First Things First
Updated: Jan 22
As believers, we are on earth to live for Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:15). It is the right and best thing to do. But too often, lesser purposes monopolize our time and attention.
In Nehemiah 9–10, the people of Judah thought about where they had been, where they were, and how to put first things first. Nehemiah’s thoughts are recorded in the longest prayer in the Bible in Nehemiah 9:5–38.
Nehemiah focused on who God is. God created everything. All life comes from Him (verse 6). He made a covenant with Abraham. He kept it because He is righteous (verses 7–8). He delivered the Israelites from Egypt miraculously and led them through the desert (verses 9–12). He gave them just, right, and good laws to guide them (verses 13–14). He provided food, water, and their land (verse 15). He was faithful. Israel was not. Nehemiah elaborated on both.
The people of Judah thought hard about how God dealt with them in the past. They owned their sins and did something about them (Nehemiah 10).
How often do we reflect on God’s faithfulness, compassion, and forgiveness in our lives? Nehemiah 9 applies to us when self-serving goals control our lives. Let’s beware of meaningless motion. Busyness is not necessarily a virtue. Some of us are figuratively treading water in the mid-Pacific Ocean, no matter what others think we have accomplished. We are minding our own business, not God’s business.
The people of Judah were serious enough to write down their commitment to follow God’s will. They bound themselves with a curse if they broke their agreement.
Bill and Vonette Bright signed a contract with God to give Him the title deed of their lives. In it, they said, “We want to serve You and do whatever You want us to do and go wherever You want us to go, whatever the cost.”1 The Jesus Film is one of many fruits of this original “I do” to God. Millions of people have decided to follow Jesus because of Bill and Vonette Bright’s influence.
Have we committed ourselves to putting first things first? That includes wholeheartedly loving God and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Do our time and money management testify that those are our priorities?
We live for Jesus most effectively when we follow our spiritual passion. My passion is using my God-given writing ability to make more and better disciples for Jesus. How will you employ your God-given gifts to live for Jesus’ and others’ benefit?
I invite you to check out my book, His Power for Your Weakness—260 Steps Toward Spiritual Strength, a devotional discipleship resource and to share it with others: https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B09NZG9W7L&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_FSRD4SGCXC35KMZ6ED5R
See free spiritual growth resources for Christians at https://www.christiangrowthresources.com
You can find this blog at https://www.christiangrowthresources.com/post/first-things-first