Seek God First c2-head***


Seek God First

by Marsha Mundy
(Bethel, Ohio)

Jesus cares for each one of us.

Jesus cares for each one of us.

God gives specific directions in His Word


What is prompting you to seek God? What sort of trials and tribulations have brought you to your knees before the throne of God?

All through the Old Testament, the Israelites were instructed to place God first in their lives and He would take care of them.

Deuteronomy 5:7-10, "You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." (NIV)

Time and time again, the Israelites tried to live under their own power. Each time that they turned to idols or sought to live as their pagan neighbors did, trials and tribulations would come upon them. They would cry out to God for help and He would raise up a judge, king or prophet. Those leaders who followed God's commands were given victory and the land would be peaceful while they ruled, but those who became prideful or who bowed down to other gods soon met with disaster and ruin. The cycle repeated itself numerous times. God was always faithful to his people and always answered their cries for help.

Judges 3:7 & 9, "The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs."
"But when they cried out to the Lord, he raised for them a deliverer..." (NIV)

What should we do in the midst of trials?

I was a young mother with a two year old son, I was a long-time member of a church, teaching Sunday School to toddlers and happily married. At age 24 my life seemed to be right on track. We had just purchased our first home, my husband had a good job, we had one son and another baby on the way. I was happy, healthy and excited about our future.

When my labor pains started, I noticed that it felt different from my first pregnancy. Although I was having pains, they didn't seem to be getting stronger or lasting longer, like I thought they should. My husband took me to the hospital and when they checked me they said I wasn't ready to deliver yet. It was 1972 and the new technology wasn't available to find out what was happening with the baby, so I just had to wait it out.

A nurse kept trying to hear the baby's heartbeat and she seemed upset with me for not cooperating and then my water broke. When I saw the nurse's reaction to my water breaking, I knew something was wrong. At 2:30 a.m. I delivered my still-born daughter, Stephanie. The umbilical cord had wrapped itself around her neck twice as she was coming down the birth canal and choked her.

A couple days later I was sent home from the hospital with my arms aching for a baby I would never get to hold.


A time for serious seeking


That experience made me do some serious thinking about my faith.

Since my baby had never had a chance to live, there was no doubt in my mind, I knew that she was with Jesus in heaven. I didn't blame God for taking her life but I did question my own beliefs.

When the time came for me to die, was I sure that I was going to heaven? Would I really get to see my little girl? How could I be guaranteed that I would make it to heaven?

Hebrews 11:1-2, 6-7; Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (NIV)

What has brought you to the point of seriously seeking God? Some of the things that often bring us to this point include death, sickness, financial problems, divorce or separation from loved ones. It can be hard to see God's love for us in the midst of these trials, but as we seek him we discover that he is faithful, he never changes and he rewards those who earnestly seek him. God has given me the assurance that I will see my daughter in heaven when the time comes for me to die and I believe him.

When we cry out to God for help, he hears us and because he is a gracious, merciful God, he will respond. The first commandment that God gave to Moses was "You shall have no other god's before me." God wants to be number one in our hearts.

Jesus told his followers the greatest commandment, Mt. 22:37-38 (NIV) "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment."


Crying out to God for help


Regardless of our circumstances, God is still God and He deserves first place in our lives. God is patient with us and will wait for us to seek Him. Paul told the Christians living in Rome that God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

That is a promise we can claim for ourselves today.


Is it difficult for you to seek God when you are in the midst of trying times? How have you experienced God working for your good in those difficult circumstances of your life? Share a time when you have felt his love for you in an amazing way.

Comments for Seek God First

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Touching Story NEW
by: jjc_jm

Thanks for a rather touching story. I am encouraged to seek Him first. God bless.

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learning and growing NEW
by: Anonymous

I realized years ago I was continuously being pulled toward Christ, I was raised Catholic so when my children needed baptism and communion I attended church, it was a tug of war, I learned we receive an abundance of mercy as we grow thank you Jesus, so with the mercy of Christ and immeasurable amount of grace, I am grateful to say thank you.
I too have experienced storms yet I learned to look for the rainbow, to value the love of Christ above all things through the storms, He taught me to look in my heart to see what I placed above God, I have to speak truthfully I did not release what was in my heart Grace did, we are amazingly truthfully saved by Grace, this knowing fills me with an immeasurable amount of gratitude, now every breath throught the Grace of God, not me yet Grace I acknowledge Him and praise His blessed Holy name with every breath and although it does not seem enough my greatest fear is to move away from His precious heart.

