God will begin to bless you when you place first things first
Lots of confusion has arisen over what God will bless us with. Some people think it's money. Others believe it's career success. Still others think it's anything you want.
But when we're talking about a reliable God, we need to get it straight in our minds that we're talking about God, and not some fairy tale, wish-granting genie.
Jesus was very specific when he warned his disciples not to worry about what they should eat, drink, or wear. He narrowed it even further:
The problem is that we get our priorities backwards. To our earthbound reasoning, material goods seem to take priority over spiritual things. So we ask God to give us a great job, big salary, and a happy family life first, promising that if he does, we'll pay him back by increasing our giving, treating people better, and spending more time in church.
Isn't that just the opposite of the order he wants it?
As a man who got wet, cold, hungry and thirsty, Jesus recognized that we all need a place to live, food, and clothing. But since he was God long before he became a man, Jesus knew that all of those "necessities" are perishable. That's why he asks us to put first things first.
That first thing, seeking God's kingdom and his righteousness, is imperishable, eternal.
What about us singles?
With the extra time we have, we singles should find it easier to put first things first. We don't have a family to take care of and a spouse to interact with. And yet we try to fill that void with our career or leisure activities, instead of the kingdom of God.
Jesus doesn't ask us all to become ministers or career religious people. But he does expect us to focus on the eternal rather than the temporary.
It's tempting. Other people are impressed with our job or our car or our status. And if we do seek God's kingdom first, it shouldn't be to impress other people but because we want to love and serve God.
What Jesus knew that we don't
Jesus knew that if we pursue first things first, the rest of our life will fall into place. He knew that when people get a taste of God, they'll never be satisfied. They'll hunger for more and more.
As that happens, the desire for earthly things gradually fades away. The latest "must-have" gizmo becomes a joke. Career, houses and cars become less important when the Kingdom unfolds inside us. We gain the proper perspective.
If we give it a moment's thought, we know we have to leave all the toys behind. Ah, but the kingdom of God, now that's something we can enjoy starting right now, and for the rest of eternity.
Jesus appreciated a good meal. He liked a cup of wine. But he loved his Father more. He put first things first.
As we become more like him, as we desire to become more like him, we'll put earthly things in their proper place, and then as we don't obsess over them any more, God will start to bless us with them.
When you lose your life for God, then you find it. That's the true meaning of putting first things first.
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