First Things First

April 5, 2008
by Rob Paxton

As far back as I can remember, I heard my parents saying, "Robbie, remember — first things first!" Every day, my parents arose first, washed, dressed, and prepared for the day, and then got my sisters and me up — and made sure we did the same.

Once I was in school, when I arrived home, I was to change into "play clothes", then do any homework I had before dinner. Following dinner, dishes were washed and put away first; then there might be time for play.

When I got my first job at the T. Eaton Co. in Toronto, my boss said, "Rob, we will meet together each morning and plan our day: what we must do, what we should do, and what we will do if time permits — first things first."

When God decided to give the children of Israel directions for living, the first thing He said was: "I am the Lord thy God… thou shalt have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:2-3 KJV) First things first.

Much later, Christ was teaching the people on a mountain and said:

Matthew 6:33 – Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (KJV)

Later in His ministry, He was challenged by one of the Pharisees, who demanded (for his own edification), "Master, which is the greatest (first) commandment in the law?" Christ responded:

Matthew 22:37-40 – Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. The second is like unto it; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV)

What would the world, our world, be like, if everyone obeyed and did "first things first"?

There would be no war: only peace. There would be no poverty: for all would share. There would be no jealousy or hatred: for all would be content. There would be no "false gods" — wealth, prestige, and power — for all would worship the one true God. If only everyone would put first things first! Is this an idealistic vision? Yes. Is it possible? Yes, if God wills it to be. Is it likely to happen? No, as long as we let Satan replace God, and worldly pleasures replace heavenly treasures!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit, bless those whom You have called to serve You, so that we can learn to tell others of Your love for us and them, and encourage them to put "first things first" in their lives. Teach us how to better love and serve You, and to love and serve each other. In Jesus' sacred name, we pray. Amen. Hallelujah!

About the author:

Rob Paxton <robertgpaxton@sympatico.ca>
Little Current, Ontario, Canada

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