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Seek God First NEW
by: michelle

I feel I was brought to this study by the spirit of God living in me. I had to learn the hard way to seek God first in my life...I was a stubborn, do it yourself kind of gal. I always thought I knew better about how to make my life work right.
I loved God, worshipped God, and at the time believed I was following God with all my heart but doing things my own way was NOT working!

My husband had an affair, left me, and then in our own way tried to work things out when we were both full of resentment, guilt, shame etc...it was a horrible time of distrust and as such I was constantly looking for my own solutions. Many, many times I could hear a small voice inside me saying "be still and know I am God." Many times I ignored it saying, "no God, I know this is the best thing to do." Well, of course God's plan was far BETTER than my plan.

Since that time, I have devoted myself to seeking God first and feel better than I have in a long time. I am waiting on God's timing, God's plan for me; and serving him and thanking him everyday for his glory and majesty. I can truly say this time God is FIRST in my life. Thank you for this awesome bible study!

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Seek God NEW
by: Dee

I would like to thank you for your lesson today.
We as Christians need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit when he's letting us know when we're getting off track seeking God. We need to repent and ask for forgiveness. God is always there to forgive and give you a fresh start.

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I surrender NEW
by: Tobi

I must say my ex was an idol in my life. God warned me about the relationship but I wouldn't heed. When it pleased God to separate us, my ex left me after being together for more than 7yrs. I choose to seek God and make Him number one in my life.

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worship God in spirit and in truth NEW
by: DuvLady

Marsha,
Your story so touched my heart! I lost 2 babies, but not as far along as you were. But it was extremely painful. I wondered at the time if I was ever going to be blessed with children. But He heard and answered. Today my 2 sons are grown. What a blessing!
More currently: My husband and I have been searching for a new church home. It has been a little depressing at times... we so loved the people from our church of 12 years. It was very hard to leave in many ways, but necessary. We have visited many many churches in the last 4 months, but just can't seem to find the right "fit".
Today God spoke to my heart during prayer.... "worship me in spirit and in truth" -- I quickly did an internet search and came up w John 4:24. So I started from the beginning of the chapter when the Pharisees were actually counting how many people Jesus vs. John were baptizing! Jesus didn't appreciate the rivalry of course and left, traveling through Samaria (I always find symbolic somehow)
In vs 19 the Samaritan woman asks Jesus where the proper place to worship God is... he answers in vs 23 --"But the time is coming - it has, in fact, come - when what you're called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter. It's who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before Him in their worship....... in adoration"
Thank you for taking the time to do this online "Seek God First". This is awesome!

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more of you less of me... NEW
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for this...I really am trying to get to a place of real intimacy with God. I have always found myself thanking God for never leaving me nor forsaking me because I have been a christian since the age of 7 and having re-dedicated my life to him at 17 and was baptized at 24 I still find myself struggling with my faith. Doing what i ought not to do though I really don't want to be doing them...I know part of it was struggling to read my bible, thats why I decided to join an online bible study and begin to really dig into the word. I found your testimony inpspiring and the passages you used blessed me so much...thank you..I will continue to read more of your writings as God uses you to bless his people, thank you.

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RE seeking NEW
by: SJ

I accept God as my personal Savior when i was 15, and got baptize at the age of 20, i wasn't always a good christian, after i got baptize, and i starting partying and doing all other things that was against God, for a whole year i said i will leave these things behind and start to seek him, but always found an excuse to go back to that life style. but this year i have truly decided to change my life around, and that's why i am seeking for all ways to get closer to him. i thank god for showing me this web site and i hope to learn more about his words, and from the others experiences.

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Thank You NEW
by: Anonymous

Thank you for sharing with us. It was by divine intervention that I came accross The Hem of His Garment. Like the Israelites, I had put other things before God and this was a wakeup call for me to put God in his rightful place in my life.

Thank you very much

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My Thirst For God. NEW
by: Mrs. Francine Taborn Cappe

GOD'S SAVED ME AND GAVE ME A NEW LIFE IN CHRIST A THE AGE OF 20. GOD HAS DONE SO MUCH FOR ME, EVEN WHEN I WAS UNDESERVING OF HIS LOVE, HE LOVED ME ANYWAY. SEEKING GOD'S FACE, AND HAVING A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR CREATOR. I WANT TO HAVE A MORE INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR LORD AND SAVIOR. GOD THANK YOU FOR GIVING US YOUR BELOVED SON. THANK YOU JESUS FOR DYING ON THE CROSS ON MY BEHALF, IN THIS LIFETIME LORD, I CAN'T THANK YOU, NOR PRAISE YOU ENOUGH. AMEN.

