God First

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God will not take second place, even to His service.

We can sometimes get so busy serving the Lord that we forget to love Him. This is one of the greatest temptations of workers for the Lord, and one of the greatest dangers. If we neglect our fellowship with the King of kings because we’re so busy with the affairs of the kingdom, it can be disastrous to our spiritual life and communion with the Lord.

No matter how sincere our motives or how faithful we are to His work, we must put Him first—not the work or even others. God doesn’t fit second place, and He won’t take it. “You shall have no other gods before Me. … For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 5:7,9). That is probably the greatest mistake of sincere Christians: to make a god of God’s service.

Your service is nothing if you don’t give the King your attention, your love, your time, your communion. He desires your love and intends for you to love Him first of all and above all. You cannot do the Master’s work without the Master’s power and guidance, and to get it you must spend time with the Master.

 
Let Jesus be your “first love,” and always keep Him in that place (Revelation 2:4).

For Christ to be valued at all, He must be valued above all. You must seek first the King and His kingdom, and to seek first means foremost and above all—before everything else, above everything else, beyond everything else, and more than anything else. The first place must belong to Him.

What Jesus values most from us is our time. To neglect your fellowship with the King of kings because you’re so busy with the affairs of the kingdom can be disastrous to your spiritual life and communion with the Lord. “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3)—not even His service or lost souls. So it behooves you to give Jesus time, and you should give Him some time every single day.

If you’ll just put Jesus first and delight yourself in Him most of all, then He can trust you with other things, because they will not come between you and Him. They will not supersede nor distract, but they will augment your service to Him and “all these things shall be added to you” in His time (Psalm 37:4; Matthew 6:33).

 
God’s love is the reason and purpose for all things.

Why did God make this wonderful world for you to enjoy?—So you’d know that He loves you. Why did He want you to know He loves you?—Because He wants you to love Him. God made you to love because He needed someone to love.

What is the whole duty of man?—Solomon says it in Ecclesiastes: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV). But Jesus boiled it down to something even simpler: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). Jesus made it a more personal loving relationship between Him and you and others. Instead of “fear God,” He said, “love the Lord.” Instead of just “keep the commandments,” He said, “love your neighbor as yourself.” In this is fulfilled “all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:40).

You’ll never be able to enjoy life to the full without Him, because He has created your heart with a vacancy, a hollowness, an emptiness, an aching void that only He can fill. He saved one spot in your heart, the very core of your life, for Himself. He created you to love Him. You’re His creation, you’re His child, and He wants you!

 
Enjoy yourself and enjoy life—but enjoy the Lord most of all!

God intends for you to enjoy life. He made all things for you to enjoy, and He created the very senses with which to enjoy them. Every good and perfect gift that God has sent down from above, He created for you, His child, to enjoy (James 1:17).

Enjoy the pleasures that God has given you as much as you please and as much as you need. Just don’t enjoy them more than Him. If you have an inordinate desire for too much of certain things, then it becomes a form of worship, and that’s a sin. “Do not love the world or the things in the world,” the Bible cautions us. “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). Don’t let the blessings of God take first place in your life, because God will not take second place. He wants your love above all else. He says, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3).

Be sure that you put God first. Love and worship Him above all, and thank Him for all of these other things that He has given you to enjoy. Then you can have all this and Heaven too!

* * *

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
–Psalm 42:1,2

Whom have I in Heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside [more than] Thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
–Psalm 73:25,26

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
–Matthew 22:37,38

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear [love and respect] God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
–Ecclesiastes 12:13

He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.
–Matthew 10:37,38

But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things [food and clothing] shall be added unto you.
–Matthew 6:33

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
–Psalm 37:4

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.
–Philippians 3:7,8

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.
–Psalm 27:4

 
 

Copyright © The Family International. All Rights Reserved.

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Author: Frederick Olson

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.

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