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Thursday, November 1, 2018

What It Means to Put God First in My Life

In review of 1 Thessalonians 2:12 it says, "You should live in a way that proves you belong to the God who calls you into his kingdom and glory” (GW).

Today’s verse comes from the last part of 1 Thessalonians 2:4-12. Paul encourages me to  speak as a messenger approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. My purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of my heart. Therefore, never try to win others with flattery. Don't pretend to be friends just to get something. As for human praise, never seek it from others. Be more like a mother feeding and caring for her children. Love others so much that I share not only God's Good News but my own life as well. Work hard among others, not expecting a hand-out or to be a burden. Be devout, honest and faultless toward everyone. Treat others as a father treats his own children. I am to encouraged and urged to live my life in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called me to share in his Kingdom and glory.

When I speak with and persuade others, I may be tempted to alter my position just enough to make my message more palatable or to use flattery or praise. Paul in his ministry never changed his message to make it more acceptable, but he did tailor his methods to each audience. While my presentation must be altered to be appropriate to the situation, the truth of the Good News must never be compromised. As I proclaim God's truth I have a special responsibility to be honest. Am I being honest and straightforward in my words and actions? Am I telling people what they want to hear in order to get what I want or to get ahead. It's important that people's lives are change by the Good News, not by me. My focus should not be on the impressions I personally make.

By my own words and example, I should encourage others to live in a way God would consider worthy. Are there things about my daily life that would embarrass God? What do people think of God from watching me?

I’m reminded that the Kingdom of God is a present reality. It’s what I’m to be doing on the earth right now. The power of God is the present resource. It’s the energy God gives me so that I can do what he wants me to do once you’ve surrendered and submitted to his will.

Romans 11:36 says, “Everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory” (NLT).

Why do I or others feel unfulfilled?” It’s because I (we) were made for more than this! Made for more than survival. I (we) will never find fulfillment in life until I begin to live in God’s Kingdom, by God’s power, and for God’s glory.

How do I live a fulfilled life, the kind of life that I was designed by God to live?

The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 2:12, “You should live in a way that proves you belong to the God who calls you into his kingdom and glory” (GW).

What does it mean to live in God’s Kingdom? It means I make God’s agenda my agenda. I make God’s will my will. I care about what God cares about. Whatever I want God to bless, I put him first in that area.

What does it mean to put God first in your life? Her is an acrostic that Rick Warren has, FIRST, to give me five things I need to put God first in.

Finances. If you want God to bless my finances, even during difficult seasons, I must tithe. There’s no other alternative.

Interests. Put him first in my hobbies, career, and my recreation. Give God first consideration in every decision.

Relationships. Put him first in my family, marriage, and friendships.

Schedule. Give him the first part of every day. Get up and sit on the side of your bed every morning and say, “God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I just want to love you a little bit more and know you a little bit better.”

Troubles. I need to turn to God first when I have a problem. Prayer should never be my last resort. It should be my first choice.

With these, live toward keep God FIRST.

Bottom Line:
Do everything to live a life worthy of God, who has called to be in his Kingdom.

What this means to me:
I am encouraged, comforted and urged to live a life worthy of God, who has called me into his Kingdom.

In summary, speak and live life as a messenger approved by God with the Good News. My purpose should be to always please God, not people.  Live my life in a way that God would consider worthy. Never compromise on telling others about the Good News. Lives should be changed by the Good News and not by me. The Kingdom of God is a present reality. It's what I'm to be doing here right now. I should make God's agenda my own. Make God's will mine. Care about what God cares about. Five things to put God first in. 1). Finances, 2). Interests, 3). Relationships, 4). Schedule, and 5).Troubles.

Today Father I want to practice putting you first in my life. In what I do, think and plan. I pray this morning Father for your wisdom and guidance. Help me to interact with others in a loving manner. In your Son Jesus name, amen!


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