SISTER FRAN.

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It's the beginning NEW
by: Anonymous

I had felt lead to do bible-study with my husband for sometime now. It's been awhile coming but today we started with your lesson. Touch and agree with me that this is only the beginning of a wonderful, powerful, faithful driven journey that will take us beyond that which we could ever have hoped, dream or fathomed! In Jesus name...

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Thank You for Sharing
by: Anonymous

Marsha, thank you for sharing your experience and thanks for the inspirational truths that you posted. I too lost a baby girl who was still born. It was a very painful experience. Only the Lord could have brought me through it. The Lord gave me peace and helped me to cope with the loss. I was in such peaceful state that my husband could not understand it. I explained to him that I had prayed to the Lord about it and released my babygirl to the Lord. Yes, I thought about my baby girl, but I knew that she was in God's hands, so that gave me peace. God is our healer and he gives us the strength to endure whatever situations we face!!

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In reply to "feeling in christian limbo"
by: Anonymous

God loves you so much:) Even though you may FEEL you are in Christian limbo, the truth is He is so very close to you right now!He promises to never leave us or forsake us...Hebrews 13:5, and that goes for all His kids that have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.It seems as though when I am going through those "desert times" myself, He always supplies the Living Water I need, not as I think He should do it, but by how He chooses to to supply, and apply, His healing. You already have His grace and His mercy, that will never ever go away:) He knows your heart, and He hears every prayer you lift up as you talk with Him throughout your day. When He showed me the truth, that feelings and truth are two different things with two different meanings, it was easier for me to take the next step and see if what I was "feeling" was lining up with the "truth" in His word. The challenges of this life can be so overwhelming at times but He has given us a whole big family of brothers and sisters to help remind us of His deep love for us, and that His truths will not change. So, when you are feeling you are in that place of "Christian Limbo," which by the way, I think we all experience that sometimes:), remember your identity as a child of the Living God! That's who you are! He is loving on you right now,whether you can "feel" it or not, it's true:) Blessings to you! YOU ARE LOVED:)

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Sunset
by: AnonymousPattricia

At 62, sitting on a balcony in Manly, I realse that God has been so very kind to me while I have been unkind to Him. Although my life has not been a bed of roses, it has been and continues to be good. There is a missing piece of the puzzle that is me. And that piece is a close, mature relationship with God.
I have always believed in God, for as long as I remember. When I was little my parents didn't take me to Sunday School. I went of my own accord. I taught Sunday School for a while, as well.
But in all this time, three children and a divorce later, I still don't feel right with God.
Admittedly I don't go to church. I do pray, morning and evening and chat with Him as I go about my daily life. It seems I am a Christian in limbo.

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God's Word is powerful!
by: Anonymous

Thanks for sharing your encouraging story! We all need to hear that God is still working in the world today - He hasn't changed! And hearing that His Word continues to be used to bring healing is even more encouraging.
He just keeps telling me to stay in His Word and even though I don't read it as much as I should, there are passages that come to my mind throughout the day. I guess you could say that I have hidden His Word in my heart.
God bless you for sharing!
Marsha

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Seeking God in Times of Struggle
by: Anonymous

I accepted Christ as my savior when I was 12 years old, but like you didn't realize the power of that salvation until later in my life. I have lived through so many challenging experiences in my life but one that stand out to me was when my very troubled step-daughter tried to commit suicide for the second time in her life. She was in intensive care on life support, it was 2 a.m. and the Dr. called me and told me he didn't think she would make it through the night. I grabbed my Bible as I went out the door and didn't know what else I could do for her so I just opened the pages and started reading scripture. I can't even tell you what passage I was reading, but I felt God speaking words of comfort to me. He knew what I needed. She survived the night so I asked the nursed if she would turn the radio to a christain station. After being in a coma for several weeks, my daughter regained consciousness that day. Praise God for knowing what we need before we do.

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To search for him is to know he is always there
by: Gale

On November 16th 1993 I gave birth to a daughter Talitha who took one breath before going on to be with the Lord. I am writing to you on November 14th 2011 and I can still see Talitha in my mind.

