By: Jane L. Fryar
Imagine you've moved into a new house or apartment. What would you unpack first? Probably not the Christmas tree ornaments or the shoe polish or the outfit you wore in a wedding a decade ago.
In Matthew 6:31-33, Jesus urges us toward a first-things-first lifestyle. Then he identifies our "first things" for us:
"Seek first (God's) kingdom and his righteousness," our Lord says.
What would it mean to seek God's kingdom first? We see the answer-in perfection-as we reflect on the life of our Lord Jesus: loving God by loving people.
This was no syrupy, soap opera love. This love went way beyond expectations to care for those in need. This love told the truth, never mind the consequences. This love refused to be manipulated. This love took our Lord into uncomfortable situations, and it created unlikely relationships.
What's more, Jesus' love was by no means cheap. In the end, he paid the ultimate price, an unimaginable price. Jesus' love-his love for you and me-cost him his life!
Our Savior died for those times we focus on ourselves rather than on him. He died because we choose to chase after second and third and fourth things. He died for our cowardice in "being nice" when real love would "be honest". He died for the times we've done what was convenient rather than what was best for the other person.
And now, Jesus calls us, his forgiven children, into his own first-things-first lifestyle. We may feel timid about stepping out into that kind of risky, self-giving love. But we can do it, knowing we will never walk alone. He walks right beside us, filling us with peace and leading the way
We can lay aside our worries about every detail, right down to what we'll eat or drink or wear. He promises, "All these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33). It's an all-inclusive promise by our ever-loving Lord!
Dear Jesus, you love me, and you'll never stop loving me. It's amazing! Be my first thing and my only thing as you teach me to love others...