Habits of Highly Effective Christ-Followers
Put First Things First – Part II
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.”
The Apostle Paul told the Christ-followers in the Galatian church that each of them was responsible for their conduct (Galatians 6:5).
I fear that many Christ-followers today rely too heavily on their pastors or teachers to form their conduct. Everyone should listen to their spiritual leaders but, we are all responsible for our spiritual journeys with God. We all must carefully decide what the most important things are and then put them first in our lives.
Read more of what Paul told the Galatians:
Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith. (Galatians 6:7-10 NLT)
Let me to put this in the context of our third habit of highly effective Christ-followers. If we continually satisfy the cravings of our sinful natures, then do not expect a good outcome to our lives.
Living to please the Spirit of God must be our priority every day. When we live to please the Spirit, it continually leads us to do good wherever and whenever we have opportunities. When we live this way, we can expect a wonderful harvest of blessings from God.
Living this lifestyle does not come naturally to any of us. The most natural way of living is to do what first comes to our minds, which usually is pleasing the cravings of our flesh. Some of our cravings may not be necessarily sinful but they still should not take priority over the things that God calls us to do.
For example, allowing our kids to play in travel sports teams is certainly not sinful, but the amount of time away from times of worship may make it not fit as putting first things first in our families’ lives. What good is making our kids the best in their sport if, in the end, they lose their souls?
Please let these words be a call to living carefully rather than a call to legalism. Ask God for His wisdom as we make the many decisions in our and our family’s lives.
Father, help me to love You above all other things in this life. Grant me the wisdom to choose the most important things in life for me and my family. In Jesus’s name, amen.