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GOD 1st...

WHAT IS ( YOUR ) PRIORITY CHRISTIAN?

Romans 12:2

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” It is common to hear people say, “God first, family second, work third.”

But what does it really mean to put GOD FIRST?

What does it mean to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5) ?

If we are to actually follow this command, what would our lives look like?

Think for a moment~

about the impossibility of this command and of the standard GOD

sets for us. When we do not follow His commands, it is sin.

And, if we’re honest, we know that there has never been a moment when

any of us have [completely] followed this command.

As believers, we all love GOD to some degree, but do we never succeed in loving HIM with all of our being at every moment, as the command suggests we should ? In JESUS’ life, on the other hand, there was never a moment when HE was not loving GOD with all of His being. The only way we can do what He did is to, in some sense, become completely like HIM.

But, being sinners, in and of ourselves, that is impossible. The good news is that HE has made possible the impossible. HE has exchanged our sinfulness for HIS righteousness on the cross, making us completely new creations

(2 Corinthians 5:17–21).

Now we are able to love as HE loves because we are now in HIM.

Therefore, our only hope to succeed in putting GOD first is to begin by trusting fully in HIS promise to cover our sinfulness with HIS righteous life (1 John 4:10).

Knowing that JESUS’ life was perfect in regard to putting GOD first, we should look at the way HE lived HIS life and imitate HIM, attempting to- “walk in the manner that HE walked” (1 John 2:6).

JESUS’ life was characterized by submission to the FATHER’S will, service to others, and prayer.

It is interesting to note that JESUS never pursued worldly ambition in any way and never pursued the glory of this world.

HE had every gift, talent, and ability to make HIM the most famous and wealthiest man who ever lived.

But there was only one goal that HE considered worthy of HIS talents—

the glory of the FATHER.

This should be an example to believers.

The time, resources, energy, gifts, and knowledge of GOD that we’ve been given should be used not to gain influence, make money, or fuel pride, but instead to multiply glory for the Kingdom (Matthew 25:14–30) and to save the souls of the lost

(2 Corinthians 5:20) as we trust in GOD to protect us and provide for us

(Matthew 6:31–33). As an example to those who believe throughout the ages,

JESUS sought first the Kingdom of GOD and laid down HIS life for HIS friends

(John 10:11; 15:13). HIS life was a perfect picture of loving GOD with heart, soul, and strength, putting HIM first.

It is also interesting to note that we never see JESUS expressing HIS love for

GOD by singing praise to GOD or dancing for joy.

That is not to say that JESUS was not joyful. HE was joyful.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Furthermore, JESUS knew that His actions on earth would mean GOD’S glory and the joy of HIS people, and we are told in Hebrews 12:2 that as HE went to the cross HE anticipated great joy and was even motivated by it.

The snapshot of JESUS’ life that we see in the Bible— the snapshot that we must assume GOD wanted us to see and emulate (1 Peter 2:21)—is not primarily a picture of freedom and happiness and songs and laughter. In fact, it seems that JESUS’ love for GOD was played out in most often in hardship, tears, sorrows, trials, and ultimately a painful and horrific death.

Loving GOD with all our heart, all our soul, and all our strength is not an easy path (Luke 13:24). Yes, the life of a Christian is a life of joy, despite trials, and a life that anticipates great joy (2 Corinthians 7:4; Revelation 22:16–17). But we should not expect our life in this world to be easy, successful, or fulfilling in a worldly sense. The world is at enmity with CHRIST and is therefore also at enmity with HIS followers (John 15:18–19). The world will tell us to be someone, to achieve, to live the good life in this world. All that is a lie. It does not bring fulfillment but only pain and disappointment to those who give their lives to it (1 Timothy 6:9–10).

Conversely, the life of a Christian should be characterized by moment-by-moment selfless service to GOD that flows from love for HIM and HIS people.

That is what it means to put GOD first. Any wealth that comes our way should be used to generously give (Mark 10:21). Any success, influence, or talents that we have should be used to multiply CHRIST’S influence (Matthew 25:14–30), and any strength or health we enjoy should be spent in HIS service (Philippians 2:14–17; Mark 8:35).

Is GOD everyone's priority ?

Or is HE an afterthought?? ( If even then? )

Everything that comes ( before ) GOD - becomes dangerous territory.

It becomes a matter of:

Self Importance.

Self Reliance.

Self loathing, self pity. It can become, idolatry. Idolatry is adulation, adoration, reverence, veneration, glorification, lionization, hero-worshiping, anything like this that is done before, and in place of GOD. ( Or putting HIM lower in your life’s priorities.)

"the prophets railed against idolatry"

Sound familiar? We all do it. We've all done it. Someone else also got the crazy notion of self-importance into his head... satan. Isaiah Chapter 14

13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, [and] consider thee, [saying, Is] this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

{ satan become too enamored with himself and his self importance.} Let’s talk briefly about: “COMPROMISE” From the beginning, GOD’S covenant with Israel was based on exclusive worship of (HIM alone) (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7).

The Israelites were not even to mention the names of false gods (Exodus 23:13) because to do so would acknowledge their existence and give credence to their power and influence over the people. Israel was forbidden to (intermarry) with other cultures who embraced false gods, because GOD knew this would lead to compromise.

The book of Hosea uses the imagery of adultery to describe Israel’s continual chasing after other gods, like an unfaithful wife ( or husband ) chases after other men or women.

Even today there are religions that bow before statues and icons, a practice forbidden by GOD’S Word. The significance GOD places upon it is reflected in the fact that the first of the Ten Commandments refers to idolatry:

“You shall have no other gods before me".

You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me”

(Exodus 20:3-5).

Exodus 20:3

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (( This includes ‘’self.’’ )) Or Mom, Dad, Children, girlfriend / boyfriend, etc… My wife tells me all the time, I love you ! But I love GOD more…! I, am perfectly fine with that. ( It is proper. ) It is how it should be.

We [ all ] need to recognize the importance of " Priority."

And our "First Priority" ~ Is to GOD ALMIGHTY.

If we can learn that ( one ) thing, that "First Priority" --

everything else begins to fall into place.


 

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