But First

by | Jan 30, 2020 | Vital Men Devotions

Have you heard the phrase, ‘there’s a first time for everything’?  Even though there is nothing new under the sun, If you watch real well each day, you will likely find something new you have never seen before where you can use this phrase.  This past week, I received a text message with an attached video of their child walking from an Amish family I used to work with.  That was my fist experience with that scenario.  My wife and two youngest children are also gone for a few days this week, so I look for opportunities to get a few other things done that I have been putting off for a while, along with my oldest son.  It doesn’t always work perfectly, but we have been getting some things done.  I got to meet with a friend for nearly an hour that I have not been able to talk to more than a minute at church or in meetings for the past few years.  I find that you really have to be intentional about having meaningful talks, because in our world today it doesn’t naturally ‘just happen’.  What things have you been putting off that you really need to do sooner than later? 

He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”  Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”   Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”  Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”  Luke 9:59-62

Each day I feel I miss opportunities to share the Good News of salvation with others.  I feel I don’t get or make many opportunities to actually sit down and have conversations with others at all anymore, as there are too many things to do on my list, and others are added every day.  When I actually do get to talk to someone for a few minutes, when they ask how I’ve been, even if I don’t say it, the word ‘busy’ always pops into my head, because that is how I find myself acting most of the day, always just going from one thing to the next.  I don’t feel like I have the opportunity to slow down and rest, like I should more often.  In fact, the busyness of each day often overshadows other, more important things that I should be doing, and that I would like to do, such as actually talking to those I love, spending more time in the Word and prayer, sleeping, and sharing the Gospel with anyone that will listen.  How do you find balance between what you have to do and what you really need to do, and putting the most important things first?

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Matthew 6:33

So, how do we find a balance between the things that we feel God is calling us to do for His Kingdom, and all the busy things that we have to do each day, like working, and sleeping, and taking care of kids, and paying bills, and keeping up the house and yard and everything else we feel we need to do?  Since there are no more hours in a day to negotiate with, we either have to get really efficient at getting everything done, or start saying ‘no’ to some things.  In a world where people always want ‘more’ of everything…more activities to fill our time, more work, more tv, more money, more social media, more food, etc, its difficult if not impossible to fit it all in.  Though it is difficult, it is time to start saying ‘no’ to the things that really won’t matter in 5 or 10 years, and start saying yes to things that will make a different for eternity.  It may not be an overnight change, but we have to start moving in the right direction for it to start.  In fact, when we put others needs before our own, it is an act of sacrifice – an act of love.  We love others when we put aside our selfish ambitions and share the Good News of God’s love with those who will hear and receive it. 

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.  But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.   Matthew 19:29-30

Yours in Christ,

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