Friday, April 13, 2007
Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
"Well for me it's God, family and church. That's the order of priority in my life."
Over the years I've heard "good" people discuss this matter and even preachers preach messages on the subject. If you were going to list priorities of life it might seem reasonable and righteous to start with God first...then family...and then church and then probably adding country or career somewhere on the end.
Certainly the pastor was correct when he said "My family is not centered around church...we build our home around Christ." Then the comment was made..."This brother's family is not church, church, church...they enjoy sports and recreation as well."
Luther said..."Shake the tree and you will see if there is any fruit." When men are bumped and jostled or confronted about that sensitive area it will be obvious what spills out. Is there a quick sharp defense...or a slow and sweet response? Often we will carry that spiritual chip on our shoulder just waiting for some pious so-and-so to knock it off. Are we not all rather opinionated people? Each has his little box prejudiced by family upbringing, custom, culture or regional eccentricities. Beware...that box may be a trap!!!
In Acts 1:7 the Lord Jesus responds to the disciples' inquiry with a firm "It is not for you to know..." Of course the Master Teacher in all His wisdom sets it all in order. God's timetable and His priorities will secure success.
There are many places in Scripture the words "Ye shall" are used. I'm going to mention three....
1) "Ye shall be baptized..." (Acts 1:5; Acts 11:16)
2) "Ye shall receive power..." (Acts 1:8)
3) "Ye shall be witnesses..." (Acts 1:8)
Thank God for His presence...His power and His purpose in our lives. His presence dwells within us and is with us in all of life in the Person of His Holy Spirit. His Spirit comforts and guides us. His Spirit also empowers us to walk the walk of faith. His Spirit gives us the power to talk the talk of faith. Yes..."ye shall be witnesses." Explain to me how one born from above and baptized with the Holy Spirit and empowered by His presence could be anything less than a witness of that glorious gift.
Oh...by the way...that priority stuff...God, family, church, work, school, sports, whatever...the truth of the matter is that if we get the vertical relationship right then we will get the horizontal relationships right. That is if our heart is right with God (vertical) our lives can be properly ordered (horizontally). Matthew 6:33 says "....seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness (the vertical) and all these things (the horizontal) shall be added unto you."
The truth is if Christ is all in all then a lot of the trivial nonsense of this world will be taken care of. Try it and "ye shall" see.
Are you a good person? Take this test and find out.