Habits of Highly Effective Christ-Followers
Put First Things First – Part I
Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:25-34 NLT
Key Verse: Matthew 6:33 NLT
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”
Stephen Covey’s third habit of highly effective people is putting first things first.
Once we have learned not to be reactive to other people’s bad behavior (the essence of the first habit) and have formed the habit of making our decisions based on where we want to end up (the second habit), then we can start developing the third habit. Covey warns us that being proactive in our decisions and knowing where we hope to end up is only as good as our ability to put those things first in our daily lives.
As we have been studying, Jesus said the same thing to anyone who chooses to follow Him. Our behavior cannot be based on how other people behave toward us. Also, Christ-followers must keep the end in mind (our eternity) in every decision we make in this life. After we have these first two habits formed in our lives, now we can form the habit of putting the most important things first in our lives.
As our Key Verse for today reminds us: “Seek first the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need”.
Another way to say this is that we must understand what it means to live out the principles of God’s Kingdom and make those principles the top priority of our lives. This is not an easy task when there seem to be so many other important things that call on our time. To keep this in perspective, remember Jesus’s words:
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” (Mark 8:36 NLT)
I have referred to this verse several times in this month’s devotional because it is a key truth to keep Christ-followers on track.
Here is a humorous example where I did not put first things first. When I sat down to write this devotional, I realized that I had not started my day with prayer and Bible reading. We were staying in an Airbnb while attending the Nazarene Church General Assembly in Indianapolis, Indiana.
As you have surely experienced, when traveling it is easy to get out of your normal routines. The good news is that God does not call us to be legalistic in our spiritual disciplines.
How are you doing in keeping the most important things first in your life?
Father, please help me to always seek Your Kingdom first in my daily routines. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen.