First Things First!

Fresh Manna
By Pastor Tim Burt

Are you like most people? Do you find it a battle to put God FIRST place in your life? Does your heart want to? Does your spirit agree when you read about putting God first place in your life saying, “Yes, that’s right—I do need to put God and His ways first place in my life.” Jesus called us to do that. He also told us what our number one priority should be. We read it in Matthew 6:33 (NIV) “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Another Bible translation says it like this: “and He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. (Matthew 6:33 (NLT)

Jesus knew that the natural things that we need to get by in life would create a competition for our thoughts, emotions and priorities. As necessary as those “things” seem, He wanted to remind us that they don’t compare to seeking God, His righteousness, and His kingdom first!

Jesus once said to Peter, “… the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) Jesus knew we’d be willing and wanting to do the right thing. The words that will spill from the hearts of men before the throne of God one day will be a river of good intentions. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Matthew 6:25-33 “So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not. “And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t He more surely care for you? You have so little faith! “So don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.”

This sounds so noble! It should be far more than noble to us. It should be our reality. But of course that would be impossible without sincere heart faith in God’s promise to take care of our needs. That is why God gave us and told us to use our faith! Hebrews 11:1 “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.”

When our faith in God’s promises is exalted, it trumps our mental struggles, worries and fears. It brings us into a place of peace and trust in God. Jesus said our spirit was willing. He also said our flesh was weak. He also said the way for our willing spirit to defeat our weak flesh is today’s Fresh Manna verse. “Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!” Temptation isn’t just about what we deem as sin. Temptation can also be about putting things outside of God—work, play, and activity—before Him.

Are you putting God FIRST today? Are you operating out of good intentions or the reality of doing, strengthened by God’s love and grace? This is why God said, “Keep alert” so that we would do a reality check. He then said, “and pray.”

In His love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2010 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
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