I will always remember the first time that someone shared with me about keeping God as my first priority and how making the decision to put God first blessed my life abundantly!
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
I was a young believer, having recently taken our ministry’s Foundational Class, and I was starting my second year at college. I had just moved in to a home with several other disciples because I wanted to make living God’s Word more of my daily life-style. While on campus registering for a class, I found out that they were having tryouts for the women’s tennis team. I was an avid tennis player, so I excitedly attended the tryout that afternoon.
Upon arriving home, I told my fellowship coordinator—who also was in charge of the home that we were living in—about wanting to join the team. He encouraged me to get more information so that I would know just what I was getting involved in. When I went back the next day, I made it through the second round of tryouts. I also found out that practices would be in the afternoons, Monday through Friday. Once the season started, we would have at least three matches a week, involving quite a bit of travel and maybe getting home some evenings about 9:00 or later.
My fellowship coordinator asked me, “How does this fit in with your desire of wanting to make God’s Word more of your daily life-style?” He helped me see that with all of my classes and study time, adding the tennis team commitment would leave me very little time for anything else. I wouldn’t be there to enjoy the full sharing around the dinner meal with the rest of our household, and I would miss our evening fellowships. Also, repeating the Foundational Class was a goal that I would not be able to achieve for several months.
I thought to myself, “With early morning classes at the university every day, when would I even have time to read God’s Word?” I had a decision to make. What was most important to me and where did I want to invest my time and energy? It wasn’t an easy decision for me to make. But even though I loved playing tennis, I realized that what I really wanted and needed was to grow in the things of God, and I made the decision to not attend the final tryout the next day.
I began investing more of my time in learning God’s Word and getting involved in our fellowship. I served on the crew of the Foundational Class that we ran that month, and my enthusiasm for God and His Word grew and grew. I also began to share my excitement about God’s Word with others. One individual that I invited to fellowship was my lab partner in chemistry class. The first night he came, I found out that he had been on the tennis team in high school. We began playing tennis together several times a week. This classmate of mine sat through our next Foundational Class, so I had a tennis partner for many months to come!
Deciding as a young disciple to keep God as my number one priority showed me how rich and full my life could be. Focusing my time on the things of God filled my life with a joy and satisfaction that I had never experienced. For me, thirty-four years later, keeping God first is still the only way to live!
We are going to look at the how of keeping God first in our daily living. We keep God as the first priority of our lives by seeking Him daily and by making decisions and choices according to His Word. It is in keeping God first that we find our greatest joy, satisfaction, and success in life.
We keep God first in our lives by seeking Him daily. One way we can eagerly seek to know Him is by spending time in His Word on a daily basis.
Psalms 119:130 and 131:
The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.
God says that His Word gives light and understanding to the simple. The simple are those that are pure of heart. Young children are a great example of what it is to be pure hearted. They’re humble and eager to learn. They are like sponges, ready and excited to receive what you teach them. When I was young, my mind was like a sponge, eager to receive my dad’s instructions on how to play tennis. That enthusiasm stayed with me as he continued to teach and play with me throughout my youth. I was excited to learn from my dad because he was an expert tennis player. His knowledge and understanding of the sport was so much greater than mine. Likewise, when we study God’s Word each day, we go to it with great enthusiasm and humility. We look to God’s Word and desire it because His Word is greater than we are….
This is an excerpt from the November/December 2008 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2008 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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