“Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:59-60)
The advertising slogan of a well known insurance company is: “Life comes at you fast”. Indeed it does. It always amazes me at how quickly the week closes only to start another. The months and years pass by so fast. Our lives are so full of activities- school functions, ball games, vacations, and civic duties. It is hard to find time for God.
God must be first in our thoughts. Connecting with God is a prerequisite to a successful walk with him. Do you engage in daily Bible reading, meditation, and prayer? (Psalm 1;1,2) Is a daily devotional at the top of your list? Do you give time to spiritual thoughts only when it does not crowd other things out, or is the rule of God the passion of your life?
God must be first in your decisions. Life is full of decisions such as what kind of career will I pursue, where will I live? Band, athletics, speech, drama, and homework all compete for the time of our children. All of these are important to the development of the child, but none of them as significant as learning that God must come first. When I choose a place to live which is more important – living in a popular neighborhood or living closer to my spiritual family? I’ve seen so many disciples choose the neighborhood over the spiritual family and before long God is forgotten.
God’s family must be the first of your associates. God chose the local church as the organization through which to accomplish his collective work. He knew that his people would need spiritual oversight, accountability, and encouragement. A truth-loving, service-oriented church is vital to our spiritual growth. Our society is full of parachurch organizations that compete with the local church. These organizations include so-called “spiritually minded” folks that subscribe to the “salvation by faith only” doctrine and other denominational doctrines. It concerns me when brethren make stronger connections to these organizations than they do with God’s people.
God’s image must be reflected in our character. Every day we live and breathe and work with worldly people. The selfish attitudes and value system of the ungodly are imposed upon us. God saved us from sin to serve, not to be served. (Mt. 20:28) We are to be noted for kindness and gentleness, but if God is not first, it is easy to imitate the rudeness and crudeness of the world.
Life does indeed come at us fast and before we know it – life will be over. God has a life policy that ensures much better promises than anything the world offers. For that reason, it is absolutely essential for us to make time for God.