Keep GOD First

*Read in Spanish - Leer en Español | Shop Stickers

It is difficult to determine and manage priorities as our lives change. What is important to us at one stage will change. With so many commitments and responsibilities it can be hard to know what to put FIRST - and that leaves our lives feeling very unstable.

Culture has plenty of ideas as to what ought to be first - and none of them are about GOD...

  • "put yourself first"
  • "put others first"
  • "put family first"
  • "put your career ambitions first"

Many of us may have made these choices at one time or another and found that none of these work exclusively... because life requires being flexible. So, does that mean there isn't anything that should be "first"?

Scripture has a different perspective on this:

“But seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Matt. 6:33]

Jesus Christ taught his followers that seeking the things which GOD established for them, should be their priority in life.

Many have read this statement and assume that Jesus Christ meant that we cannot pursue anything in life other than GOD / spiritual matters... Things such as higher education, careers and other personal interests... But, Christ specifically said "first" not "only"... Not understanding this has led many to unfortunately think that they must choose to either follow GOD or follow their personal interests. Scripture teaches that there is a way to have fulfillment in all categories of life without compromising or sacrificing our relationship with GOD.

Just as there are aspects and categories to life, there are aspects and categories to spiritual realities - and The Bible covers all of these in great detail.

This means that the key to keeping GOD first in our lives involves prioritizing spiritual realities over the cultural / worldly / physical realities. Keeping GOD first is a lifestyle, not just a single act in a single category often called "religion" by the world.

Another key Jesus Christ mentions, which is not evident in most English translations of Scripture is that the word "first" in Greek is the word "proton". It means that whatever is kept 'first' is made 'central' in our life. In other words, things of lesser importance 'revolve' around what we put 'first'. If we are offered something that requires us to deprioritize or exclude GOD, and the things which GOD says are important for our lives, then we simply refuse to accept or pursue what we're being offered.

A reward for keeping GOD central / first which Jesus Christ mentions here is that "all these things SHALL be added unto us"... In other words, the things that our lives need which people might abandon or deprioritize their relationship with GOD to pursue, will be added to us IF we prioritize keeping GOD first... That means when we pursue GOD, HIS blessings will pursue us and be added to our lives!

"The LORD’s blessing enriches, and he adds no painful effort to it." [Prov. 10:22]

When GOD gives a person something there are no strings attached, no blind spots, no tricks, nor are there any dark sides which the person pays for later... GODs blessings and benefits are pure and bring no sorrow with them. Unlike things culture promotes, which GOD warns against - that are never worth the price we paid / sacrifice we made for them... and cause deep hurt, regret, shame and disappointment - to ourselves and others.

Jesus Christ spoke about this common disillusionment in Matthew 16:26:

"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" [Matt. 16:26]

Deprioritizing GOD and pursuing the cultural and material offerings of the world are the path to 'losing one's soul' not just our identity, money or relationships. Both history and daily news are filled with cautionary stories of those who choose this path.

However, GOD makes HIS intentions very clear about what a relationship with HIM provides:

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope." [Jer. 29:11]

GOD indicates HIS plans for those who keep HIM first only cause prosperity rather than harm and pave a future of hope and success.

In order for us to receive GODs provisions in a category of our lives, HE has to be first in that category. GOD is so passionate about wanting a relationship with us that HE actually gets frustrated when people choose not to keep HIM first:

"Again and again they tested God’s patience and provoked the Holy One of Israel." [Psa. 78:41]

Here are (4) great Scriptures on what keeping GOD first produces in our lives:

Having GOD's Constant Care, Attention and Protection:
"Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings," [Psa. 17:8]

Lifelong Relief from Anxieties:
"Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." [1 Pet. 5:7]

Peace of Mind:
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." [Isa. 26:3]

Fulfillment in Our Work / Pursuits:
"There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God." [Eccl. 2:24]

There are many more benefits in Scripture for anyone who is willing to do the work of keeping GOD first.

Putting GOD first means we willingly re-order / re-prioritize our lives so that things revolve around God - which takes patience and diligence on our part. Doing the opposite is pretty much the way of the world... limiting GOD and HIS blessings in our lives by making HIM what we want HIM to be and just fitting Him in where its convenient for us.

"You have ordained Your precepts, that we should keep them diligently. Oh, that my ways were committed to keeping Your statutes! Then I would not be disappointed in my expectations when I live according to all Your commandments." [Psa. 119:4-6]

We can't "put first things, first" without truly knowing WHO to keep first! So, we made this sticker as a reminder of what Jesus Christ said in Matthew 6:33!

- Anothen