Do you do that? Do you love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, more than you love anyone or anything else?
Do you put God first in everything?
What does it even mean to put God first?
When you have a problem, who do you run to? If you run to anyone or anything but God, you’re not putting God first.
If you encounter temptation and testing (as we all do, every day), where do you go for help and guidance? If you go to anyone or anything but God, you’re not putting God first.
To put God first means to make choices according to God’s principles and to see the world through God’s eyes. Jesus talked about that, about how people shouldn’t see as man sees but as God sees. We know that God sees hearts and minds, which means he knows what’s really going on rather than what people say is going on. Several times in the New Testament, Jesus is said to “know” the hearts of others. If we put God first and let him work through our mind, we’ll be able to see through God’s eyes and know hearts, too, like Jesus.
Jesus always put God first. We know this because he always did what pleased God and he was sinless. From this, we can see that putting God first and doing God’s will are more or less the same thing.
So – do you put God first? Do you spend time with him because you feel obligated to or because you want to? Do you know God or do you just know about him?
The world is full of people who know about God. What they know is not always accurate, but at least they know something.
Far fewer are the people who actually know God.
We have been invited by Jesus to get to know God. If we accept that invitation and spend time with God to get to know him as our Dad, we will soon be putting God first in everything. We will start to see the world through his eyes and to know hearts, like Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but that seems to me to be too good an offer to pass up.
If you don’t know God as your Dad, now’s the time to start.
I started really getting to know God by reading the Bible all the way through, a few years after I was born again. Before doing that, I knew God as my “Heavenly Father”, but I didn’t know him as my Dad. I kept at a respectful and maybe even fearful distance. But the more I read about him in the Bible, the more I understood him; the more I understood him, the closer I drew to him; the closer I drew to him, the more I relied on him; the more I relied on him, the greater my faith in him grew; the greater my faith grew, the more I loved him; and the more I loved him, the more I put him first in everything.
Today, I can’t live without God. I love him so much that I can’t imagine going even one second without knowing he’s with me. He is my heart and soul and mind and strength. I throw myself at him like a little kid, and he picks me up and whirls me around, holding onto me tight. This is my Dad, my Daddy, my God. This is also Jesus’ Abba, and he can be your Daddy and your Abba, too, if he isn’t already.
Start by deciding to put God first. Read (or reread) the Bible from cover to cover. It will be the best time investment you’ve ever made. The more time you devote to God, the more he reveals of himself, and the more he reveals, the more you want him. It’s a beautiful cycle. It’s been hardwired into us to want what God wants. All our problems in life stem from trying to deny that.
Put God first.
Love him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
Then go out into the world and be God for those who don’t know him.
That’s what we’re here for.