A message of hope was given to me during that awful time of grief.." There is no pain bigger than God's love for me! " That message was the wave that took me over oceans of pain onto sandy beaches of hope.

Like you I know that one day I'll see Talitha and I also know that God is with me in the darkest days and celebrating with me in the brightest moments.
I read this study to remind myself to seek first the kingdom of heaven and have the faith that everything else I'm believing would eventually come to past.

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Resting in God's finished work
by: Eddie Kigozi

I am from Uganda. I have seen God do amazing things for me during a difficult time. I was supposed to take a team of 5 young skaters and 3 officials to India for a skating championship and we got our visas late so we reached the airport when the check in counter was just closing. The attendant refused to check us in and the flight practically left us. In that moment I stopped struggling to make the trip happen and i relaxed. 2 hours later $50 had been paid for each of us and were were booked on the next flights out to Mumbai the next day. I didn't contribute to the 'no show' fees coz i didn't have enough money on me but I knew then that it could have only been God that we were able to go for that championship.

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reply
by: Marsha

My heart is aching for you right now. The Bible says that when part of the body is hurting, it affects the entire body and your pain does affect me.
I know that God is faithful - sometimes I have to remind myself of the times that God brought me through deep valleys. Jesus told his followers that they would be persecuted for their belief in him, but he also said he would never leave us or forsake us and we have to hang onto that promise.
I'm so glad that you have a loving spouse now and I am praying that in time your children and grandchildren will seek a relationship with you again. All you can do is continue to let your light shine in their lives whenever you get an opportunity. (Birthday cards, thinking of you notes and plenty of prayer.) People are attracted to the light and love of Jesus, but they often resist it - for a time.
My prayer for you is that God will place a godly woman in your pathway who can encourage you in your faith. We all need other women who we can share our hearts with.
In the meantime, share your heart with me through this study.
Don't give up on God, because he's not giving up on you! He loves you and knows all that you have endured. I often think of Job and all the heartache and physical pain that he suffered. But he was faithful and God blessed him more at the end of his life than at the beginning. God does reward our faithfulness and he understands our pain.
Blessings to you today! This is the day the Lord has made - we will rejoice and be glad in it!
Love
Marsha

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Wonderful.Amazing.
by: Whitney

Thanks so much for your post! I am currently in the process of reshaping my life and becoming closer with God. I was baptized at age 9, but now at age 24, I fully understand this true meaning..of being the way Christ wants me to be. I have been in very tough times in my life and everytime..I call out or pray about it, God is always there and makes things turn around for me. He has blessed me countless times. I must continue to serve him everyday and not just when times get rough. He may not comes when we want him to but he's ALWAYS on time. God has never put more on me than I could ever bear. I am thankful for going through those things I have went through because they have made me become who I am today. THANKFUL & BLESSED. Wonderful Article. Kudos.

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encouragement
by: Diana

Marsha, I to am just finding time to read your bible study.Very good and much needed at this time. Feeling over my head at times with personal family illinesses and ect. Trying to follow the lord in all things, it seems there are so many decisions to make.Is it the right one? The answer i know is put God first and it will work out.

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Sharing God's love
by: SisAnonymous

Marsha: I just found time to read this and want you to know how much you are touching people and helping share God's love. That is what we all need to do, let them know He is there always in good times and bad to reach out and give us strengh, courage, hope and love. Whatever is needed He will give. I know your writting will bring you great joy because it comes from the heart. God's blessing. Sis

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Thanks for sharing the testimony and God's Word
by: Denise Cook

Thanks so much for allowing the Holy Spirit to inspire you to write out that testimony and also to share a Word of great comfort, exhortation, and edification. May God bless you and continue to use you.

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Thank you
by: Kelli rutherford

Thank you Marsh for your post today. I really needed to read that. I have for sure been having my own struggles the last few years. So many things have happened and sometimes I feel so lost. Almost like God has left me to figure it all out for myself. I am trying so hard right now to have faith in all areas of my life. Some days are better then others. Right now I need so many things in my life to happen and I am really trying to be still and wait on God. I know it will all get better when God wants it too. I just know I feel ready for better things to come now. Even if its just a little bit at a time. Would you pray for me and my family. we can sure use the prayers right now.
Thanks again. Keep writing. Hope to see you all again soon.
Love to you and the family <3

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