1st Things First

Yesterday at church I had an interesting conversation with one of our students.  We’re in the middle of a discipleship series called “Experiencing God,” so I asked her how her Bible study was going.  She told me, “not so good.”  Well at least she was honest.  As I began to talk to her about it, she told me that she has so many people trying to take first place in her life.  Each teacher at school wants that particular subject to be her first priority.  Her coach wants her athletics to be first priority, her music teacher wants her musical instrument practice to be her first priority, and her parents want church to be first priority.  As I sat there considering what to say to her, I told her that it didn’t matter what her teachers, her coach, her band director, her parents, or even what I thought should be first in her life.  I told her that God already claims first place in her life.  He tells us in His Word in Matthew 6:33 to, “seek first his kingdom…”  I told her to never let school, athletics, music, or even her church activities come before her relationship with God.  Ironically, that’s the exact topic of this week’s discipleship lessons in Experiencing God.  This past week we’ve been reminded by Henry Blackaby that God is seeking a love relationship with us – so much so that He runs after us…He pursues us. 

This one encounter with this one student isn’t isolated.  Yesterday as I looked out across our students in Sunday School, I could almost see the weight that they are carrying.  The load of school projects, tests, sports, arts, and so much more that they are dealing with and trying to prioritize.  It’s a lot for someone to handle. 

Students, take courage and don’t loose heart.  Though you have much to deal with in your daily living, never loose sight of putting God first.  Don’t hear me say put the church and the youth ministry first – no, put God and your relationship with him as your first priority!

One Comment on “1st Things First

  1. An ESOL family member stopped me after Sunday school and asked why we don’t have prophets like the ones who contributed to the Bible. Ann Ellis’s answer was better than mine…Once you have the REAL Thing — Jesus– (my words) you don’t need additional prophets. But, I added that all of us are still sharing His message with others. Then, he admitted that he has never heard God speak and wondered if I had. That’s when I told him God will speak to us when we pray if we will just listen. However, since busyness is universal, afflicting young and old alike, most of us don’t hear God’s voice because we never take the time to listen. If I will turn off the radio in the car, put down my cell phone, and turn off my computer God will speak through my silence, through my Bible reading, through my attentiveness to Him. If I would “Be Still,” I would know He is God and come to know him more fully. I’m not trying to add accolades for my transcript to impress an admissions counselor. I don’t have to try to please 6 or 7 different teachers/coaches and parents. Right now, I don’t even have a boss to satisfy! What’s my excuse? I’m just busy. Just like our youth, and the senior adults, and the young children….I have to carve out time and set it aside to visit my best friend. I have to remember that He is with me even when I ignore Him, and remember to include Him in all that I do. I must never lose sight of the fact that when all else has passed away, He will still be with me and I with Him. Old as I am, the same things trip me up. Practicing the Presence of God is a lifelong practice. God Bless our Youth as they consciously make the effort to include our Lord in their daily lives.

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