Many of us are in the process of eating or disposing of leftovers from the holidays. Although leftovers are usually better, it is not the case with our spiritual relationship with God. Unfortunately, we have spent most of our lives giving God what is left over. After we have completed our daily tasks and agendas, often God gets what is left over. After we have spent all of our money on NES, Piedmont Gas, groceries, and shopping sprees, often God gets what is left over. After we have shared our love with others, even people who do love us back, often God, if anything, gets what is left over.
This year, 2014, we need to focus on putting God first. In the Levitical codes, we learn that “A firstling of animals, however, which as a firstling belongs to the Lord, cannot be consecrated by anyone; whether ox or sheep, it is the Lord’s,” Leviticus 27:26. We need to put God first. It belongs to him. We may not have any firstlings of animals, but God has given us some firsts. We need to put God first with our time. We need to serve the Lord first. How many people have missed opportunities to worship God because they wanted to do something else? Church perhaps interfered with a football game. Taking a moment out to pray and thank God had to come perhaps later in the day—because of waking up late or having to put breakfast on the stove? Put God first for 2014.
We need to put God first with our money. When it comes to putting God first with our money, our flesh plays a major role in holding tight to what really belongs to God. We need to think about how much of God’s money we waste and fail to use wisely in so many ways, because we did not put God first. Our problem is not a lack of resources, it is a lack of faith. If we had faith and trusted in God like we should have, we would have put God first with our money. Put God first for 2014.
We need to put God first with our love. Do we really put God first in love and worship? Do we give him the best of our love, or do we give him what is left? Do we put others gods before him? Putting God first with our love is not a debated theological point, it is commandment. We should not put any other god before God. Yet we have found ourselves putting people before God. We can love our spouses, children, and even our parents, but they do not come before God. There are many who turn themselves over, their destinies, dreams, and hopes—over to people who do not even care about them. This is why it is important to put God first. Put God first for 2014.
We cannot put God first without the help of the Holy Spirit. For us to put God first, we need the grace of God. We need to be reminded how God puts us first. Even though there are many of us, we are each first on his list of priorities. The devil tries his best to make us believe that we are not first in the eyes of God. The devil will tell us, especially during our struggles and tribulations, that God is not interested in us and that God has put us last on the list. We are first. The devil is a liar.
The measurement of God’s priorities for humanity is not about how much we have or what we are going through. It is measured by God’s existence and nature. God cannot help but to put us first. When we are grateful to God and acknowledge him, put him first, even when we are going through some bad stuff, we will know that God still has us on the top of his list. This is good news for us all. God is not interested in our race, gender, or class—we are all first. Let us respond to God’s ultimate act of grace in putting us first by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, by putting him first for 2014. Put God first for 2014!