Putting God First
by Mary Wilkey
The First Basic of the Bible: Putting God First!
This purpose of this Back to the Basics of the Bible study will be to get us all back to the basics that our dear Lord has given us in His love letter to us, the Holy Bible.
Briefly, those basics are simply stated in the two New Testament commandments at Matthew 22:37, when Jesus said: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
"This is the first and great commandment. And the second is just like it; you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
"On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
So, straight from the horse's mouth, as it were, love is to govern all our actions.
Think about it. If we all actually love our Lord and each other, there is no way we could sin against anyone or break His original ten commandments, at least not intentionally.
The operative word in the preceding sentence is "intentionally." As Christians, we do not knowingly (I hope) hurt anyone. Of course, we also all know that we sometimes do. And for that we must ask their forgiveness.
And that is why our Lord tells us that the original ten commandments are fulfilled (hang) on the keeping of the two New Testament commandments.
But He also said that the prophets hang on these two commandments as well. You may ask, what on earth does that mean? And we'll get into that next time.
Today, however, many will question how we can possibly love God, whom we cannot see with our physical eyes. And the answer is two-fold:
1 — Loving God is not necessarily emotional like human love, although it will segue into that realm, the longer we serve Him. (Remember that old song, "The Longer I Serve Him the Sweeter He Grows"?)
2 — Our Lord states that, if we love Him, we will obey Him and keep His commandments (John 14:15). So we express our love for Him by obeying all of His commandments, and since all ten of the original commandments of the Old Testament are expressed in the two New Testament commandments, that becomes simple. Not always easy, but simple.
To qualify that last statement, let me say that, if you truly are a born again Christian and are following in the steps of Jesus, you probably have no trouble when it comes to the basic "thou shalt nots," e.g., stealing, adultery, coveting, etc., because those all fall under the second new commandment of "love thy neighbor as thyself."
The hard part is loving God! What?!
You may never have considered this before, but loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind is not easy because of the myriad of distractions that we live with daily in this complex world of ours.
To love the Lord the way He commands means totally putting God first before anyone or anything else. But many times He comes last in our daily priority list. To me, relegating Him to our "leftover" time, if any, is an insult.
It's totally disgusting to realize that many, if not most, "Christians" consider everything else more important than spending some quality time in His Presence every day. They aren't putting God first in their daily lives.
When I first set about to establish this daily habit, I decided I would spend just seven minutes first thing in the morning reading the Bible and/or praying. That time very soon and very easily grew to where I was actually spending the first two or three hours with Him, and they were the best hours of the day!
Try it and see for yourself, if you don't already have the habit.
To sum up then, the first basic is to honor our Lord by spending time with Him daily, preferably first thing after you get up.
Now, does anyone have any other suggestions for putting God first and prioritizing daily time with our Lord?